Hua Lamphong to get a makeover

Hua Lamphong to get a makeover

Hua Lamphong Station, which will cease to serve as Bangkok’s main rail hub in November, is quiet as the Covid-19 pandemic takes its toll on demand for long-distance train travel. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Hua Lamphong Station, which will cease to serve as Bangkok’s main rail hub in November, is quiet as the Covid-19 pandemic takes its toll on demand for long-distance train travel. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

The Transport Ministry is conducting a study to develop Hua Lamphong railway station and its adjoining areas for commercial purposes, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said.

He said the ministry has a policy to develop the Bang Sue Grand Station into Thailand's rail system hub, replacing Hua Lamphong which will be relegated to a lesser role.

He was speaking after meeting state agencies which discussed a plan to develop Hua Lamphong station and areas along the Bang Sue-Hua Lamphong rail route.

However, Hua Lamphong and its vicinity have a long history, located in the heart of Bangkok and easily accessible by the MRT Blue Line and the Red Line which is under construction, Mr Saksayam said, adding the areas should be developed and optimised to their full potential.

In the past, some studies were conducted on the development of Hua Lamphong, but they are now outdated.

So, the State of Railway of Thailand would carry out a new study based on the present situation, Mr Saksayam said.

He said development of Hua Lamphong must consider links with other modes of transport, commercial development, the use of green spaces and the conservation of historic sites.

The study will also draw on case studies conducted in foreign countries, he said, adding that a private company, SRT Asset Co, will help with the study.

The findings are expected to be presented by the ministry in November, Mr Saksayam said. The SRT is also surveying details of other projects linked to the Hua Lamphong development project.

These include the extension of the Red Line, and the high-speed train project linking Don Muang, Suvarnabhumi and U-tapo airports, Mr Saksayam said.

He said he had told state agencies to ensure the Hua Lamphong development project is in line with the law, and quickly come up with a format.

They were also told to adapt models from private companies for the project, and consider joint development if some areas belong to private companies or other state agencies, Mr Saksayam said.

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