Thailand to fast track $6.6bn in rail projects in 2020

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) plans to tender rail schemes next year worth more than $6.6bn, including high-speed train and double-track rail projects.

Worawut Mala, the acting governor of SRT, said this would include an acceleration in the bidding for the remaining five construction contracts, worth $1.7bn, in the second phase of the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail project, reports The Bangkok Post. These will be let in the first and second quarter of 2020.

The second phase will run 355km from Nakhon Ratchasima (pictured) in the north-east Isan region of Thailand to the Lao border town of Nong Khai, and will form part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Worawut said SRT would next year seek government approval to tender a series of projects to double-track existing lines. These are:

  • An $860m scheme to upgrade the line that links Khon Kaen in the Isan and Nong Khai, also on the Lao border;
  • A $1.2bn project to add a second track to the line from Nakhon Ratchasima to Ubon Ratchathani, near the Thai, Lao, Cambodian border;
  • A $1.9bn scheme to double-track the route from Pak Nam Pho, about 200km north of Bangkok, to Den Chai in north-west Thailand;
  • A $760m project to add a track to the line between Chumphon and Surat Thani, in the far south of the country.

An SRT source told the Post that it also expects to open the bidding for the three extensions to the Bangkok metro’s Red Line in January or February, which have a combined value of around $800m.

Image: The main entrance of the Central Mall of Nakhon Ratchasima (Takeaway/CC BY-SA 4.0) []

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