The government has approved in principle 11 railway improvement projects worth over 87.5 billion baht.
Work on the projects is expected to start this year.
Transport permanent secretary Supoj Saplorm said the State Railway of Thailand would improve the tracks and bridges and build a double track from Chachoengsao to Kaeng Khoi at the foot of the Korat plateau in Saraburi via Khlong Sib Kao.
It would also buy diesel-electric locomotives, install fences along railway tracks and put in traffic lights, track barriers and depots at Kaeng Khoi, Si Racha, Chon Buri, and Lat Krabang,
The National Environment Board has approved the Chachoengsao-Kaeng Khoi double track railway project worth 11.3 billion baht.
Studies are under way to build double tracks on two more routes – from Thanon Jira junction in Nakhon Ratchasima to Khon Kaen, and from Prachuap Khiri Khan to Chumphon. Safety improvements are planned at 200 railway crossings.
Fifty diesel-electric locomotives would be acquired to replace old ones at a cost of 6.5 billion baht. Fifty-six old locomotives would be renovated with air-conditioning and new engines, worth over 3 billion baht.
The National Economic and Social Development Board is checking the locomotive investment plan. Track improvement projects would be implemented on the Kaeng Khoi-Kaeng Sua Ten, Suranarai-Bua Yai junction, Thanon Jira junction-Bua Yai junction, Bua Yai-Udon Thani, and Udon Thani-Nong Khai routes. The Transport Ministry is working on 10 more railway improvement projects worth 89 billion baht.