Derailed heist: Thieves steal railway crossings equipment in Songkhla

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Thieves have stolen signal poles, barrier arms, and other equipment from 17 railway crossings in Songkhla, putting passengers, pedestrians, and motorists at risk.

The thefts occurred in the Khuan Niang, Hat Yai, and Sadao districts, focusing primarily on the Hat Yai-Padang Besar route in the Sadao district. Equipment was stolen from nine out of the 10 crossings in this area.

Prachaniwat Buasri, head of the State Railway of Thailand’s southern border provinces operation centre, reported that the hardest-hit areas were the subdistricts of Ban Phru, Ban Rai, and Phatong along the Padang Besar route.

Barriers, light signal poles, train warning signposts, batteries, wiring, cables, and other parts were stolen at 17 railway crossings. The total loss has been estimated in the tens of millions of baht.

“It is particularly worrying that the thieves had returned to several crossings after repairs were finished.”

When there are issues with barriers at railway crossings, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) tend to bear the blame. However, these problems were often caused by external factors, including the theft of parts, which also delayed repairs.

“The damage caused by theft is greater than the value of the stolen parts. No real value can be placed on the loss of life and property incurred in an accident.”

Recently, the SRT met with local administrators in Ban Phru, Ban Rai, and Phatong to seek their cooperation in guarding the equipment at railway crossings and assisting authorities in finding those responsible for the thefts, reported Bangkok Post.

“Metal parts and other equipment were stolen and the barrier arm damaged at this railway crossing.”

A railway official hung a sign on a signal light at a railway crossing in Songkhla to announce that the safety barrier had been damaged and other equipment and parts stolen.

In related news, the high-speed rail project connecting Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi, and U-Tapao airports is set to kick off later this year following a revised agreement between the state and project developers.

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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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