SRT looks to Bang Sue for revenue

SRT looks to Bang Sue for revenue

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) plans to adapt part of the land at Bang Sue station as a commercial project in a further effort to reduce the beleagured agency's debt burden.

The SRT board decided on Wednesday to set aside three plots of land at Bang Sue to build a complex which would include a shopping centre and a hotel.

The agency owns 1,000 rai of land at Bang Sue and is considering using 218 rai for the proposed project. 

SRT board chairman Omsin Chiwaphruek said after the meeting that the board will bring up the plan for feasibility talks with the Transport Ministry and the State Enterprise Police Office next week.

Mr Omsin said one possible option would be a partnership with the private sector if the project is approved. It was still early days, however, and further detailed study was still needed, he added.

''The project needs further study in detail on the role of the private sector, the investment cost and the years to break even,'' he said.

The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning also plans to build a Phahon Yothin transit centre on the SRT land at Bang Sue as a hub for public transport including buses, mass transit lines, high-speed trains and ordinary trains which will be moved from Hua Lamphong station in the future.

But Mr Omsin said the transit centre will be located in a different area from the SRT project.

The SRT was expecting another disappointing financial result this fiscal year as it estimated a loss of 18 billion baht from its operation. It sits on accumulated debts of about 100 billion baht.

The agency is running without a governor after Prapat Chongsanguan was axed following the rape of a young girl on a night train in July.

Mr Omsin said the board will select the new governor from four applicants this month.

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