State Railway of Thailand to ask Prime Minister to shut down high-risk railway crossings

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The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will propose Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha to shut down railway crossings which are highly unsafe and may lead to fatal accidents involving trains and cars, said SRT governor Wutthichart Kalayanamit on Wednesday.

He said that SRT officials recently met with officials of the Interior Ministry to discuss measures to reduce accidents at railway crossings across the country.

The Interior Ministry has ordered all provincial governors to find out how many railways crossings there are in their respective provinces and whether their numbers and locations match with the information of the SRT.

According to the SRT information, there are currently 2,624 railway crossings of which 1,935 are legal and the rest illegal or not approved by the SRT.

Governor Wutthichart said once the Interior Ministry’s data about railway crossings is completed and double-checked with the SRT’s and high-risk crossings are identified, the SRT would ask the prime minister to exercise his special power to shut down those dangerous crossings.

The SRT, he said, will look for alternative crossings which are safer for motorists.

To ensure better safety for motorists, the Interior Ministry has ordered that civilian volunteers be deployed at railway crossings in accordance with the railway timetables.

Moreover, the SRT will ask local communities not to arbitrarily build railway crossings without prior permission from the SRT.