Thailand fast tracks light rail development in major cities

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Related agencies are speeding up infrastructure development projects in various regions aiming to raise the local economy and logistics competitiveness including a total of 81.5 kilometers of light rail development in Khon Kaen, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Hat Yai city of Songkhla, and Phitsanulok.

According to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, related agencies are speeding up infrastructure development projects in various regions aiming to raise the local economy and logistics competitiveness.

The projects include a total of 81.5 kilometers of light rail development in Khon Kaen, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Hat Yai city of Songkhla, and Phitsanulok.



Mr. Thanakorn said the 26 Kilometer-long Khon Kaen Light Rail Transit project (Samran-Tha Phra) made the most progress and is already in its 1st phase of construction.

Local organizations and the Khon Kaen Transit System Co (KKTS), a company responsible for operating the train project, signed a memorandum of understanding with the CKKM-CRRC Consortium on November 16 to handle the construction.


KKTS is expected to deliver construction areas to the consortium led by transport vehicle engineering company Cho Thavee Plc within one year.

Meanwhile, Phuket’s light rail project, running from Tha Noon in Phangnga province to the Chalong intersection in southern Phuket, is conducting environmental impact assessment (EIA) and public-private partnership (PPP) studies. The project will be operational in 2028.

For Chiang Mai’s Red Line project, running from the airport to International Convention Center, Mr. Thanakorn said the Mass Rapid Transit Authority is currently designing and implementing a PPP scheme. The project is planned to be proposed to the cabinet in 2023 and start construction in 2024 and is expected to be ready for service by 2028.



In addition to the Red Line, Chiang Mai has two other lines comprising the Blue Line running from Chiang Mai Zoo in the western part of the city to Don Chan district in the south and the Green Line running from the city’s northeast area to Chiang Mai airport.

Three other light rail projects in Nakhon Ratchasima, Phitsanulok, and Hat Yai have not conducted EIA and PPP studies yet.

According to Mr. Thanakorn, two high-speed rail projects are now under construction comprising the 253 Kilometer-long Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima high-speed railway and the 220 Kilometer-long high-speed railway linking three airports (Don Mueang-Suvarnabhumi-Utapao).


Meanwhile, another project awaiting cabinet approval is a high-speed rail line linking Nakhon Ratchasima and Nong Khai.

For Bangkok, Mr. Thanakorn said two mass transit projects are scheduled to start operation this year, comprising the Pink Line and the Yellow Line. The construction of the Pink Line (Khae Rai-Min Buri) is 82% complete, while the monorail Yellow Line (Lat Phrao-Samrong) is 88% complete as of November last year.


Other mass transit projects under construction include the eastern section of the Orange Line running from Thailand Cultural Centre to Min Buri which is 87% complete, he said.

The Orange Line construction is due to finish this year, while the western section of the Orange Line spanning from Bang Khun Non to Min Buri is expected to open bids for construction next year, said Mr. Thanakorn. (NNT)