The construction of a major section of the new dual track rail line in Hua Hin is now more than 99 percent complete, the Department of Rail Transport (DRT) has announced.
According to Dr Pichet Kunadhamraks, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Rail Transport, the 84 kilometre stretch of the rail line that connects Hua Hin with Prachuap Khiri Khan is now 99.870 percent complete.
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.
In and around Hua Hin, the construction of the rail line is part of the Southern Railway Construction Project and is separated into three different stages.
The first stage is from Nakhon Pathom to Hua Hin, the construction of which is divided across two projects: Nakhon Pathom – Nong Pla Lai, which is a distance of 93 kilometres and which the DRT says is now 97.087% complete.
The second project of the first stage is from Nong Pla Lai to Hua Hin, a distance of 76km, which is 94.828% complete.
The second stage of constriction is the Hua Hin to Prachuap Khiri Khan line, a distance 84 kilometers, which is now 99.870% complete.
The third stage is the Prachuap Khiri Khan to Chumphon section, which is also divided across two projects: Prachuap Khiri Khan to Bang Saphan Noi, a distance of 88 kilometers, 85.073% complete, while the second project covers Bang Saphan Noi to Chumphon, a distance of 79 kilometers, the construction of which is now 87.128% complete.
Overall, the construction of the Southern Railway Construction Project is now 92.813% complete.
The DRT said that the Southern Line – up to and including the Hua Hin to Prachuap Khiri Khan – section will be partially opened in the next two or three months for testing.
The new dual track rail line will be fully open in 2023, the DRT said, once the signalling system has been installed.
Meanwhile, Dr Pichet explained that the new Hua Hin Railway Station, which will be the first elevated train station in Thailand when it is completed, is being built as part of the Nong Pla Lai – Hua Hin train line. The station is expected to be completed later this year.
Once completed, the dual track railway will transform travel from Bangkok to Phetchaburi, Hua Hin and eventually all the way to Thailand’s deep south and the border with Malaysia.
While not to be confused with the high speed train which had been mooted for Hua Hin (those plans remain firmly on the drawing board at present) are set to be significantly faster than the current rolling stock.
The new dual track trains are expected to travel at approximately 160km/h meaning people can easily reach Bangkok between two and three hours, a big improvement on the journey by train currently – which can often take between 6 and 9 hours!
The dual track trains will arrive and depart Bangkok at the new (and pretty spectacular) Bang Sue Grand Station.
By 2051, some 2.85 million people will be using the dual track train line.