State Railway of Thailand SRT deputy governor Thanongsak Pongprasert has suggested that ‘sprinter trains’ designed for short express hops would be revamped to carry tourists on a planned new “Go Riviera” route as a part of plans to promote the regional ‘Thailand Riviera’ concept.
Thanongsak said the new route would open in a few years, once the air-conditioned trains are ready and several stations along the route have been upgraded. The 280 kilometre route would extend from Bangkok to Sam Roi Yod district in Prachuap Khiri Khan, hugging the coast of what’s being promoted as “the Thai Riviera”, after the Mediterranean holiday shoreline. The SRT plans to spend 200 million THB making the carriages used on sprinter trains more luxurious, akin to first-class and business-class passenger cabins on airliners.
It would also renovate smaller stations, including Ratchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan, with an eye to making them tourist landmarks in their own right, he added. Thanongsak said the SRT was considering partnering with airlines on joint tourism packages. Meanwhile the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has proposed that the Thai Riviera or the Royal Coast concept will include over 40 projects and be financed with a budget of 170 million THB next year.
The Ministry wants to stimulate tourism in Chumphon, Ranong, Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khirikhan by increasing and improving public transportation including its roads and public transportation. Mrs.Orasa Arjakom of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Office of Prachuap Khiri Khan told media that this is a great opportunity now that Air Asia has opened the route to Hua Hin.