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Hua Hin
Thursday, July 25, 2024

Minister Inspects Rail Projects to Improve Traffic and Freight Efficiency

Deputy Transport Minister Surapong Piyachote inspected the Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon dual-track railway and container yard at Saphli Station. Key officials, including Napathra Kamolraks, SRT Vice Governor Awirut Thongnetr, and other dignitaries accompanied him to address current issues and future plans for the rail system.

The Saphli Station container yard currently supports rubber transport with a reach stacker for loading. During the durian season from June to August, the region exports significant quantities to China, with 300 containers shipped this year. Reefer containers have been used on the Saphli-Map Ta Phut route, facilitating the export of 15 containers every other day.

The SRT recently inaugurated a 420-kilometer dual-track railway between Nakhon Pathom and Chumphon complementing the existing Chira Road Junction-Khon Kaen dual track. Saphli Station is being developed into a “Southern Rail Freight Distribution Center” near Lang Suan’s durian orchards.

GML plans to expand reefer container transport on the Saphli-Nong Khai route through Laos to Kunming and other Chinese provinces. The Ministry of Transport, SRT, and GML discussed upgrading the Saphli container yard with lighting, reefer container plugs, CCTV, and additional reach stackers. Adjusting the train schedule aims to reduce transit time from four days to two, boosting rail freight and reducing road accidents and logistics costs.

Surapong highlighted the challenges of transporting goods across the Rama VI Bridge, causing congestion in Bangkok. He proposed a new rail line connecting Nong Pla Duk Junction with Ban Phachi Junction to ease traffic. The SRT has begun feasibility studies and will request budget allocations for detailed design in 2025.

Following the inspection, Surapong and his team traveled on the SRT Royal Blossom special tourist train to Thung Mamao Station in Prachuap Khiri Khan, promoting rail tourism in line with the IGNITE TOURISM THAILAND policy. The Ministry of Transport aims to modernize SRT operations to enhance national rail competitiveness and efficiency.

Surapong urged SRT to improve services, support local communities along tourist routes, and accelerate dual-track and new rail line construction nationwide. The goal is to establish an efficient, safe, and rapid national rail network that boosts economic growth and tourism.

He emphasized that the southern dual-track railway, particularly near seaside stations like Hua Hin and Prachuap Khiri Khan, will significantly reduce travel time and improve transport efficiency. Coordination with local transport authorities is planned to ensure seamless connectivity between rail stations and tourist attractions, further enhancing regional economic capabilities.

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