The State Railway of Thailand is expected to issue a request for tenders to build four Red Line electric train route extensions worth 67.5 billion baht this year.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said he had instructed the SRT to move ahead with its plan to find the right contractors to build the extensions, so the line’s construction can be completed by 2025.
The four extensions are the 10.2-billion-baht Taling Chan-Salaya section; the 6.57-billion-baht Rangsit-Thammasat extension; and the 6.64-billion-baht Taling Chan-Siriraj section; and the 44.1-billion-baht “missing link” project connecting Bang Sue to Hua Lamphong.
Mr Saksayam said the SRT will either obtain loans or raise funds through the Thailand Future Fund to pay for the extensions, and the matter is currently being reviewed by the Public Debt Management Office.
He said the bidding to find a private contractor to operate and maintain (O&M) the Red Line will be held later, adding the SRT is studying the public-private-partnership (PPP) model.
“If construction contracts are tied to O&M work, it may face delays. If they are separated, the bidding for construction is likely to take place within this year and construction can be completed in 2025,” he said.
The four extensions received the green light from the cabinet. The first three extensions were approved in 2019 while the missing link project, which is further divided into two sections, was approved in 2016.
The Red Line is part of the SRT’s plan to create an extensive network of urban and suburban trains between northern and western Bangkok, through Bang Sue Grand Station
The master plan also includes the Airport Rail Link that connects Suvarnabhumi airport to the Phaya Thai area and the suburban service running between Bang Sue-Rangsit and Bang Sue-Taling Chan, which are scheduled for commercial launch in November.