BANGKOK, July 17 – The deteriorated condition of the tracks combined with bad weather may have caused the Bangkok-Chiang Mai train derailment last night, an incident which injured more than 30 persons, Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt said today.
The minister quoted State Railway of Thailand (SRT) governor Prapat Chongsanguan who inspected the accident scene as saying the northern rail tracks were improved two years ago.
The accident site is a bend in the railroad where sleepers are being upgraded from wood to concrete, and the speed limit is 45 km per hour. The Chiang Mai-bound express train was running at 40km per hour.
The deteriorated rail track and rain may have caused the accident, Mr Chadchat said. More details will be disclosed on Thursday by the SRT governor, he continued.
He added that the nationwide improvement of single rail tracks is 60 per cent complete, and is expected to be finished in six months. More care will be taken, Mr Chadchat said.
Regarding investment in high speed trains for four routes, most progress is seen in the Bangkok- Chiang Mai route, which will have its environmental impact assessment submitted in the next two months.
The dual track extension nationwide, part of the government’s infrastructure investment project, will be done in parallel and will help prevent train accidents.