Transportation challenge of 2015

Construction News

The hope is that infrastructure investment will spur the fragile economy in 2015 after the economy stalled for almost a year due to political mayhem.


New rail lines for the whole country as well as Bangkok are planned for the new year.


Transportation infrastructure challenge of 2015

The hope is that infrastructure investment will spur the fragile economy in 2015 after the economy stalled for almost a year due to political mayhem.
Post Reporters


Rail lines planned for the whole country.

The military-installed cabinet in October approved an eight-year infrastructure development programme for 2015-22 worth 3.3 trillion baht. The budget is well above the 2.4 trillion baht outlined by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) in July, and the 2-trillion-baht plan of the previous government.

The current government’s proposals, in fact, have a lot in common with the blueprint of the ousted Pheu Thai-led administration. However, they have been revised to take into account economic viability and funding alternatives besides government borrowing. The development time frame has also been extended to eight years from seven.

The most dramatic change is perhaps the switch from high-speed rail to a double-track service, and the new 1.435-metre standard gauge tracks suitable for trains running at 160-180 kilometres an hour on three routes. They will link the border province of Nong Khai to the industrial coastal region of Map Ta Phut in Rayong, a move that was advocated by experts but ignored by the Yingluck Shinawatra government.

The government is also committed to continuing the development of the mass transit system in Greater Bangkok. Plans are afoot to accelerate the construction of four projects covering 89 km including the Purple Line (Bang Yai-Bang Sue); the Blue Line extension (Bang Sue-Tha Phra/Hua Lamphong-Bang Khae); and the Green Line (Bearing-Samut Prakan). All construction should be completed by 2020.

The government is also calling for bids to build an 18.4-km route linking Mor Chit, Saphan Mai and Ku Kot in Pathum Thani. Construction is likely to start in 2016 and to be completed by 2020.

Six more routes totalling 144 km are also awaiting cabinet approval. They include the Orange Line from the Thailand Cultural Centre to Min Buri, the Pink Line from Khae Rai to Min Buri, the Yellow Line from Lat Phrao to Phattanakan, the Airport Rail Link from Don Mueang to Phaya Thai, the Light Red Line from Bang Sue via Hua Lamphong to Hua Mak, and the Dark Red Line from Rangsit to Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus. Construction of the six routes is planned between 2015 and 2021.

A feasibility study is also underway for another 8-km project linking Bang Khae and Phutthamonthon Sai 4. It is planned to be completed in 2021.

At least 100 billion baht will be earmarked for investment in road construction in fiscal 2015, excluding mass transit routes, double-track rail lines and air transport, according to Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula.

Nonetheless, MR Pridiyathorn said one vital challenge for the government’s infrastructure investment in 2015 is a possible delay in budget disbursement.


Map of Bangkok mass transit systems, both planned and already operational.

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