Thailand: New Sino-Thai draft on way

  • The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) says it expects to receive a revised design for an 11-km section of the Thai-Chinese high-speed train project from China in May 18 to ensure the bidding process takes place in Jul 18 or Aug 18.
  • Acting SRT governor Anon Lueangboriboon said the design for the Pak Chong-Kanan Jit section should be ready for consideration soon.
  • The blueprint for this stretch was sent back to China for revision, pushing back the bidding which was expected to take place in May 18.
  • A SRT source said the rail agency wants the revised design ready before the next Thai-Chinese panel meeting scheduled to take place at the end of May 18.
  • If the revised blueprint is approved, the terms of reference (ToR) can be drawn up early Jun 18 and the bidding can start in Jul 18 or Aug 18, the source said.
  • Meanwhile, according to the source, the blueprint for the 119.5km Kaeng Khoi-Nakhon Ratchasima section is being studied, which should take some time as it involves tunnel construction. This could be approved in Aug 18.
  • The source said the Transport Ministry is also speeding up “contract 2.3”, which is worth an estimated total of THB54bn. The contract involves the tracks, electronics, machinery and procurement of train carriages and personnel training.
  • All parties have yet to iron out differences over technical specifications which are “too high” and may require the importing of material from China to meet the specifications, the source said.
  • As the contract also concerns personnel training, it should be finalized as soon as possible to make sure staff are trained two years before services begin, or in 2021.
  • A proposed high-speed rail agency, which will be responsible for recruiting personnel and management, operations and maintenance training, is expected to be set up within 2018. According to the source, the SRT is short-staffed and will have to recruit new employees for the high-speed rail project.
  • The “contract 3.2”, which forms part of the THB179bn initial phase of the rail project, was given to China’s state-owned CRRC Corporation Ltd. Construction of the railway’s 3.5km pilot stretch is under way and expected to be completed in Oct 18.

External Link: