BANGKOK – Government and private organizations signed an agreement on academic cooperation to develop local railway components and relevant personnel as the country is actively expanding its railway networks.
Fifteen organizations took part in the signing. They included the Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research and the Department of Rail Transport.
After the signing, Suvit Maesincee, Minister of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation, said the local railway development would cover both technology and personnel.
The participating organizations would develop local railway technology and the production of rails and personnel that could serve the growth of railways in the future, he said.
“Thailand is investing in railways including electric railways and high-speed ones,” Mr Suvit said.
Sorapong Paitoonphong, director-general of the Department of Rail Transport, said the cooperation was aimed at increasing the proportion of local railway materials needed in railway projects to 40% in three years. The expanded content would be worth about 7 billion baht.
“Today Thailand can produce transmission and brake systems as well as equipment inside trains and the State Railway of Thailand started to order locally made freight cars,” he said.
The development would expand related industries including the steel industry and the use of local materials would cut railway maintenance costs which required 9.6 billion baht per year presently. The cost would exceed 15 billion baht a year in the future, Mr Sorapong said.
The local content development could also help reduce train fares for people, he added.