SRT plans to postpone signing of Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima rail deal

14 April 2020 (Last Updated April 14th, 2020 11:29)

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has reportedly planned to request its board to postpone the signing of the contract for Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed railway.

SRT plans to postpone signing of Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima rail deal
The State Railway of Thailand has planned to postpone the signing of the contract for Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed railway. Credit: Tiago Gerken.

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has reportedly planned to request its board to postpone the signing of the contract for Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed railway.

Bangkok Post reported that SRT will propose that the THB50.6bn ($1.54bn) ‘Contract 2.3’ will be signed in October.

SRT deputy governor Worawut Mala said that the signing of the contract cannot proceed as the officials did not agree on the cost of tracks, the signalling system and train carriage procurement.

Additionally, the 28th Thai-Chinese Joint Committee (JC) meeting that was a part of signing of the contract did not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The board of SRT is headed by Department of Land Transport director-general Jirut Wisanjit. The board will be requested to postpone the deadline for the signing which will expire next month.

The THB179bn ($5.46bn) 253km-long Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima route consists of 14 contracts.

Of the 14 contracts, the bidding process for 13 has proceeded. The last contract involves the construction of a 10km Bang Sue-Don Muang rail line.

This rail line intersects with the THB224.5bn ($7.4bn) high-speed rail network to connect three major airports. The bidding is currently on hold.

The 220km-long high-speed railway line will connect Suvarnabhumi Airport with Don Mueang International Airport and U-Tapao International Airport.

SRT will meet with the Charoen Pokphand Holding-led consortium, which is responsible for the construction of the rail project.

Last month, the Thai Government committed to investing more than $21bn into the country’s railway network to improve connectivity and reduce pollution.

According to a Bloomberg report, the investment will be utilised to expand Bangkok’s rail transit system and build high-speed railways.