Japan donates cute trains to Thailand, ready for public use next month

On Tuesday, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) conducted a trial run of a cute white and purple locomotive donated by Japan. It is one of 17 Kiha 183 passenger trains donated by the Hokkaido Railway Company, which will be used for short tourism routes as soon as next month.

Governor of the SRT Nirut Maneephan said the trains will hopefully be ready to take tourists from Bangkok to places such as Sai Yok Falls in Kanchanaburi, Hua Hin or the Pasak Dam in Lopburi as soon as October.

“SRT hopes the KIHA 183 trains will play a big part in promoting tourism in Thailand,” he said. “They will offer tourists a brand new experience.”

Three of the 17 diesel powered trains delivered in December last year are ready for trial runs after being modified by the SRT to fit Thai railways. The first trial run was successfully completed yesterday from Bangkok’s Makkasan maintenance yard to Chachoengsao station in eastern Thailand.

The SRT paid 42.5 million baht to have the trains shipped over from Japan and will pay a further 200,000 baht for each train to have it modified to fit Thailand’s tracks. Nirut said it’s 400 times cheaper than buying a new train, which could cost 100 million baht.

The air-conditioned trains can travel up to 100-110 kilometres per hour. Eight of the trains can seat 40 passengers, another eight can seat 68 passengers and one train can seat 58 passengers.

Nurit said 13 trains should be ready to take tourists on short trips this year, some as soon as next month. The remaining trains will be completely overhauled with new wheels, bearings, engines, electrical systems, brakes and air-conditioning so they can be used for long-haul services – a task which could take up to two years.

The trains will be in use for another 15 to 20 years, said Nurit.


Thailand NewsTransport News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

Related Articles