SRT unveils progress on Den Chai-Chiang Rai Tunnel excavation

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) public relations chief yesterday revealed excavations on the Den Chia-Chiang Rai tunnel is underway.

Ekkarat Sriarayanpong announced that work has begun on the 6.2-kilometre tunnel which will connect Den Chai in Phrae with Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong district.

The five-year project, situated on the banks of the Mekong River, is an ambitious plan that forms a part of the 324-kilometre-long improvements, reported Bangkok Post. These improvements involve the construction of an additional rail track adjacent to the current one between Den Chai and Chiang Khong. Ekkarat said…

“Workers have begun boring into the rock face and are due to install a primary support structure for the tunnel.

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Upon completion, the dual track upgrades will facilitate connections to Laos, and Myanmar, thereby reducing logistics costs and enhancing trade with Thailand’s neighbouring countries, as envisioned by the government.

To avoid traffic congestion, the upgraded tracks were designed without any level crossings, and instead, underpasses and/or overpasses will be built at 254 locations where the tracks intersect with a road.

The dual track upgrades have been split into three separate contracts. The first section, Den Chai-Ngao, will be followed by the Ngao-Chiang Rai section, and the final section will be the Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong section.

The land acquisition for this project will affect 7,704 privately-owned plots of land, 783 Sor Por Kor agricultural plots, 13 forest land plots, and 465 plots designated for other purposes.

The dual tracks will include 26 stops, consisting of four major stations, nine minor stations, and 13 halts, and will pass through four tunnels.

Chiang Khong station will have four cargo loading platforms and a warehouse, connected by a road to the border in Chiang Khong. Additionally, each station will be adorned with local area-specific decorations.

Starting from Den Chai station in Phrae, the project will proceed northward, passing through Lampang and Phayao, and concluding at the Chiang Khong border in Chiang Rai.

Ekkarat added…

“The double-track upgrades from Den Chai to Chiang Khong will be finished by 2028.

“Once completed, the project will shorten the travel time from Den Chai to the border to just 1.5 hours, attract more tourists and boost locals’ income.”

Northern Thailand News

Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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