State Railway of Thailand ready to give bulk of land to high-speed railway builder

Construction News
A model high-speed train is shown at Rail Asia 2019, an exhibition on electric train technology, at Airport Rail Link’s Makksan station in late March this year.

State Railway of Thailand ready to give bulk of land to high-speed railway builder

9 July 2019

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is ready to hand over 80% of more than 10,000 rai of land to the Charoen Pokphand Group-led consortium to begin work on the high-speed railway project linking three major airports this month, its acting governor Worawut Mala said on Tuesday.

The two sides will discuss details regarding the land on Friday, and if the consortium is satisfied, they will set a date to sign a construction contract this month, he said.

Deputy SRT governor Sujit Chou-sirikool said 80% of more than 10,000 rai can be handed over straight away to the contractor.

However, about 20% of the land required for construction is still mired in expropriation and eviction problems, as well as leasing contracts given to the private sector, he said.

A total of 12 royal decrees are required to enforce expropriation on 850 rai, Mr Sujit said, adding that the SRT will also hold negotiations with encroachers on another 1,000 rai.

Regarding another 400 rai, the SRT will hold talks with the private sector which has leasing contracts on the land with the SRT, Mr Sujit said.

The CP-led consortium was the winner of the bid to build a 224-billion-baht high-speed railway linking Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-tapao airports in Samut Prakan, Bangkok and Rayong,  respectively, as part of plans to develop the Eastern Economic Corridor.

The 220-km-long railway network is scheduled to open in 2024. Its trains are expected to be able to reach up to 250 kilometres per hour. The project was fast-tracked.

The project also makes use of existing structures and routes, as well as two new connecting routes