Route Selection and Pre-Feasibility Study for Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima High Speed Train

Project Name: Route Selection and Pre-Feasibility Study for Bangkok-Nakhon

Company Name: Southeast Asia Technology Co. Ltd.

Ratchasima High Speed Train

Project Location: Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand

Project Owner: State Railway of Thailand

Associates: EPSILON Co. Ltd.,  AMP Consultants Co. Ltd., Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick (Thailand) Ltd.

Project Cost: 127,137,000,000 Baht

Project Description: It is the first possible high speed train project in Thailand from the heart of Bangkok to the heart of Nakhon Rachasima which is the largest province with the largest population in the lower middle of the Issan region being an important gate between central and northeast (Issan) regions having a distance of 250 km from Bangkok.

At present the traveling from Bangkok to Nakhon Rachasima takes about 4-6 hr by rail and 2.5-3.5 hr by road and Thai Airways had cancelled its Bangkok-Nakhon Rachasima flights about 2 years ago. SRT hired SEATEC for the Feasibility study of Bangkok-Nahon Rachasima High Speed Train with engineering and environmental consideration, including route selection, cost estimation, and project operation method in accordance with the government’s policy on the development of Nakhonnayok New Town Development combining with Suvanabhumi Airport construction. There are 5 areas of work characteristics as follows:

(1) Route Study: Review of existing data, review consideration of high speed train in the country and foreign countries, selection of appropriate route and technical feasibility for the construction and comparison of routes to have the most appropriate route and to prepare the plan and profile in appropriate scales.

(2) Engineering Study: Study the necessary state of operation and route development for the high speed train in Thailand, analyze and compare with other economically competing operation types, analyze and compare speed of various high speed train system types, locomotive and carriages, cost of use for its service life, train control systems, and select appropriate international technology with recommendation on relevant engineering, study and analyze for the establishment of appropriate stations, designate technology transfer and starting of industry.

(3) Environmental consideration in the route selection: Data collection and Initial Environmental Examination study, and proposing the most appropriate route selection in consideration from anticipated routes.

(4) Investment cost estimates and consideration of appropriate fares: Initial investment for E&M Works, Civil Works, and Land Acquisition, analysis on quantity of passengers, passenger quantity forecast, analysis on market competition for establishing appropriate fares, and assessment on appropriate fares based on the assumption of passenger numbers.

(5) Assessment of socio-economic benefits and recommendation of options on the next phase project implementation: Assessment on socio-economic benefits to the population and the nation, and recommendation of options for next project implementation phases in terms of investment, duration, work plan, project management etc. The consultant found that the high speed train would make traveling to about 1.5 hr at 2 times the fares of air conditioned buses making many passengers to use the said high speed train.

Moreover, SRT can improve the existing rail tracks to share with the high-speed train. The traveling and transportation of industrial/agricultural sector will have better efficiency, safety and speed than the present rail system by eliminating the obstructing level crossings along the railway route letting the train run at full speed from Keng Khoi to Sikieu. Despite the rather high investment and the majority of benefit not making the investor to recover his investment, the consultant has the opinion that this project will be feasible if the government foresees the benefit from this project in raising the economy of the country and sponsors at least 80% of the investment.

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