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Hua Hin
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

SRT Puts a Battery-Powered Locomotive to the Test

Thailand’s State Railway is testing the country’s first battery-powered locomotive for operational viability and safety. The national railway operator intends to buy 50 more of these engines in the future to run both passenger and freight trains.


The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has announced that the new battery-powered locomotive is being tested on the national railway network to assess its performance. The so-called EV locomotive has been successfully moving trains onto the elevated tracks and platforms of Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal. In the last phases of testing, the national railway operator intends to employ this locomotive to haul passenger and freight trains.

Mr. Ekkarat Sriarayanpong, head of SRT’s public relations department, stated that the SRT is testing this first battery-powered locomotive alongside King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang and Energy Absolute, which might assist enhance the country’s rail transit and energy security.

Except for the recently opened Red Lines commuter train, all SRT trains employ diesel-electric engines and multiple units to operate.

This battery-powered locomotive, unlike other electric locomotives that require continual current input, can operate on a non-electrified track. This model also includes a rapid charging station that can charge the battery to full capacity in under an hour and a battery changing station that can swap out the battery in under 10 minutes. While pulling carriages, the locomotive may go up to 300 kilometers on a single charge.

The locomotive in testing can reach speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour. The SRT intends to run this locomotive at speeds of up to 100 km/h for passenger services and up to 70 km/h for freight services. When compared to a normal diesel locomotive, it is estimated to cost 40-60% less to run.

The SRT will shortly evaluate the locomotive’s performance and safety by transporting freight wagons from Lat Krabang Inland Container Depot to Laem Chabang Port.

The SRT intends to acquire roughly 50 battery-powered locomotives, with the first battery-powered passenger trains likely to enter operation this year.

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