BANGKOK, 31 October 2014 The Minister of Transport has ordered the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to upgrade the existing railway crossings nationwide to prevent accidents.
The Minister of Transport Air Chief Mashal Prajin Juntong said after a meeting with heads of agencies under the Ministry of Transport (MOT) that the Ministry will work with local administrative organizations to install alert lights before the railway crossings and install permanent barriers at the railway crossings.
Currently, there are 584 unauthorized railway crossings nationwide. Most of them are along the southern route, followed by the northern and the central route. The installation of the barriers will reduce the risk of accidents.
As a long-term solution, the MOT will work to build overpasses or underpasses to replace the level crossings. The MOT aims to construct a third of the required 584 railway crossings in 2015, and complete the construction of all of them by 2019.
The project will be funded by the local administrative organizations. The MOT will help support the funding if the budget of any local administrative organization is not enough.
Some of the existing 2,500 authorized railway crossings already have barriers installed. The MOT will consider the installation of accident prevention systems, especially the construction of overpasses or underpasses where the road has more than 100,000 cars crossing the railway track daily, said the Minister of Transport.
The MOT Permanent-Secretary Soithip Trisuddhi said that the MOT will hold further discussions with the SRT next week to confirm the information collected, and will prioritize each area to gauge an estimated budget for the installation of alert lights and barriers, with a deadline of one month.