Red Line launch to go ahead: SRT

Red Line launch to go ahead: SRT

State Railway of Thailand will hold a soft launch of Red Line services on Aug 2 as planned. (State Railway of Thailand photo)
State Railway of Thailand will hold a soft launch of Red Line services on Aug 2 as planned. (State Railway of Thailand photo)

The soft opening of the Red Line commuter train services will go ahead as planned on Aug 2, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob insisted, amid rumours on social media that the launch ceremony will be postponed due to the rising Covid-19 infections in the capital.

The claims surfaced after the government responded to the latest outbreak by imposing a curfew in 13 provinces, including Bangkok — raising concerns that ceremonial events, even those scheduled for major state projects, will be put off.

Mr Saksayam said on Tuesdaythat  the Aug 2 reopening date still stands, with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha expected to preside over the launch remotely.

State Railway of Thailand, as the operator of the Red Line, had also asked the ministry of the Aug 2 reopening will go ahead, and whether the ceremony's format will need to be adjusted to comply with existing Covid-19 protocols, SRT governor Nirut Maneepan said.

Mr Nirut said SRT will continue the Red Line's test run to ensure its systems are in line with safety standards ahead of the scheduled launch.

The Red Line is a part of SRT's plan to create an extensive network of urban and suburban trains between northern and western Bangkok, which are centred on Bang Sue Grand Station.

The line is expected to commence full operation in November.

The SRT governor said the company is preparing to call for bids on several contracts, which cover cleaning, security, as well as traffic management all along the entire Red Line. Tenders will be accepted online, he said.

 Four contracts worth a total of 585 million baht will be signed.

The contracts cover cleaning service at 12 stations along the Red Line (198.8 million baht), cleaning service at the Bang Sue Grand Station (128.3 million baht), security and traffic management at Red Line stations (176.7 million baht) and security and traffic direction at the Bang Sue Grand Station (81.4 million baht).

The contracts will expire every three years.   

When services launch on Aug 2, trains will arrive and depart from platforms which are located away from the vaccination centre at Bang Sue Grand Station, the governor said.

Do you like the content of this article?

Cambodia vaccinating children as young as 6

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia on Friday began vaccinating children as young as six against the coronavirus, even though the World Health Organisation has yet to approve a vaccine for the under-12s.


Taiwan warns off Chinese aircraft

TAIPEI: Taiwan’s air force scrambled on Friday to warn away 10 Chinese aircraft that entered its air defence zone, Taiwan’s defence ministry said, the day after the island announced a US$9-billion boost to military spending to counter the threat from China.


Singapore, Hong Kong threaten to retaliate over EU's tougher airport slot rules

HONG KONG: Regulators in Asian hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong have threatened to retaliate against European Union plans to force airlines to start using take-off and landing slots frozen during the coronavirus pandemic, a move that could oblige Europe's carriers to fly empty seats for thousands of miles at a loss.