Thailand inaugurates railway service for the physically-challenged

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BANGKOK, June 20 – Thailand’s state railway service on Wednesday inaugurated its first train, modified to serve physically-challenged people, which will serve the Northeast. 

Later in the year such services will be available on train routes nationwide.

Deputy Transport Minister Chatt Kuldiloke presided over the launching ceremony for Thailand’s first railway train equipped with such facilities for the handicapped, the result of a gift by a Japanese railway company.

The train left the capital of Bangkok en route to the northeastern province of Nong Khai along the Mekong River. The minister said the project is part of a policy to make the train service access to all people.

The JR-West Japan Rail Company presented train carriages to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to be modified to assist physically-challenged passengers.

The newly-modified carriage allows them to use wheelchairs to get on and get off the train conveniently.

It costs Bt1.5 million to adapt each carriage. So far, work on two carriages has been finished and eight others will be completed later this year.

The ministry plans to have the new service available in all routes to Thailand’s four regions. The service is offered at no additional charge.