2 SRT routes up for bids this year

2 SRT routes up for bids this year

The bidding process for construction and service operation contracts for two new routes in the dual-track train project, worth 153 billion baht in total, is expected to start later this year, says State Railway of Thailand (SRT) governor Niruj Maneepun.

The routes are the 326-kilometre stretch linking Den Chai district in Phrae with Chiang Khong district in Chiang Rai and the 355km track from Ban Phai district in Khon Kaen to Nakhon Phanom through Mukdahan, Mr Niruj said.

Construction of the routes will cost 85 billion baht and 68 billion baht respectively, he added.

The Den Chai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong route project will be resubmitted to the cabinet for confirmation on whether construction and service operations will still be broken into three contracts, he said.

Previously, the government's so-called Super Board suggested the contracts for this route should be broken into more than three contracts, he said.

The Ban Phai-Mukdahan-Nakhon Phanom route, meanwhile, is reportedly still in the process of having its terms of reference (ToR) drafted for the bidding process concerning contracts for its construction and service operation.

Both routes have passed an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and next move on to the land expropriation process before the bidding stage, Mr Niruj said.

As for the seven more routes planned for the second phase of the dual-track train project, which will have a combined length of 1,483km, he said, they are being examined by the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC). It is unclear how long that will take.

Mr Niruj believes the construction of the Phase 2 routes may begin ahead of the Phase 1 routes, which are not connected.

Phase 1 aims to construct routes such as the Den Chai to Pak Nam Pho, which would link Phrae with Nakhon Sawan, he said.

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