The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is planning to invest THB 54 billion baht (USD 1.71 billion) to purchase additional trains for the upgraded dual-tracks which will be gradually opened between 2021 -2023.The first phase of the upgrades will require THB 7 billion (USD 222 million) for 50 new diesel trains to run on five routes, namely Hua Hin-Prachuap Khiri Khan, Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon, Map Kabao-Jira, Nakhon Pathom-Hua Hin, and Lop Buri-Pak Nam Pho.
Furthermore, the SRT will ask the cabinet to approve a THB 15 billion plan (USD 476 million) to procure 216 additional diesel trains in September, and another THB 13 billion (USD 413 million) for air-conditioned trains.
Other investments include 1,000 flat wagon containers, three railroad cranes and 50 diesel locomotives at THB 5 billion, 813 million and 13 billion respectively (USD 159 million; 25.8 million; 413 million) as well as spending THB 6.4 billion (USD 203 million) on relocating its Bangkok maintenance depot to the provinces.
As for depots, the SRT will construct a THB 2.8 billion (USD 89 million) depot in Suphan Buri and a THB 2.5 billion (USD 79 million) depot in Chachoengsao. Furthermore, the SRT is allocating THB 200 million (USD 6.35 million) for a consulting firm to advise on the relocation of its Makkasan maintenance facility. The SRT is also investing in a new locomotive repair facility in Saraburi, which will be completed in 2022 at the cost of 900 million baht (USD 28.57 million).
Lastly, SRT engineers are testing hybrid trains to reduce pollution and dependence on fossil fuels, but the additional investment required for the deployment of electric trains could reach up to 20 billion baht (USD 635 million) per route.
(Sources: The Bangkok Post)