Korat to get elevated train when track built

Korat to get elevated train when track built

The State Railway of Thailand has bowed to strong public demand to elevate the 15km section of the planned high-speed railway network over the downtown Korat area. (Photo Google Maps)
The State Railway of Thailand has bowed to strong public demand to elevate the 15km section of the planned high-speed railway network over the downtown Korat area. (Photo Google Maps)

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has bowed to calls to redesign a section of the dual-track railway in Nakhon Ratchasima, saying Wednesday it will build an elevated 15-kilometre track to avoid causing traffic problems in downtown Muang district.

The decision was revealed after the SRT held its latest meeting with deputy transport permanent secretary Phiraphon Thawansukcharoen.

This followed talks with authorities in the wake of fierce opposition from local residents to the original design, which would have split the district in two as it lacked railroad crossings.

Officials agreed to build the raised track from Phukhao Lat to Ban Ko railway stations in Muang district, said Chatchawan Wongchon, chairman of the Nakhon Ratchasima Chamber of Commerce.

He is part of a group led by Nakhon Ratchasima governor Wichian Chantharanothai that met Mr Phiraphon on Tuesday after a proposed redesign floundered on July 20.

The group, which features representatives of Nakhon Ratchasima residents, business people and provincial officials, disagrees with the original design of a 187km section of the dual-track railway.

The disputed section runs from Chira Road junction in Muang district to Khon Kaen. The group said it fears heavy congestion will result if the Nakhon Ratchasima line is built.

The original design of the section, which would cut through roads in Muang district in 15 places, was due to be fenced by 2-metre walls.

Railway officials said earlier there would be no road crossings but suggested U-turn bridges or flyovers could be erected to relieve heavy traffic.

But the SRT's proposed solution failed to satisfy villagers, many of whom view the project as an inconvenience because it cuts through roads they depend on to make a living.

The project will impact 10,000 residents, according to Amonrat Dudadit, a local village head.

Mr Chatchawan said the design will be discussed in mid-August before government approval is sought.


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