Construction of the 145-kilometre Lop Buri-Pak Nam Pho double-track railway, which includes the country’s longest elevated stretch at 19km, will be completed on schedule by the end of this year, the Department of Rail Transport (DRT) said on Thursday.
The department’s update came as Pichet Kunathammarak, director-general of the DRT, led a team to inspect progress in the construction project in Nakhon Sawan.
This project is divided into three main contracts, one of which is installing the train signalling system that is now 26.33% complete, said Mr Pichet.
The other two contracts are for construction.
One is for a 29km section running between Ban Klap in Saraburi and Khok Krathiam in Lop Buri, and the other is for a section spanning Tha Khae in Lop Buri and Pak Nam Pho in Nakhon Sawan, which is 116km long, he said.
The 29km section comprises a 19km elevated stretch and a 10km one at ground level, which are being built along Highway No.366. The construction is 81.72% finished, said Mr Pichet.
A source said the elevated section is needed because it is on a part of the highway that was selected as a bypass around Lop Buri’s inner city zone where Phra Prang Sam Yot, a 13th-century temple, and San Phra Kan, a historic Brahman shrine, are located in Lop Buri.
More space required for the construction of the double-track railway was obtained through land expropriation, said the source.
The 19km elevated section of the railway is between 10 metres and 20m above the ground and has only one station, which is designed to serve long-haul trains and freight trains, said the source.
The 116km section is being built entirely at ground level and has 17 stations, including six new ones, said Mr Pichet, adding this section also includes a centralised traffic control building which is being built in Nakhon Sawan province.
Construction of this section is 75.72% complete, he said.
The current Lop Buri station is still in use for the Bangkok-Lop Buri route and other short-haul services. The department plans to work with the Department of Land Transport’s Lop Buri office to provide bus services plying the old and new Lop Buri train stations in the future.
Article source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2497941/railway-on-track-for-completion-this-year