Transport minister updates on Nakhon Ratchasima rail projects

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

Transport Deputy Minister Surapong Piyachote announced significant updates on July 1 regarding the rail transport and logistics systems in Nakhon Ratchasima. These developments are crucial for the overall improvement of the country’s logistics infrastructure.

Nakhon Ratchasima serves as a gateway to the northeastern region, making it a focal point for various key projects, especially the urgent double-track railway project from Map Kabao to Chira Junction. Additionally, there is a collaborative high-speed rail project between the Thai and Chinese governments connecting Bangkok to Nong Khai, with the first phase covering Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima.

Surapong inspected the progress of the urgent double-track railway project from Map Kabao to Chira Junction and the first phase of the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail project from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima. He aimed to ensure that these projects proceeded according to schedule. During his visit, he also took a ride on the KIHA tourist train at Pak Chong Station, enjoying local delicacies to promote domestic tourism.

The double-track railway project spans 132 kilometres with 20 stations, starting at Map Kabao Station in Kaeng Khoi District, Saraburi Province, passing through Muak Lek District in Saraburi, Pak Chong District, Sikhio District, Sung Noen District, and ending at Chira Junction Station in Nakhon Ratchasima City District.

The project, with an investment of 29,968 million baht, has seen significant progress. Civil works for Contract 1, from Map Kabao to Khlong Khanan Chit, are 96.36% complete, and slightly behind schedule by 3.64%. Contract 3, involving tunnel work, is 95.36% complete, lagging by 4.64% due to ongoing land expropriation issues.

Contract 2, from Khlong Khanan Chit to Chira Junction, is under revision to elevate the track between Khok Kruat Station and Chira Junction, a distance of 16 kilometres, and to adjust the budget to align with the high-speed rail project from Khok Kruat to Nakhon Ratchasima. The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is expected to submit these revisions to the board by August.

The first phase of the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail project from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima covers a distance of 250.77 kilometres. Surapong has urged the SRT to expedite construction and resolve any obstacles to meet the targeted operational date in 2028. As of May, the project has achieved an overall progress of 33.48%. Of the 14 civil works contracts initiated since 2017, two have been completed, 10 are under construction, and two are yet to be signed.

Enhance connectivity

Surapong stated that the Transport Ministry is committed to advancing these projects to enhance the efficiency and connectivity of Thailand’s transport infrastructure.

“These developments are not only vital for logistics but also hold significant potential for boosting tourism and economic growth in the region.”

The double-track railway project is expected to play a pivotal role in improving the efficiency of freight and passenger transport across the northeastern region, which is a critical area for the country’s economic activities. The high-speed rail project, on the other hand, aims to significantly reduce travel time between Bangkok and the northeastern provinces, fostering closer economic ties and development opportunities, reported KhaoSod.

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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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