Rail transport in Thailand

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Rail transport in Thailand
National railwaySRT
Infrastructure companySRT
Major operatorsBTSC, BEM
Ridership35 million a year [1]
System length
Total4,346 kilometres (2,700 mi)
Electrified168 km (104 mi) (rapid transit)
High-speed0 km (0 mi)
Track gauge
Main1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Metre gauge4,346 kilometres (2,700 mi)
Standard gauge168 km (104 mi) (rapid transit)
Third rail128 km (80 mi) (BTS Skytrain and MRT (Bangkok))
Overhead line28.6 km (17.8 mi) (Suvarnabhumi Airport Link)
No. tunnels7
Tunnel length3.626 km (2.253 mi)
Longest tunnel1.352 km (0.840 mi) (Khun Tan Tunnel)
Longest bridge0.442 km (0.275 mi) (Rama VI Bridge)
Highest elevation578m (Khun Tan Railway Station)
Thailand rail map.gif

The railway network of Thailand is managed and operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and has a route length of 4,346 km (2,700 mi). 151 km (94 mi) or 3.47% of all the routes are electrified.


Interest in rail transport in Siam can be traced to when King Rama IV was given a gift of a model railway from Queen Victoria in 1855. The first railway line, 20 km in length, named the Paknam Railway between BangkokSamut Prakan began construction in July 1891 under a 50-year concession with a Danish company. Paknam Railway opened in 1894.[2] This railway line was electrified in 1925, made it into the second electric railway service of Southeast Asia after Dutch East Indies (now known as Indonesia). This railway line was decommissioned on 1 January 1959.

Royal State Railways of Siam (RSR) was found in 1890 at the same time with a construction of the Bangkok-Ayutthaya railway (71 km or 44 mi), the first part of the Northern Line, was started in 1891 and opened on 26 March 1895. The Thonburi-Phetchaburi line (150 km or 93 mi), later the Southern Line, opened on 19 June 1903.

The Northern Line was originally built as 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge, but in September 1919 it was decided to standardize on 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge and the Northern Line was regauged during the next ten years. On 1 July 1951, RSR changed its name to the present State Railway of Thailand (SRT).[3]

In 2005 SRT had 4,070 km (2,530 mi) of track, all of it metre gauge. Nearly all is single-track, although some important sections around Bangkok are double or triple-tracked and there are plans to extend this.

On 21 March 2015 Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said that Thailand and China had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in late-2014 on joint railway construction furthering Thailand's seven-year strategy on the development of transportation from 2015–2022. The MoU stipulates that a joint Thai-Chinese 1.435-metre standard-gauge rail network project bear fruit in 2018. Thailand is to be responsible for conducting environmental impact assessments and land expropriations. China is responsible for project design and construction. The project includes four routes: 133 km between Bangkok and Kaeng Khoi; 246.5 km between Kaeng Khoi and Map Ta Phut; 138.5 km between Kaeng Khoi and Nakhon Ratchasima; and 355 km from Nakhon Ratchasima to Nong Khai.[4]


The SRT has long been popularly perceived by the public as inefficient and resistant to change. Trains are usually late, and most of its equipment is old and poorly maintained. The worst financially performing state enterprise, the SRT consistently operates at a loss despite being endowed with large amounts of property and receiving large government budgets; it reported a preliminary loss of 7.58 billion baht in 2010.[5] Recurring government attempts at restructuring and/or privatization throughout the 2000s have always been strongly opposed by the union and have not made any progress.[6][7]

Only two percent or less of Thailand's freight is transported by rail, despite rail being roughly half the cost of road transport and cleaner environmentally.[8][9]


All intercity rail transportation is managed by the State Railway of Thailand, a government agency responsible for rail infrastructure investment as well as freight and passenger services.

In Bangkok, the Skytrain is operated by Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited (BTSC) under a concession granted by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) but the investment for the structure and system were fully supported by BTSC.

The underground system is operated by Bangkok Metro Company Limited (BMCL), while whole project investments were shared by Mass Rapid Transit Authorities (MRTA) and BMCL, which all civil structures was provided by government sector and the system was provided by private sector (BMCL). The deal of contract between BMCL and MRTA are under the concession agreement for 25 years operation.


Second-class carriage of the State Railway of Thailand at Bangkok railway station
A train belonging to the Northern Line of the State Railway of Thailand en route to Chiang Mai from Bangkok.

Thailand has 4,431 kilometres of metre gauge railway tracks not including mass transit lines in Bangkok. All national rail services are managed by the State Railway of Thailand. The four main lines are the Northern Line, which terminates in Chiang Mai, the Northeastern Line, which terminates at Ubon Ratchathani and the Lao border in Nong Khai Province, the Eastern Line, which terminates at the Cambodian border in Sa Kaeo Province, and the Southern Line, which terminates at the Malaysian border in Songkhla and Narathiwat Provinces.

Current lines[edit]

Description Established Length Stations

(including halts)

Gauge Notes
BangkokChiang Mai 1 January 1922 751 km (467 mi) 129 Metre gauge Northern Express from Bangkok to Chiang Mai started on 1 November 1922
Ban DaraSawankhalok 15 August 1910 29 km (18 mi) 3 Metre gauge Sawankhaloke Brach line
BangkokUbon Ratchathani 1 April 1930 575 km (357 mi) 71

from Ban Phachi Junction

Metre gauge "Originally Standard Gauge up to Nakhon Ratchasima - Conversion has allowed Meter Gauge locomotives, carriages and wagons to come to Nakhon Ratchasima in July 1922"
BangkokNong Khai 31 July 1958 624 km (388 mi) 44

from Thanon Chira Junction

Metre gauge Nong Khai station at km 621 Opened in 2000 and the old Nong Khai station at km 624 downgraded to Halt until its closure in 2008 [10]
Nong KhaiThanaleng, Laos 5 March 2009 6 km (3.7 mi) 2 Metre gauge Opened by Princess Sirindhorn [11]
Kaeng KhoiBua Yai 19 August 1967 251 km (156 mi) 40 Metre gauge Originally 250 km [12] until the construction of new railway track to replace the one that sunk under Pasak Jolasit Dam in 1998 that added 1 km more [13]
BangkokTaling Chan 1 January 1927 22 km (14 mi) 8 Metre gauge Rama 6 Line from Bangsue to Talingchan and Double tracking from Bangkok to Bangsue
Thon BuriSu-ngai Kolok 17 September 1921 1,144 km (711 mi) 204 Metre gauge Originally opened as Phetburi line on 19 June 1903 before expansion with connection to Chumporn on 17 September 1916
Hat YaiPadang Besar, Malaysia 1 July 1918 45 km (28 mi) 4 Metre gauge Connecting to the Western Coast Line of FMSR
Khao Chum ThongNakhon Si Thammarat 1 October 1914 35 km (22 mi) 9 Metre gauge Nakhon Srithammarat Branch Line
Thung SongKantang 1 January 1914 93 km (58 mi) 6 Metre gauge Originally Opened from Kantang to Huay Yod on 1 April 1913 before connecting with the main Southern Line at Thung Song
Ban Thung PhoKhiri Rat Nikhom 13 April 1956 31 km (19 mi) 9 Metre gauge "Planned to Tha Nun (Gateway to Phuket)"
Nong PladukNam Tok Sai Yok Noi (Burma Railway) 1 July 1958 130 km (81 mi) 29 Metre gauge Originally opened as Military railway on 25 December 1943, After the transfer to Thai Railway in 1946 at 50 Million Baht, only 130 km has been rehabilitated.
Nong PladukSuphanburi 16 June 1963 78 km (48 mi) 7 Metre gauge Planned to connect with Northern Line at either Pa Wai or Ban Pachi
BangkokAranyaprathet 8 November 1926 255 km (158 mi) 53 Metre gauge Used to Connect with Cambodian Railway on 11 April 1942 but the flip flop relationship has forced the connection with Cambodia to close several times, Ban Klong luek Border station at km 260 opened on 25 June 2019 ven though the actual traffic started on 1 July 2019.[14]
ChachoengsaoBan Phlu Ta Luang 1989 123 km (76 mi) 18 Metre gauge Started in 1979 and Section from Ban Phlu Ta Luang Railway Station to Sattahip Closed and reopened intermittedly [15][16]
MakkasanMae Nam 15 August 1909 6 km (3.7 mi) 2 Metre gauge Freight only
Chitralada - Urupong (Chitralada Triangular Junction) 1936 3 km (1.9 mi) 2 Metre gauge Triangle track to allow steam locomotives to change the direction without a turntable and the line that allows the access to Makkasan Factory without going to Bangkok station
Wongwian YaiMahachai (Maeklong Railway) 4 January 1904 31 km (19 mi) 18 Metre gauge Klong San railway terminus closed on 7 January 1961 - causing the line to be shortened by 2 km from the original 33 km. Hope to connect with the main line by red line commuter [17]
Ban LaemMaeklong (Maeklong Railway) 1905 33 km (21 mi) 15 Metre gauge Planned the connection with Mahachai Railway as a part of Red line commuter [18] However, the solution to allow the construction of red line line commuter from Hua Lamphong to Mahachai via Wongwian Yai need to be realized.


Future lines[edit]

Description Length Gauge Start Commission
Den ChaiChiang Rai 325 km (202 mi) Metre gauge 2014 2023[20]
Ban PhaiNakhon Phanom 368 km (229 mi) Metre gauge 2020 2026[21]
Khiri Rat NikhomPhuket 300 km (190 mi) Metre gauge N/A N/A
ChumphonSatun N/A Metre gauge N/A N/A
AranyaprathetPoipet, Cambodia 6 km (3.7 mi) Metre gauge 2014 2019 [22]
Nam TokThanbyuzayat, Myanmar (Burma Railway) 285 km (177 mi) Metre gauge 2012(planned)TBA(Fixed) 2020
Pak Bara Deep Sea Port–Songkhla 2 Deep Seaport ?? Metre gauge N/A N/A
BangkokChiang Mai 715 km (444 mi) Standard Gauge N/A N/A

Defunct lines[edit]

Description Established Length Gauge Closed notes
Hat YaiSongkhla 1913 30 km (19 mi) Metre gauge 1 July 1978 Began operations in 1913. In 1978 the Cabinet has approved the cancellation of Hat YaiSongkhla lines, but preserve the railways. Now are under study to rebuilt again as part of the Surat Thani-Hat Yai-Songkhla double tracking project.
Nam TokThanbyuzayat, Myanmar (Burma Railway) 25 December 1944 285 km (177 mi) Metre gauge ?? Its operations ended after World War II. In 2012 Thailand and Myanmar agreed to fix this line for high-speed rail. Another name of This line is Burma Railway or Death Railway.
BangkokSamut Prakan (Paknam Railway) 11 April 1893 21 km (13 mi) Narrow gauge 1960 It is the first railway in Thailand. Open in 1893, operated by Paknam Railway Co.Ltd. In 1943, It is operated by State Railway of Thailand. In 1960 the cabinet approved the closure of the Paknam Railway to make Rama IV road.
Bang PhlatBang Bua Thong (Bang Bua Thong Railway) 1909 68 km

(42 mi)

Narrow gauge

(75 cm)

ChumphonKraburi (Kra Isthmus Railway) 1943 90 km (56 mi) Metre gauge 1945 Constructed by the Imperial Japanese Army for transport across the Kra Isthmus. Demolished after the Second World War.
Bung WaiBan Pho Mun 1 August 1930 7 km (4.3 mi) Metre gauge 1954 Closed due to inconvenience of transport of goods
Nong Khai–Talat Nong Khai 1958 2 km (1.2 mi) Metre gauge 19 March 2008
Su-ngai KolokRantau Panjang 1921 3 km (1.9 mi) Metre gauge ?? Closed due to increased tensions between SRT and KTM in operating cross-border rail services. There are plans to reopen the line.
Wongwian Yai–Pak Khlong San 1904 ?? Metre gauge 1 January 1961 Closed following Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat's cabinet agreement. Asphalt road paved on top of the existing tracks
Ban Phlu Ta LuangSattahip Port 1989 11 km (6.8 mi) Metre gauge ??
Tha RueaPhra Phutthabat (Phra Phutthabat Railway) 1902 20 km (12 mi) Narrow gauge 1942 Operated by the Tha Ruea Company Limited. Closed due to regular derailments and huge financial losses.
PhetchaburiBang Thalu (Chao Samran beach Railway) 15 April 1921 15 km (9.3 mi) Narrow gauge 31 May 1923 Served as a supply route for King Vajiravudh's residence at Chao Samran Beach. Closed and demolished after relocation of residence to Mrigadayavan Palace
Hua WaiTha Tako 1940 53 km (33 mi) Metre gauge 1967
Wang Kaphi-Wang Kaphi Sugar Mill 1940 8 km (5.0 mi) Narrow gauge ?? Closed due to improved road links to the sugar mill.

Rail links to adjacent countries[edit]

Rail transport in Bangkok[edit]

Bangkok Trams[edit]

In the late 1890s and early 1900s, King Rama V eagerly built a tram network for Bangkok by employing foreign engineers and technicians, especially Danish engineers. In fact, Bangkok had electric trams before Copenhagen. However, due to a lack of interest and maintenance the tram network was completely scrapped in 1968.

Greater Bangkok commuter rail[edit]

Rapid transit systems[edit]

Bangkok is currently served by three rapid transit systems: the BTS Skytrain, the MRT and the Airport Rail Link. Although proposals for the development of rapid transit in Bangkok had been made since 1975,[24] leading to plans for the failed Lavalin Skytrain, it was only in 1999 that the BTS finally began operation.

Map of Bangkok urban transit systems
The M-Map details plans for additional rapid transit lines in Bangkok and Metropolitan Region.

In addition to rapid transit and heavy rail lines, there have been proposals for several monorail systems, the most notable being a line linking Chulalongkorn University with Siam Square, to be funded by the BMA. In 2010 Grand Canal Land Company proposed a 600–800-metre line linking its properties on Rama IX Road with the Phra Ram 9 MRT Station, but failed to secure approval.[25][26]

The Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan in Bangkok Metropolitan Region has plans for the following rapid transit lines:

Primary lines
Commuter  SRT  Dark Red Line Thammasat–Maha Chai
 SRT  Light Red Line Sala Ya–Taling Chan–Hua Mak
Airport rail link ARLbangkok.svg  ARL  Airport Rail Link and extension Phaya Thai–Bang Sue–Don Mueang
Rapid transit  BTS  Light Green Line, extension of the BTS Sukhumvit Line Lam Luk Ka–Saphan Mai–Mo Chit–On Nut–Bearing–Samut Prakan–Bang Pu
 BTS  Dark Green Line, extension of the BTS Silom Line Yot Se–Taksin Bridge–Bang Wa
 MRT  Blue Line, extension of the MRT Blue Line Bang Sue–Tha Phra, Hua Lamphong–Bang Khae–Phutthamonthon Sai 4
 MRT  Purple Line Bang Yai–Rat Burana
 MRT  Orange Line Taling Chan–Min Buri
Feeder lines
Monorail  MRL  Pink Line Khae Rai–Pak Kret–Min Buri
 MRL  Yellow Line Lat Phrao–Samrong
 MRT  Brown Line Khae Rai–Bueng Kum
 MRL  Grey Line Watcharaphon–Rama IX Bridge
 MRL  Light Blue Line Din Daeng–Sathon
AGT  MRL  Gold Line Krung Thonburi–Wat Anongkaram

Development is divided into three stages, in addition to those lines already open or under construction:[27]

Overview as of 23 December 2019
In service 151 kilometres (94 mi) 19.43%
Under construction 135 kilometres (84 mi) 33.64%
Planned* 567.34 kilometres (352.53 mi) 100.00%

Note: * Exclude BMA Monorail

Rolling stock[edit]

State Railway of Thailand[edit]

BTS Skytrain[edit]

Rolling stock of BTS Skytrain

The BTS Skytrain uses two variations of Electric Multiple Unit rolling stock. All operate on 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) track gauge (standard gauge). All trains have 4 doors on each side per car, an air-conditioning unit, and LCD monitors for public announcement and advertising. The power supply for all trains is at 750 V DC from the third rail.

Bangkok MRT[edit]

The MRT Purple Line Train.

The Bangkok MRT consists of two lines: the Blue Line and Purple Line: each train consists of two motor cars and a centre trailer car.[28]

Airport Rail Link[edit]

Nine Siemens Desiro sets were purchased.[29] City services is operated by five three-car trains, and the Express services by four trainsets with a fourth car for check-in baggage. The first trains left Germany in September 2007, and testing in Bangkok began in March 2008.[30] On 15 May 2012 the Thai Cabinet approved a budget of 5.2 billion baht for the SRT to order 7 new, 4 car sets of Siemens Desiro rolling stock to be delivered by 2014.[31] However, as of June 2013 no order for new rolling stock had yet been placed. The Ministry of Transport was considering purchasing cheaper CNR or CAF rolling stock which would require changing the Siemens closed signalling system to an open system.[31]



Khun Tan Tunnel, Khun Tan Railway Station
MRT Purple Line under construction in December 2013

Most existing SRT lines use metre gauge, although standard gauge is used on rapid transit lines. As of 2013, approximately 4,346 km (2,700 mi) of track was in use throughout Thailand:

  • 4,346 km (2,700 mi) metre gauge (1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in))
  • 151 km (94 mi) standard gauge (1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in))

Railway stations[edit]

About 450 stations.[32]


About 1,000 bridges.[33]


There are seven railway tunnels in Thailand, amounting to a total length of 3.63 km (2.26 mi).

Level crossings[edit]

The Thai rail network has 2,624 level crossings nationwide (2016). Many have no crossing barriers, making them frequent sites of accidents.[34]


SRT uses colour light signals and semaphore signal


Mass transit routes in Bangkok are set to be expanded. Excluding the already under construction extensions to the Skytrain, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is planning a northern as well as western expansion of the Skytrain. The central government, through the State Railway of Thailand and Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) are planning to build several new rapid transit routes. In addition, new light rail systems have been proposed for the cities of Phuket, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Nakhon Ratchasima.[35]

The government is considering a restructuring of the State Railway of Thailand and granting operating concessions to private freight operators. An international rail link has opened to Vientiane in Laos via Nong Khai and the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge. The 6 km "missing link" on the Eastern line between Aranyaphratet and Poipet (Cambodia) is also being rebuilt with construction starting in late 2013 for completion in 900 days.[36]

Double tracking[edit]

Most of Thailand's roughly 4,000 km rail network is single track. A government initiative to move air and road transport to rail passed a major milestone on 28 December 2017 when the SRT signed nine contracts with private contractors to complete double tracking on 702 km of the SRT network. This phase one of the double-tracking project will cost 69.5 billion baht. The government's aim is to reduce the nation's logistical overhead, some 1.75 trillion baht, by moving air and road freight to rail. Moving a tonne of freight by rail costs 0.93 baht per kilometre compared with 1.72 baht by road. As of the contract signing date, 86 percent of Thailand's freight moves by road and only two percent by rail.

Phase one of the project will see the following five sections of double track laid:

Cabinet approval is expected to allow the signing of contracts for phase two of the double tracking project by March 2018. The second phase will add a second track to 2,217 km of single track over nine rail links at a cost of 398 billion baht. Government plans call for an overall investment of 600 billion baht to create 2,588 km of double tracks.[37][38]

Phase 2 double tracking projects which are still waiting cabinet approval as reported by Department of Rail Transport are including [39]

  • Pak Nam Pho - Denchai with the distance of 281 km with a price tag of 62,859.74 Million Baht
  • Khon Kaen - Nong Khai with the distance of 167 km with a price tag of 26,663.36 Million Baht
  • Thanon Jira Junction - Ubon Ratchathani with the distance of 308 km with a price tag of 37,527.10 Million Baht
  • Chumporn - Surat Thani with the distance of 168 km with a price tag of 24,294.36 Million Baht
  • Surat Thani - Hatyai Junction - Songkla with the distance of 321 km with a price tag of 57,375.43 Million Baht
  • Hatyai - Padang Besar with the distance of 45 km with a price tag of 6,661.37 Million Baht
  • Denchai - Chiangmai with the distance of 189 km with a price tag of 56,837.78 Million Baht

New SRT lines[edit]

There are also plans to construct new railway routes:

  • Chiang Rai in the north via Denchai Junction - 323 km (the other 3 km is within Denchai station yard so it would not be count) with the price tag of 85,345 Million baht [40] This route has received EIA clearance in June 2020. SRT is working on surveying the land to be expropriated and drafting the TOR to bid for the construction of Denchai - Chiang Rai - Chiang Khong railway which is to be on bidding in 2021 and open the line in March 2026. [41][42]
  • Ban Phai (on the Northeast line) - Mahasarakham - Roi Et - Mukdahan - Nakhon Phanom - 355 km with the price tag of 66,848.33 Million Baht. This line has been recently received EIA clearance on 30 April 2020, so SRT is working on surveying the land to be expropriated and drafting the TOR to bid for the construction of Ban Phai - Mahasarakham - Roy Ed - Loeng Noktha - Mukdahan - Nakhon Phanom railway to be on bidding in 2021 and open the line in 2026. [43]
  • Nakhon Sawan - Kamphaeng Phet - Tak - Mae Sod with total distance of 256 km with a price tag of 96,785 Million Baht as a part of East West Corridor. At the time being, SRT is working for detailed design to be done in 2021.[44]
  • Nakhon Sawan - Ban Phai still working on finalization of the route due to the ongoing debates between Nakhon Sawan - Kud Nam Sai Junction - Chaiyaphum - Ban Phai with 14 stations and stop with total distance of 297.924 km with total distance of 56,859.2 Million Baht vs. Nakhon Sawan - Watabaek - Chaturat - Bua Yai with total distance of 259.21 km with a price tag of 49,469.5 Million Baht [45][46]
  • Kanchanaburi - Dewei (Burma): 190 km. Route to be finalised. So far, the route on Thai side would be double tracking from Nong Pladuk junction to Thai Ruea Noy (30 km) and Wang Yen station to Tha Kilen (23 km) along with the bypass route (Tha Ruea Noy - Wang Yen - 29 km) and the route to Phu Nam Ron Border Checkpoint (36 km) [47][48]
  • Phuket from Surat Thani to Tha Nun (Gateway to Phuket opposite to Tha Chatchai) with a distance of 157.2 km which has been postponed after the opening of Khirirat Nikhom Branch on 13 April 1956.[49][50][51]
  • Connect the Maeklong railway to main lines which will be a part of red line commuter networks. [17][18] However, the solution to allow the construction of red line line commuter from Hua Lamphong to Mahachai via Wongwian Yai need to be realized. [52][53]

Thailand high-speed railways[edit]

Thailand high-speed rail
CRRC Fuxing Series EMU proposed for Northeastern high-speed rail line passenger services.
TypeHigh-speed rail
Operator(s)State Railway of Thailand
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Operating speed250 km/h (155 mph)

In October 2010, the Thai parliament approved initial proposals for a high speed rail (HSR) network. Five lines capable of handling 250 km/h speeds would radiate from Bangkok.[54]

In March 2013, the transport minister revealed that only one company would be selected to run all high-speed train routes, scheduled to be operational between 2018 and 2019.[55] The first 86 km section from Bang Sue to Ayuthaya was planned to be tendered in late 2013. However, a seven-month-long political crisis involving the dissolution of parliament and an annulled February 2014 election culminated in a military coup in May 2014. Subsequently, in July 2014 the new military administration deferred all HSR plans until the next civilian government is installed.

Following the military coup of May 2014 and his elevation to the office of prime minister, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha proposed connecting Bangkok to two popular resort cities, Pattaya and Hua Hin, by high-speed rail. The Transport Ministry's Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning had earlier conducted studies on both routes. They assumed that, for the Bangkok-Pattaya line, trains would run through Chachoengsao, Chonburi, and Pattaya, terminating in Rayong, a total distance of 193.5 km. Construction costs were estimated at 152 billion baht with an economic internal rate of return (EIRR) of 13 percent. Construction would take about 54 months. The route to Hua Hin would be 209 km in length with an investment cost of about 98 billion baht and EIRR of 8.1 percent. The office concluded that these routes would be of little interest to private investors due to the high investment required, coupled with a low rate of return.[56]

Northeastern HSR: Bangkok - Nakhon Ratchasima - Nong Khai (Sino-Thai railway project)[edit]

In November 2014, Thailand and China signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to construct the Thai portion of the transnational railway running from Kunming, China to the Gulf of Thailand. In November 2015, both parties agreed to a division of labour. Under the framework, a joint venture would be set up to run the project. China would conduct feasibility studies, design the system, construct tunnels and bridges, and lay track. Thailand would conduct social and environmental impact studies, expropriate land for construction, handle general civil engineering and power supply, and supply construction materials.

Once built, China would operate and maintain the system for the first three years of operation. Between the third and the seventh years, both countries would share responsibility. Later Thailand would take on responsibility with China as adviser. China would train Thai personnel to operate and maintain the system.

Dual standard-gauge tracks would be laid throughout the project. In Thailand, two routes would diverge at a junction in Kaeng Khoi District in Saraburi Province. One to connect Bangkok to Kaeng Khoi. The other route to connect Kaeng Khoi with Map Ta Phut of Rayong Province. From Kaeng Khoi tracks would lead north to Nakhon Ratchasima and on to Nong Khai Province. Construction would be divided into four sections: Bangkok-Kaeng Khoi, Map Ta Phut-Kaeng Khoi, Kaeng Khoi-Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Ratchasima-Nong Khai.

Construction of Thailand's 873-kilometre-long portion of the railway system started in December 2017[57][58] and the Phase 1 line is due to open in 2023.[59] It will connect to a 417 km line from Vientiane to the northern Lao border and a 520 km line from the Lao border to Kunming.[60]

Eastern HSR: Bangkok to U-Tapao Airport[edit]

A HSR line to the eastern seaboard was first proposed in 1996 but there was no progress for over a decade. In 2009, the government requested the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) to create a plan for new HSR network in Thailand that included an eastern HSR line to Rayong. The route was finalised before the 2011 election with the promise to begin construction the next year if the government was re-elected, but they lost the election. After the 2011 election, the new government reviewed all HSR plans and the SRT stated that the line would be tendered in early-2014.[61] After the May 2014 coup there were further delays while the military government reviewed all HSR lines, initially deferring all projects. In early-2016, the government agreed to proceed with the eastern HSR route and suggested that it could be extended to Don Mueang International Airport beyond the terminus at Bang Sue Intercity Terminal thus providing a link with three airports.[62] Extending the line would provide a link between Don Mueang Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport, and U-Tapao International Airport in Ban Chang District.

During 2017, OTP and the Ministry of Transport in consultation with the SRT agreed that by extending the line to terminate at Don Mueang it would effectively include the long delayed extension of the Airport Rail Link (Bangkok) from Makkasan Station to Don Mueang Airport as part of the project. The Eastern Economic Corridor Office (EEC Office) in October 2017 finalised previous OTP plans to build the 10 station Eastern HSR line linking Don Mueang airport, Bang Sue, Makkasan, Suvarnabhumi Airport, Chonburi, Si Racha, Pattaya, U-Tapao Airport, and Rayong. In early-2018, the section to Rayong was excluded due to environmental and safety concerns and it was decided that the line would terminate at U-Tapao Airport.[63]

The SRT stated that the first tenders for the Eastern HSR line are expected to be tendered by May 2018 with a four-month auction period before the contract is awarded.[64] The cost of the project was estimated to be over 200 billion baht, of which the Thai Government would fund 123 billion baht and the private sector estimated to contribute 90 billion baht.[65][66]

Northern HSR: Bangkok - Phitsanulok - Chiang Mai (Japanese-Thai project)[edit]

Japan would provide Shinkansen technology for a high-speed rail link between Bangkok and the northern city of Chiang Mai. Phase 1 would connect Bangkok to Phitsanulok. It is estimated to cost 280 billion baht. Seven stations are planned for this segment: Bang Sue, Don Mueang, Ayutthaya, Lopburi, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, and Phitsanulok. To reduce costs, Thai authorities have proposed reducing the number of stations, but the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has rejected this suggestion on the grounds that it defeats the original purpose of the project.[67] This portion of the route was scheduled to be submitted to the Thai cabinet for financial approval in August 2018.[67]

After an initial cooperation agreement was signed in 2015, the Thai government formally requested the technical and financial assistance of the Japanese government in late-2016 for the building of the Northern HSR line to Chiang Mai.[68] The Japanese completed a feasibility study which estimated that the project will cost 420 billion baht to build.[69]

A feasibility study by JICA in mid-2018 reported that the train as planned would run at a loss. JICA's study projects only 10,000 passengers per day on the route, as opposed to the 30,000 per day forecasted in the original planning proposals. To be profitable from ticket sales would require 50,000 fares per day.[67]

The Thai government announced in September 2019 that it may cancel Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed rail projects after private investors declined to invest. The cost of the 670 kilometre line is estimated to be 400 billion baht. Japan has turned down the project as a bad investment due to low passenger projections.[70]

Southern HSR: Bangkok-Hua Hin[edit]

This line would link Bangkok with Hua Hin. It would be 211 km long and estimated costs in 2016 were 152 billion baht.[71]


In 2019, a plan was proposed to electrify a portion of the rail network. The electrification would be done in 2 phases, the first phase involving 250km of routes around Bangkok and the second involving the next 250km of rail routes, in line with the existing construction of the Red Lines, scheduled to open alongside the Bang Sue Grand Station in July 2021.[72]

Phase one is planned to have 4 routes, with a total investment of 100,907 Million Baht:

  • Bang Sue - Ban Pachi - Pak Nam Pho with a total distance of 252 km and a projected budget of 28,720.24 Million Baht.
  • Bang Sue - Ban Pachi - Khaeng Khoi - Thanon Chira with a total distance of 243 km and a projected budget of 23,682.12 Million Baht.
  • Bang Sue - Nong Pla Duk - Hua Hin with a total distance of 209 km and a projected budget of 33,572.42 Million Baht.
  • Bang Sue - Makkasan - Chachoengsao - Pattaya with a total distance of 160 km and a projected budget of 10,127.29 Million Baht.[73]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ "Trains in Siam". Railway Wonders of the World. 22 November 1935. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Railway of Thailand History". State Railway of Thailand (SRT). Archived from the original on 9 September 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
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  5. ^ Chantanusornsiri, Wichit (23 January 2012). "State railway to finally account for assets and liabilities". Bangkok Post.
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  7. ^ Bowring, Philip (23 October 2009). "Thailand's Railways: Wrong Track". Asia Sentinel. Asia Sentinel. Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  8. ^ Janssen, Peter (2 November 2016). "Thailand takes a long-term gamble on Isaan region". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  9. ^ Janssen, Peter (23 January 2017). "Thailand's expanding state 'threatens future growth'". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  10. ^ SRT Annual Report of BE2551 (2008)
  11. ^ SRT Annual Report of BE2552 (2009)
  12. ^ Opening of Kaeng Khoi - Bua Yai Line by State railway of Thailand 1967
  13. ^ SRT Annual Report of BE2541 (1998)
  14. ^ SRT Annual Report of BE2562 (2019)
  15. ^ SRT Annual Report of BE2522 (1979)
  16. ^ SRT Annual Report of BE2532 (1989)
  17. ^ a b โครงการศึกษาและออกแบบรายละเอียด ศูนย์คมนาคมขนส่งตากสินและทางรถไฟสายแม่กลอง (ช่วงหัวลำโพง-มหาชัย), สำนักงานนโยบายและแผนการขนส่งและจราจร (สนข.) 2548
  18. ^ a b งานบริการที่ปรึกษาสำหรับโครงการศึกษาความเป็นไปได้การพัฒนาศูนย์คมนาคมกรุงเทพฯ ด้านตะวันตกเฉียงใต้และโครงการรถไฟสายแม่กลอง, สำนักงานนโยบายและแผนการขนส่งและจราจร (สนข.) 2547 (PDF)
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  27. ^ ความก้าวหน้าโครงการ. Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan in Bangkok Metropolitan Region website (in Thai). Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
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  31. ^ a b "แอร์พอร์ตลิงก์ชงบอร์ดซื้อรถใหม่ 7 ขบวน 4.2พันล้าน เตรียมเข็นล็อตแรกปี′57". ประชาชาติธุรกิจ. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
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  36. ^ "คมนาคมเร่งโปรเจ็กต์ ทางรถไฟเชื่อม"เขมร" หนุนการค้า-ท่องเที่ยว". ประชาชาติธุรกิจ. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
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  39. ^ "แผนพัฒนารถไฟทางคู่ พ.ศ 2560 - 2579". กรมการขนส่งทางราง กระทรวงคมนาคม. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  40. ^ "ลงพื้นที่เวนคืน 4 จังหวัดเหนือ สร้างรถไฟทางคู่สายมาราธอน เด่นชัย-เชียงราย-เชียงของ, ประชาชาติธุรกิจ วันที่ 30 มกราคม 2562".
  41. ^ "ร.ฟ.ท.เร่งทีโออาร์ทางคู่ 2 สายใหม่กว่าแสนล้าน คาด ต.ค.ประมูลรวมแพกงานโยธา-อาณัติฯ, ผู้จัดการออนไลน์ วันที่ 22 มิถุนายน 2563".
  42. ^ "ประมูลสายสีแดง-ทางคู่เชียงรายแสนล้าน, ประชาชาติธุรกิจ วันที่ 19 เมษายน 2563".
  43. ^ "ไฟเขียว EIA รถไฟทางคู่ "บ้านไผ่-นครพนม" เตรียมประมูลก่อสร้างกว่า 5 หมื่นล., ผู้จัดการออนไลน์ วันที่ 30 เมษายน 2563".
  44. ^ "2โปรเจ็กต์'แม่สอด'ฝ่าด่าน 2563 เคาะ EIA อุโมงค์โทลล์เวย์-ออกแบบสร้างทางคู่, ฐานเศรษฐกิจ วันที่ 24 ธันวาคม 2562".
  45. ^ "งานศึกษาความเหมาะสมโครงการรถไฟทางคู่สายใหม่ช่วงนครสวรรค์-บ้านไผ่".
  46. ^ "การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทยและบริษัทที่ปรึกษาฯรับฟังความคิดเห็นโครงการรถไฟรางคู่ นครสวรรค์.-บ้านไผ่, สำนักข่าว กรมประชาสัมพันธ์ วันที่ 12 ธันวาคม 2562".
  47. ^ "การรถไฟฯ ทุ่ม9.8หมื่นล้าน ผุดทางสายใหม่322กม. ผ่าน8จังหวัด เชื่อม"แหลมฉบัง-ทวาย", ประชาชาติธุรกิจ วันที่ 22 เมษายน 2558".
  48. ^ "รถไฟใหม่ "พุน้ำร้อน-แหลมฉบัง" เวนคืนหมื่นไร่ เปิดหน้าดิน 8 จังหวัด, ประชาชาติธุรกิจ วันที่ 27 เมษายน 2558".
  49. ^ "เผยโฉมสถานีรถไฟ สุราษฎร์ธานี-ท่านุ่น, เดลินิวส์ วันที่ 14 กุมภาพันธ์ 2560".
  50. ^ "รถไฟทางคู่ "สุราษฎร์ธานี-พังงา-ภูเก็ต" ยกระดับโลจิสติกส์ภาคใต้, ฐานเศรษฐกิจ วันที่ 20 เมษายน 2561".
  51. ^ "เวนคืนรถไฟสุราษฎร์-ท่านุ่น158กม. สนข.ศึกษาชงครม.3.6หมื่นล.ปี61ลุย, เดลินิวส์ วันที่ 17 กุมภาพันธ์ 2559".
  52. ^ "รอหน่อยนะ! คมนาคมยันเดินหน้ารถไฟฟ้าสายสีแดง"หัวลำโพง-มหาชัย"รอปรับแบบช่วงข้ามเจ้าพระยาเป็นอุโมงค์ทางลอด, ประชาชาติธุรกิจ วันที่ 20 พฤศจิกายน 2561".
  53. ^ "ยันไม่ล้มรถไฟสีแดง "หัวลำโพง-มหาชัย" เร่งปรับแบบลอดเจ้าพระยา, ผู้จัดการออนไลน์ วันที่ 20 พฤศจิกายน 2561".
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External links[edit]