Purchase of 100 new locomotives planned

A train is passing a station. The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will buy 100 more new diesel-electric locomotives. (Bangkok Post file photo)

A 19.5-billion-baht project to procure 100 new diesel-electric locomotives will be submitted to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) board this September.

SRT deputy director Thanongsak Pongprasert said that while the government agency has 140 diesel-electric locomotives at present, only around 50-60% of them are fully operational.

According to him, the new locomotives will replace decommissioned ones.

He added that the project aims to provide extra locomotives to keep up with several double-track projects set to be completed over the next few years, including the track from Jira in Nakhon Ratchasima to Khon Kaen and the route connecting Khlong Sip Kao in Chachoengsao to Kaeng Khoi in Saraburi.

The proposed plan calls for 50 locomotives to be bought via e-auctions, valued at 6.5 billion baht, Mr Thanongsak said.

If the auctions get under way within this year, he said, the locomotives can be manufactured and delivered within two years.

The remaining 50 locomotives will be leased with the rental expected to be around 13 billion baht, said Mr Thanongsak.

He added that the rental period of these locomotives will be 15 years, with a possible expansion of five more years if the lessor is privately owned.

These locomotives can operate for 25-30 years and the rent will amount to 50,000 baht each per day.

The auctioning process will commence once the project has been approved by the SRT board, the Ministry of Transport (MOT), and the cabinet.

He said another project to acquire 186 air-conditioned diesel trams has also been proposed to the MOT.

A report from the SRT stated that the project will cost around 13 billion baht, and the trams will be used for operations over 300-400km routes.

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