Department of Rail Transport resurrects plans for a high speed train to Hua Hin

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The Department of Rail Transport (DRT) has said it will once again look at plans to operate a high speed train to Hua Hin.

Hua Hin was originally included in the Thai government’s plans to build a high speed rail network throughout the country.

Progress continues on the construction of the high speed rail line in other areas of the Thailand, most significantly on the line which connects Suvarnabhumi with U-Tapao airport and the Eastern Seaboard.

However, the original plan to also operate a high speed to Hua Hin was scrapped last year after a feasibility study said the route would not be cost effective. The study found that the line to Bangkok would need some 20,000 passengers per day.

But now plans for a high speed train line to Hua Hin are back on the table, after the DTR said it will commission a second study to see if the project is feasible, a source familiar with the project told Hua Hin Today.

The DTR said its aim is to “develop a railway network to cover and connect the whole country that supports seamless ‘multimodal’ transport”.

The feasibility study, dubbed the R-Map study, which is expected to take one year to complete, will look at two routes: Bangkok-Chiang Mai and Bangkok-Hua Hin.

The study will help determine if the construction of routes, which are estimated to require one hundred billion baht in investment, would boost the economy as Thailand plans its post-pandemic economic recovery.

The study will also look into whether the new dual track rail line (which is currently being built) is enough to meet Hua Hin’s public transportation needs or if new routes to other areas of Thailand are also needed.

In addition, the study will determine what is required in order to make rail transport the main system of travel for people and the transport of goods throughout the country.

Elsewhere, rail transport officials also aim to create a fully integrated rail transportation network that connects rural Thailand, with major cities, tourist and industrial areas and even link up with neighbouring countries in ASEAN.

The feasibility study into a high speed train to Hua Hin is expected to be completed by August 2022, where it will be presented to Cabinet for approval.

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