SRT modernisation: State railway plans 1.5 billion baht investment in electric trains

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In an attempt to modernise and become more efficient, Thailand’s State Railway (SRT) has shifted its attention towards procuring electric trains as opposed to previously planned diesel locomotives. In the words of SRT’s head, Nirut Maneephan, the altered proposal has gained the green light from the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), and the SRT modernisation plan with an unchanged fund allocation of 1.5 billion baht is all set to be presented to the new administration.

Furthermore, Nirut noted that the SRT is also planning to add 182 new carriages to its fleet. An interesting SRT modernisation shift has been witnessed in their procurement method, with the SRT considering procedures such as financial or operating leasing – a common practice in the aviation business that the SRT is yet to put into action.

Elaborating on the SRT modernisation matter, Nirut said…

“The SRT has consulted the Public Debt Management Office at the Ministry of Finance to acquire new carriages without obtaining loans through benefit-sharing among manufacturers and sponsors. We have to make a well-rounded study to support our proposal to policymakers.”

The SRT’s modernisation efforts do not stop at passenger transport, as it has also set its sights on boosting its cargo division. Nirut announced plans to purchase 946 container wagons with a budget set at 2.4 billion baht. After assessing the options, it was determined that outright purchasing the wagons would be a more profitable venture than opting for an operating lease.

Adding to the revelations, the intent to buy 946 wagons is reported to be a part of a larger strategy to own 2,700 wagons in total, reported Bangkok Post. This number has been earmarked to adequately meet the soaring demand for cargo transport, further underscoring SRT’s modernisation drive.

In response to the burgeoning EV market within the nation, Thailand is forging strategic partnerships with ASEAN organizations. The primary focus of these alliances is the advancement of electric vehicle battery technology. The goal is two-fold: boost the overall efficiency of the EV infrastructure and foster long-term sustainable development. Read more HERE.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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