Japans KiHa 183 locomotive series to serve in the State Railway of Thailand.

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22 December 2021

State Railway of Thailand staff take a selfie with train carriages donated by Japan which arrived at Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri on Monday.  (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)
Selfie of SRT staffs with the newly arrived HiKa 180 trains (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

JR Hokkaido (Japanese Hokkaido Railway Company) donated their locomotives to operate in Thailand State Railway. However, social media criticism erupted this week after the railway company on Monday announced its plan to hire a company to ship the donated trains from Japan to Thailand.

Previously there was criticism on social media when the railway company initially announced its plan to hire a company to ship the donated trains from Japan to Thailand.  This was because some Thai netizens had deemed the value of the trains to be nothing more than scrap.  However, proponents of the plan suggested that the true value lied in the fact that these trains would be between 510 and 560 million baht if purchased new.

Thailand made its decision to hire Deugro Projects (Thailand) Co to ship the 17 trains and will cover the shipping cost at around 42.5 million baht. But some Facebook users with a big fanbase are questioning the shipping price.

To ensure public safety, the trains will undergo safety inspections and refurbishment upon their arrival to make them suitable for operations in Thailand as tourism trains said Mr. Aekkarat Sriarayanpong, Public Relations Director of SRT.

After a refurbishment of 2 years, it is suggested that the carriages can be used for at least 50 years.

Meanwhile, the SRT organizers are still looking for a contractor for the refurbishment, the trains will be used temporarily for the following tracks, including Udon Thani to Vientiane via Nong Khai, Nakhon Ratchasima to Khon Khaen, and Bangkok to Suan Son Pradipat via Hua Hin. They will also be used for one-day trips to Bangkok’s neighboring provinces, he said.

The capacity of the newly upgraded dual track, which was recently finished from Nakhon Ratchasima to Khon Kaen route, will be tested by the carriages, said the SRT.

Some people still might argue that the diesel engine trains are old since it was produced in the 1980s. However, the trains retired just recently in 2016.

An announcement by the SRT said the inspection results of the diesel engine train showed that the 17 trains were preserved in a good condition.

Besides the Japanese trains might be more attractive to tourists because they are in better condition than the trains that are currently operating in Thailand State Railway.

It can attract locomotives enthusiasts to come to Thailand and experience a ride in those old carriages.

Sources:

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2231375/used-rail-carriages-from-japan-arrive

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2179891/donated-trains-stir-controversy

https://www.pattayamail.com/thailandnews/thailand-will-employ-japan-donated-trains-in-tourism-371507

vichea
Author: vichea

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