Malaysian locomotives for Thai railway service


BANGKOK, Nov 14 – Two locomotives will be leased from Malaysia to boost Thailand’s railway service which has worsened due to an inadequate number of available engines, new State Railway of Thailand (SRT) governor Prapas Chongsa-nguan said today.

Taking office at the SRT today, he met with managers to outline his four-point policy and stress the urgency in procuring  new engines, passenger carriages, freight cars and transport platforms which has made little progress given the government budget allocation of Bt 170 billion.

Mr Prapas said ordering new locomotives takes several years, too long a timeframe considering passenger requirements. An immediate alternative, he said, is to rent rolling stock from Malaysia as both countries share the same track width.

“An insufficiency of locomotives has compelled SRT to suspend some routes. If the problem is resolved, train service will be back to normal and right on schedule,” he said.

Highlighting his four-point policy is an ambitious high-speed train which is the government’s top agenda priority. He said he would convince the government that SRT can operate a high-speed train service.

Mr Prapas urged railway staff to cooperate in improving the organisation and railway service while promising to upgrade working condition and employee benefits.

SRT properties nationwide will be fully used to generate more revenue. Included is a planned discussion with PTT Public Co on a rental fee for its headquarters on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

PTT’s headquarters has occupied SRT rent-free property for some years thanks to an internal governmental agreement between the two agencies. The arrangement was made before PTT changed from state enterprise to public company.