SRT unveils Red Line extension
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SRT unveils Red Line extension

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has unveiled a plan to add four more extensions to its Red Line electric commuter train service and grant a concession for operating the route to whichever private party is selected as a public-private partnership (PPP) investor for the project.

The Red Line network will comprise six sections in total worth 188 billion baht in investment value, two of which have already been constructed and open for free trials since Aug 2, said Khanaphot Wachirakamthon, assistant manager of the Red Line project.

The two existing sections are the 26.3 kilometre Bang Sue-Rangsit section and the 15.3km Bang Sue-Taling Chan, for which construction costs totalled 108 billion baht, he said.

The four planned extensions are the 25.9km Bang Sue-Phayathai-Makkasan-Hua Mak section that includes the Bang Sue-Hua Lamphong missing link and requires 49.6 billion baht in funding; the 8.84km Rangsit-Thammasat University section that requires 6.6 billion baht in funding; the Taling Chan-Salaya section that requires 10.6 billion baht; and the 5.7km Taling Chan-Siriraj section that will cost 4.7 billion baht, he said.

The SRT began sounding out the market online on Tuesday following an order by Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob that it revise its previous investment plan for the project, Mr Khanaphot said.

A consultant has been hired to assist with the revision, he said.

Market sounding is a prerequisite before bidding is held to find a private partner in the SRT's PPP investment in this project.

Under the investment plan, the bid winner will be granted a 50-year concession to operate the Red Line service, Mr Khanaphot said. The bidding is expected to take place next June while construction of the various extensions is due to begin in June 2023, he added.

Construction of the Rangsit-Thammasat University, Taling Chan-Salaya and Taling Chan-Siriraj extensions are expected to conclude in 2026 and open that same year, he said.

Work on the Bang Sue-Phayathai-Makkasan-Hua Mak section together with that of the missing link from Bang Sue to Hua Lamphong should finish in 2028 so they can also open that year, he said.

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