New rail route to be proposed to Cabinet Tuesday


BANGKOK, Feb 20 – Construction of a new railway route in the Northeast to facilitate transportation and a logistics plan connecting Thailand with neighbouring countries  will be proposed to the cabinet meeting in Udon Thani on Tuesday.

Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning will propose a plan to build a new railway route, Banpai to Nakhon Phanom, to better connect the upper northeastern region with the rest of the country.

Deputy Director Pranod Suriya said that the new 336-kilometre railway route, which will link Ban Pai-Maha Sarakham-Roi Et-Mukdaharn-Nakhon Phanom is valued at 41billion baht.

The plan is in line with a proposal of the joint private and state committee, aiming at facilitating goods transportation and travelling in the upper northeastern region.

The office has considered the proposal and found that the railway route is worth investment and has little impact on the environment.

It is expected that within 20 years after the completion of the route in 2017, there will be at least 133 million passengers and at least 6.3 million tonnes of commodities will be transported via the route annually.

In 2017, the amount of goods to be transported via the route is expected at about 255,000 tonnes per year and will be increased to 346,000 tonnes per year.

The new railway route will help save costs for entrepreneurs and help reduce the impact from road transportation on the environment by about Bt56.5 billion or about Bt2.8 billion per year.

About 5.4 million people are expected to use the service annually and the number is expected to be increased to 7.4 million people per year by 2035.

The route will support a connection to the Laem Chabang port in the eastern seaboard and Myanmar’s Dawei port to serve the establishment of ASEAN Community in 2015 and facilitate border trade in Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom.