The double track rail line between Hua Hin and Prachuap Khiri Khan is set to be open by next year, a spokesperson for the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has said.
In an update on the project provided to the Thai government’s public relations department, Ekarat Sri-arayanpong, SRT’s public relations director, said that the majority of the civil engineering work for the project has already been finished.
Mr Ekarat stated that the new tracks are currently undergoing testing to estimate travel times and ensure safe shunting, which has produced satisfactory results thus far. Once the testing phase is complete, the rail line will be ready to open to the public.
The new double track railway will span 84 kilometers in length and will cost close to 5.807 billion baht. The track runs parallel to the old single track which operates on the main southern line.
The project also includes the construction of two bridges, 12 stations, one halt, and two container yards at Sam Roi Yot and Thung Mamao stations.
Mr Ekarat said that the project involves constructing a new railway track parallel to the existing one, while there has also been an emphasis on improving existing stations in order to help highlight the region’s uniqueness and beauty, which will help promote tourism.
One of the highlights of the project is the construction of Hua Hin railway station.
Mr Ekarat explained that the new station has been designed to blend the unique characteristics and beauty of the old Hua Hin railway station. When the new station opens for service, the old station will remain in place.
A grade-separated road crossings, U-turn flyovers, and underpasses were constructed to solve the problem of accidents at the level crossing between trains and cars, Mr Ekarat added.
The section of the track in Hua Hin forms part of the line that will eventually connect Nakhon Pathom with Chumphon, a distance of 421 kilometers.
The SRT, which had previously said the line would be completed by 2023, has also given an update on the construction of the other sections of the Southern line.
Contract 1: Nakhon Pathom-Nong Pladuk is progressing at 97.167%.
Contract 2: Nong Pladuk-Hua Hin is progressing at 95.645%.
Contract 3: Hua Hin-Prachuap Khiri Khan has been completed 100%.
Contract 4: Prachuap Khiri Khan-Bang Saphan Noi is progressing at 91.547%.
Contract 5: Bang Saphan Noi-Chumphon is progressing at 94.555%.
The construction of the rail line is set to be a significant milestone for Thailand and the region as a whole.
The double track rail line will provide a more efficient and reliable mode of transportation for both passengers and cargo.
It is expected to reduce travel times and improve the overall connectivity between Bangkok and southern Thailand, as well as contributing to the development of the region’s economy.
The new dual track trains are expected to travel at approximately 160 km/h meaning people can easily reach Bangkok between two and three hours, a big improvement on the journey by train currently, which can sometimes take as long as six hours.
In addition to the benefits for the local economy, the rail line is also expected to have a positive impact on the environment. With fewer people relying on personal transportation, there will be a reduction in emissions and congestion on the roads.
The SRT said that the new rail line will help to make Thailand a central hub for rail transportation in the ASEAN region.
By 2051, some 2.85 million people will be using the dual track train line, the SRT said.
The dual track trains will arrive and depart Bangkok at the new Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal.
In January, the SRT announced that some train services between Hua Hin and Bangkok have already been rerouted to the new train station.
According to the SRT, the change affects all Rapid, Express and Special Express trains between Hua Hin and Bangkok.
All Ordinary, Tourist and Freight trains will continue to arrive and depart Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lumphong Station) until further notice.
The new Krung Thep Apiwat Central Terminal is located near the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market.
It is close to both the BTS Skytrain and MRT subway networks making for convenient travel around Bangkok, and to the Bangkok Bus Terminal (Chatuchak).