Rail plans

18 March 2008

A THB 16.5 billion (US$ 511 million) development plan is being devised by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). It includes the expansion of Bangkok's elevated rail network, the construction of links from ports to major cities, the modernisation of single-track lines to high-capacity double-track lines, and the improvement of connections between neighbouring countries.

“the end result will see Thailand possess a modern railway network that would support a government-backed push to increase railroad freight, assist in easing the chronic Traffic congestion on Bangkok roads, and be an integral part of the US$ 15 billion, 3000 mile Trans-Asia Railway Network, which was agreed last November between 28 countries in the region,” an SRT statement said.

“Right now in Th ailand, 88% of all freight transport is by road-freight rail transport accounts for only 2.8%. the high increase in oil prices has caused everyone to think about how to shift the mode of transport to rail from road,” Nakorn Chantasorn, deputy governor at the SRT, said in the report.

“So, we have a target from the government: we need to increase freight rail by 15% in five years-that's more than five times what it is now. At SRT, we have to make this possible,” he added.

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