State Railway of Thailand News

Monday 4 August 2014
Transport plan revived from Pheu Thai blueprint..........The military's eight-year strategy for overhauling transport services which has recently been announced is almost identical to the previous government's two-trillion-baht infrastructure development proposals, observers say. As far as the State Railway of Thailand is concerned the main differences are in its emphasis and timescale. An additional year has been added to the plan which covers the period 2015-2022. The emphasis away from high-speed trains has also been noted. The six dual-track railway lines previously proposed are retained but only two lines will be upgraded to standard gauge from the existing one metre gauge allowing for electrification at some stage. A major transport hub will be at Baan Pachi in Saraburi Province accepting traffic from Thailand’s northern border at Chiang Khon and from Nong Khai in the northeast. Significantly one of these lines will terminate in the heavily industrialised port area around Mab Ta Phut in Rayong Province.

Thursday 31 July 2014
Locomotive derails at Bang Sue..........A locomotive of service 170 from Yala to Bangkok jumped the track near Bang Sue train station at about 3pm and was left leaning at a 45-degree angle. State Railway of Thailand officials were able to lift the derailed train back on to the track at about 7.40pm and were carrying out checks to ensure it was still safe to use, SRT public communications staff said. The derailment occurred on a double-track section so it did not impede other Bangkok-bound trains other than to cause delays because of switching, officials said. The Alsthom ALS locomotive No 4103 first saw service in 1975, part of SRT’s ageing fleet. It was later discovered that the cause of the derailment was a broken axle on this locomotive.

Friday 10 January 2014
Southern trains resume after detailment..........Train services to the South resumed at noon Friday after State Railway of Thailand officials successfully retrieved the carriages of an express train that had derailed earlier in the day in Nakhon Si Thammarat's Ron Phibun district. The train was heading to Bangkok from Malaysia's Butterworth station in Penang. No injuries were reported to the 200 passengers aboard who were moved to the six front carriages to continue their journey to Bangkok, while the seventh carriage, the first to derail and the three behind it, were kept back at Thung Song Train Station for investigation.

Monday 6 January 2014
Airport Link halted by track problem..........Owing to a technical fault occurring at Huay Mak Station the Airport Rail Link shut down for an hour on Monday morning leaving commuters stranded. SRT Electrified Train Co, operator of the Airport Rail Link, confirmed that only the outbound track was usable after a train had stalled on the inbound track causing long delays. The cause of the fault is unclear but the track was cleared by 10am.

Wednesday 1 January 2014
SRT announces 5 new rail routes..........The New Year has brought an announcement from the State Railway of Thailand that it is to develop five dual-track railway lines this year. The plan covers the 132-kilometre stretch of track between Saraburi's Map Kabao and Nakhon Ratchasima's Thanon Jira junction and the 118km of track between Lop Buri and Pak Nampho in Nakhon Sawan. It will also cover the 167km Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon route and the 185km Nakhon Ratchasima-Khon Kaen route. The 165km route linking Nakhon Pathom to Hua Hin is also in the planning stage with a modification submitted 19 December by the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP). The lines are not part of the Pheu Thai government's 2-trillion-baht infrastructure development plan but will need to be examined after a new government is formed.

Wednesday 25 December 2013
Airport Rail Link extends service for New Year..........The Airport Rail Link between Phaya Thai and Suvarnabhumi Airport run by STR Electrified Trains will operate an extended service for the New Year. It will operate until 2am on 1 January instead of midnight allowing people to celebrate New Year, bringing it into line with the extended service already announced by Bangkok Mass Transit System.

Friday 20 December 2013
Contractor blamed for derailment..........A freight carriage on a north-bound passenger train from Malaysia derailed near Khao Tamone station in Phetchaburi province on Friday morning, blocking the track. There were no reported injuries. The special express train No 36 from Butterworth was heading for Bangkok when the fifth car carrying freight derailed blocking the track. The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) governor reported that a contractor had stacked sleepers and other equipment close to the track which slipped as the train passed. The governor warned the contractor that he would by billed for the expenses incurred. The train was able to continue when passengers were moved to the front four carriages.
In a separate announcement it was stated that during January an inspection of the whole of the southern line would be carried out with a view to upgrading the track. This would involve line closures similar to that on the northern line which re-opened on 1 December.

Thursday 19 December 2013
New stations for high-speed rail..........The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) has submitted a modified plan that will add two more stations to the high-speed rail link between Bangkok and Hua Hin. The recommendation, following consultancy, is to improve safety and promote urban growth. The additional stations will be at tambon Khu Bua sub-district of Ratchaburi province and tambon Thong Chai sub-district of Phetchaburi province both of which provide easy access to the Phetkasem Highway. The fare for the 209 kilometre journey is set at 550 baht. However this far exceeds the competition: The fare from Victory Monument in Bangkok to Hua Hin by minivan is currently 180 baht.

Monday 16 December 2013
Call for alcohol ban on trains..........Anti-alcohol activists have called for a ban on alcohol sales on trains. The non-governmental organisation surveyed 1,160 passengers aged 15 and above from Dec 3-10 at railway stations including Hua Lamphong, Samsen and Thonburi. The survey found that 93.5% of the respondents supported a ban on alcohol sales and drinking on trains. They argue that passengers who drink, irritate and sexually harass other travelers. At present, alcohol is available at railway stations and through vendors on the State Railways trains.

Monday 9 December 2013
2.2 trillion baht infrastructure bill still alive..........Despite being passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate the 2.2 trillion baht infrastructure bill has yet to receive Royal approval. The Democrat Party had questioned the bill’s legality by submitting it for a Constitutional Court ruling. With parliament now dissolved it will be up to a future government to endorse it. The bill aims to improve the country's transport infrastructure and includes plans to build high-speed trains and double-track railways.

Wednesday 4 December 2013
SRT responds for King's Birthday..........The State Railway of Thailand has arranged a special train, free for up to 760 passengers, leaving Bangkok's Hua Lumphong station at 4.30am in the morning. It will arrive in Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province four hours later returning at 9.30pm the same day. The special train will allow its passengers to join the celebrations marking the King’s Birthday. The King and Her Majesty the Queen will grant a royal audience at Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin at 10.30am.

Monday 2 December 2013
Train derails in Lamphun..........Within 24 hours of the re-opening of the northern line between Sila-At in Uttaradit Province and Chiang Mai a northbound express train derailed shortly after departing from Lamphun station. The train sustained some damage but nobody was hurt. The accident, which occurred at 9.55am, followed extensive repairs on this section of line which had been closed since 16 September as a result of frequent derailments. This was further embarrassment to SRT and its governor who was travelling onboard. Thankfully for him this derailment was not the result of recent repairs but on human error. The stationmaster had switched the points prematurely and the governor was not impressed. Understandably the stationmaster was shunted out of his position.

Saturday 30 November 2013
Northern rail services back on track..........The State Railway of Thailand has announced resumption of services on the northern railway line from Uttaradit to Chiang Mai tomorrow now that repairs, which started in September, have been completed. The Transport Minister confirmed that SRT has finished repairing the 300km stretch from Sila-At station in Uttaradit to Chiang Mai. Services on the line had been suspended for more than 10 weeks while the track was upgraded with concrete sleepers and new base materials following heavy rains. The section through Khun Tan tunnel had been particularly badly affected. Full-scale services on the northern line will resume with a Bangkok-Chiang Mai express train leaving Hua Lamphong station at 5pm on Sunday, arriving at Chiang Mai station at 9.30am the following day.

Saturday 23 November 2013
Floods halt southern trains..........The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has temporarily suspended southern train services since Friday night due to flash floods leaving more than one thousand passengers stranded in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phatthalung. In Nakhon Si Thammarat, rail tracks in Ronpiboon and Cha-aut districts were submerged by one-meter deep floodwater, impassable for all trains causing them to stop at Thung Song station. Northbound trains from Sungai Kolok and Yala were also affected. More than 300 passengers at Phatthalung station vented their anger, some ringing the station bell. This was due to lack of communication by SRT staff and some felt it was a ploy to prevent them going to Bangkok to join the Democrat Party-led anti-government mass rally at Ratchadamnoen Road.

Friday 22 November 2013
Toyota presses for dual-track rail..........The Thai unit of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp recommends the government focus on dual-track trains for its 2-trillion-baht worth of investments, downgrading costly high-speed train projects from top priority. It argues that upgrades to track especially those serving industrial zones will bring more rapid cost benefits than ambitious electrified high-speed passenger services. Toyota’s production plant lies in Chachoengsao Province already congested with industrial activity. The company points to the high cost of logistics in Thailand relative to its competitors. In the case of rail, there has been a fall to 65th from 57th with road and air transport costs faring no better.

Thursday 21 November 2013
Southern rail services to resume ..........The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) on Wednesday cancelled all rail services from Songkhla's Hat Yai district to Narathiwat's Sungai Kolok district after a rail bridge subsided. SRT staff was ordered to repair the bridge-neck which supports a section of railroad between Ta Paet and Thepha stations. Heavy rains moving in from northern Malaysia are affecting Songkhla and Narathiwat as well as Phatthalung, Yala and Pattani causing flash flooding. The line was due to reopen later on Thursday.

Saturday 16 November 2013
Airport Link plans to expand check-ins..........SRT Electric Train Co plans to expand check-in services for air passengers at Makkasan Airport Rail Link station to relieve crowds at Suvarnabhumi airport. Talks with Airports of Thailand are ongoing. At present, only Thai Airways International offers a check-in service at Makkasan station for passengers on international flights. The company predicts that numbers could increase from its present low base to exceed 1,000 per day if other airlines can be encouraged to offer a similar service. However, the development of facilities and commercial zones, including duty-free shops, would have to be completed before the check-in service can be expanded.

Tuesday 12 November 2013
Express train derails in Udon Thani..........A Bangkok-Nong Khai diesel express train derailed at a railway crossing in Udon Thani province early Tuesday, causing injuries and about 70 million baht damage. The diesel express train was the No 77 which departed from Bangkok on Monday at 6.20pm heading for Nong Khai. For once this derailment does not appear to be a maintenance issue with the train or the track.
The train had arrived at Udon Thani railway station about 5am. About 15 minutes after leaving the Udon Thani station and while passing the Nong Dae railway crossing at kilometre marker 585/5 the train hit a 1 x 2 foot concrete slab which was placed between the two rail track so vehicles could cross the rail track. Three of the five passenger cars derailed, leaving two others on the track. A number of passengers, the train driver and a member of the train staff were injured. They were admitted to Udon Thani Hospital.
Railway officials from Udon Thani believed the concrete slab had been dislodged from its place by heavy vehicles and one end appeared to have protruded over the lines.

Thursday 31 October 2013
Southern trains halted by suspected bomb..........All trains between Bangkok to the South were halted on Thursday afternoon after an object suspected to be a bomb was found under a rail track in Prachuap Khiri Khan's Bang Saphan district. The object was believed to be an improvised device with wires protruding from it. Notes left at the scene reveal it was a protest by rubber producers and may have been a hoax.

Sunday 26 October 2013
ARL offers to run high-speed train system..........SRT Electrified Train Co, the operator of Bangkok's Airport Rail Link (ARL), is ready to manage Thailand's high-speed trains if the government approves the project. The company is relying heavily on expertise from China which operates high speed trains under a variety of weather conditions and terrains and already has some 600 trained engineers ready to be employed if it receives the go-ahead.

Saturday 25 October 2013
Northern Line re-opening delayed..........The State Railway of Thailand has postponed the reopening of the northern line to Chiang Mai until Dec 1 as rains and a manpower shortage mean the Nov 1 deadline to complete repairs will be missed. The line between Sila-At and Chiang Mai has been closed since September 16 as urgent repairs are carried out after a spate of accidents forced STR to react. The work involves replacing decaying wooded sleepers with concrete ones and reinforcing the base materials along the 300 kilometre stretch of the northern sector. Its route is mostly mountainous and vulnerable in the rainy season, no less evident than at the Khun Tan tunnel where water seepage has eroded the track supports along the 1 kilometre stretch.

Friday 17 October 2013
Korat-Nong Khai rail track reopened ……….Railway workers have finished clearing nine derailed cargo trucks that had blocked the Korat-Nong Khai line since Thursday night. The line was reopened at 9.24am Friday, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) announced. The railcars derailed as a freight train travelling from Nong Khai to Nakhon Ratchasima was nearing Non Sung station in Non Sung district of Nakhon Ratchasima on Thursday night. The train was returning to Korat after delivering gravel.

Monday 14 October 2013. source Bangkok Post
Railway hotel plan revived.......... Transport Minister Chadchart Suttipunt ordered The State Railway of Thailand on Monday to revive the old Ratchathani Hotel at Hua Lamphong station in a drive to generate revenue for the cash-strapped agency. The minister also directed SRT governor Prapas Chongsanguan to carry out wide-ranging improvements to facilities at railway stations across the country with the backing of the Thailand Creative and Design Centre. Better bathrooms, platform areas, lighting and ticketing systems will be top priorities. Each station will be uniquely designed in accordance with the culture of the area in which it is located, he said. He did not specify when the renovations process will start, but said it would take "a while" to complete.

Monday 9 September 2013
Northern Line closure.......... The State Railway of Thailand has issued a line closure notice which reads as follows:-
State Railway of Thailand would like to notify that the northern line between Sila At station to Chiang Mai station will be closed for track and tunnel maintenance between 16th September to 31st October details as follows.
1) There will be no operation of special express trains from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and from Chiang Mai to Bangkok which the train numbers are 1, 2, 13 and 14.
2) Special express diesel railcar trains with air-conditioning numbers 9 and 12, express trains numbers 51 and 52, rapid trains numbers 102, 107, 108, 109, 111 and 112 are still operating from Bangkok station to Sila At station and from Sila At station to Bangkok station.
We apologize for your inconveniences. If you need any more information; please contact station masters or 1690 call center. Thank you.

The urgent action needed to effect repairs resulted from a recent spate of train derailments that has embarrassed SRT. There has been criticism of some of the repair work hitherto carried out especially in the poor quality of materials used not resilient enough to withstand the monsoon rains. A particularly difficult piece of track lies between Nakhon Lampang and Lamphun which traverses the pass at Doi Khun Tan, finally arriving at the summit through a rail tunnel. It is believed that this section of the railway is the prime target for repairs. As much of the provincial railway is single track, line closures are inevitable.