Double-track lines to open this year

Double-track lines to open this year

Five double-track railway routes, three of them to the South, are set to open this year with the aim of cutting journey times and increasing logistical efficiency, the government said on Monday.

The government is expediting its upgrade of the rail network nationwide to serve the country's expanding transport system, according to Anucha Burapachaisri, the government spokesman and deputy secretary-general to the prime minister.

Key to the improvement will be reduced journey times afforded by the dual tracks which will no longer require one train to stop to make way for another.

Mr Anucha said a double-track railway is not only safer but will reduce freight transport costs and improve the country's competitiveness.

Seven double-track rail routes, 985km in all, are being implemented, one of which has been wholly completed -- the 106-km Chachoengsao-Klong Sib Kao junction-Kaeng Koi Junction route, which was opened in 2019.

A second 187-km stretch, from Thanon Jira Junction to Khon Kaen, opened two years ago with its one remaining incomplete section to be opened by the end of the year.

The other five are also to be completed this year. They are Lop Buri-Pak Nam Pho (145km), Mab Kabao-Thanon Jira Junction (135km), Nakhon Pathom-Hua Hin (169km), Hua Hin-Prachuap Khiri Khan (76km) and Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon (167km).

The three routes covering Nakhon Pathom and Chumphon are in the upper South.

Mr Anucha said that once open, a new line will also cut the Bangkok to Hua Hin travel time from five to two hours.

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