SRT eyeing B40bn budget

SRT eyeing B40bn budget

Aims to use funds to build Airport Rail Link extension

The State Railway of Thailand plans to build an extension line for the Airport Rail Link to Hua Lamphong station. (Post Today photo)
The State Railway of Thailand plans to build an extension line for the Airport Rail Link to Hua Lamphong station. (Post Today photo)

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will ask the cabinet to approve a 40-billion-baht budget to build an extension line for the Airport Rail Link.

The construction will be divided into two sections. The first will be the skytrain line running from the Airport Rail Link station at Phayathai station to the Hua Lamphong area. The second will be the Dark Red Line that extends from Hua Lamphong to the Bang Sue area.

Worawut Mala, SRT acting governor, said the terms of reference (ToR) on both projects will be drafted to pave the way for bidding. However, he did not spell out whether the proposal will be tabled to the outgoing military-appointed cabinet or the newly-elected one.

"The SRT aims to develop two projects to complete the missing links of our city train project," Mr Worawut said.

The Red Line is part of the SRT's major project to create an expansive network of urban trains, including the BTS skytrain and the MRT that links the inner city with surrounding areas of Bangkok. The most famous Red Line train is the Airport Rail Link that connects Suvarnabhumi Airport to the Phayathai area.

Meanwhile, the SRT will open the bidding for the other three extensions to its Red Line. They 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 stretch.

Mr Worawut said the agency has not decided whether the existing Airport Rail Link operator, SRT Electric Train Co, would be granted the concession to run the entire Red Line because the scheme will take a long time to bear fruit and might face some income uncertainty, he said.

The Red Line will use trains supplied by the MHSC consortium, which consists of Mitsubishi Heavy Industrial Ltd, Hitachi Co and Sumitomo Corporation. The train assembly is under way, and the trains will be shipped to Thailand in November, according to Mr Worawut.

A trial run of the system will be carried out in June of next year and the full service will be launched in 2021, the acting governor said. In another development, the SRT will defer the the contract signing between the Charoen Pokphand Group (CP)-led consortium and the SRT that was earlier scheduled for next Saturday, June 15.

The contract outlines the development of the high-speed train project linking three major airports.

"The postponement is needed as the environmental impact assessment report on the project has yet to be approved by the National Environment Board as is required by the law," Mr Worawut said.

The board will convene on June 24, he added.

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