Thailand’s Den Chai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong railway project on track for 2028

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is progressing well with the Den Chai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong double-track railway project, a 323.1-kilometre initiative set to be operational by 2028.

Construction of the railway started on February 15 last year and is ahead of its schedule with 3% completion while 80% of the required land has been expropriated, as per Nirut Maneephan, the SRT governor.

The project required 7,400 land plots for 10.6 billion baht. Nirut explained that 80% of these plots have been handed over to the contractor. The land plots comprised both privately owned and state-held properties, including those from the Agricultural Land Reform Office, Royal Forest Department and Treasury Department.

The compensation rate offered was 3.2% above the average land prices estimated by the Treasury Department, revealed Nirut.

“The double-track rail route is expected to be completed on January 14, 2028, with the new railway opening later that year.”

The SRT recently organised a press tour on November 10 to the site of the new 2.7 kilometres Mae Ka Tunnel extending from Lampang to neighbouring Phayao. The construction of this tunnel has been ongoing for eight months.


It is one of four planned tunnels, each designed to withstand earthquakes and equipped with a modern flood prevention and drainage system, cross passages for evacuation during emergencies and passages leading to equipment rooms, said Nirut.

“This double-track railway project has received a positive response from locals living along the route. The route will be one of the country’s most scenic, boosting tourism and serving as a transport link for cargo and passengers to and from China.”

Plans also include a cluster of intermodal facilities in Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong district to reduce logistics costs, jointly operated by the SRT and the Customs Department, reported Bangkok Post.

The construction work is divided into three contracts. The first contract involves building a 103.7-kilometre railway section between the Den Chai district in Phrae and Ngao district in Lampang. The second contract will see a 132-kilometre section of the double-track railway built from Ngao district in Lampang to Muang district of Chiang Rai province.

Lastly, the third contract will cover the construction of an 87-kilometre section from Chiang Rai’s Muang district to Chiang Khong district.

“The Den Chai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong double-track railway project aligns with the government’s national transport infrastructure development strategy. It forms part of the country’s third phase of inter-city rail network development, aimed at enhancing rail transport for both goods and passengers. An efficient railway network will, in the long run, significantly reduce road accidents, cargo transport costs, traffic emissions and energy consumption.”

Northern Thailand NewsThailand NewsTransport News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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