Work continues to further reduce travel time to Hua Hin and along the new Southern rail line

Construction News
Image: ทีมพีอาร์การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย

Work continues to further reduce travel time to Hua Hin and along the new Southern rail line

The recent opening of the new dual track on the southern train line, a significant upgrade in Thailand’s rail infrastructure, has cut down the travel time to Hua Hin and along the southern route by approximately an hour.

However, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) acknowledges that there’s more work to be done to achieve their goal of reducing travel times by an additional half hour.

During an inspection of the initial operation of the southern dual-track railway, Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr. Surapong Piyachot, noted the progress made on the 348 km stretch from Ban Khu Bua Station in Ratchaburi to Saphli Station in Chumphon. This section is part of a larger project to modernize and expedite rail travel in the region.

Despite the improvements, challenges remain.

A bottleneck near Saphli, in Chumphon, has been identified as a critical area of concern, with this midway point causing delays. Trains are required to stop for approximately 10 minutes for driver changes, refueling, and water refilling for the carriages.

Image: ทีมพีอาร์การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย

In response, the SRT has revised the train schedule to allow more time between trains, aiming to reduce waiting times at these critical intersections.

This adjustment is part of a broader effort by the SRT to collect data over the next 7-15 days, identify the core issues, and implement solutions for faster, safer, and more comfortable passenger travel.

Looking ahead, the SRT anticipates the next phase of the southern double-track railway between Nakhon Pathom and Chumphon to be operational by April 2024.

This extension will further shorten travel times by an estimated 1 hour and 30 minutes, making the total distance of 420 km more accessible and efficient.

Additionally, improvements are being planned for passenger services at the Suan Son Pradipat station, near the popular Suan Son Pradipat Beach, south of Hua Hin.

Passengers have complained that a lengthy walk is needed to access the beach from the station.

The underpass at Suan Son Pradipat station. Image: Hua Hin Today

The proposed plans include creating a new access point at the end of the platform, significantly reducing the walking distance to the underpass, and repositioning train stops to facilitate easier access. This enhancement is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.

The safety of pedestrians is also a key focus.

The underpass at the Suan Son Pradipat station, frequently used by motorcycles, poses a risk to pedestrian safety.

Measures are being put in place to designate this underpass for exclusive use by pedestrians and wheelchair users.

Additionally, the Department of Rail Transport (DRT) has urged the SRT to consider enhancing connectivity between platforms at smaller stations through the construction of pedestrian bridges or underpasses, particularly near ticketing areas, to mitigate the risk of accidents.