The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) on Wednesday signed a 32.39 billion baht contract with a Japanese consortium to construct the electrical and mechanical systems of the planned Red Line commuter rail system.
The MHSC Consortium comprising Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Hitachi, and Sumitomo Corp was awarded the contract after five years of negotiations and bidding.
The 26-kilometre railway from Bang Sue to Rangsit stations in Pathum Thani will be constructed using a loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency.
It is hoped the project will helpt to ease traffic jams while serving commuters, SRT governor Wuttichart Kalayanamit said at the signing ceremony held at the Transport Ministry.
The northern line will be connected to the 15-kilometre western line from Bang Sue to Taling Chan, which was constructed with government funds. The consortium will be responsible for installing the systems and rolling stock on the existing western line.
For the northern Red Line, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will be responsible for the design and procurement of systems such as electrical power, signalling, and ticketing, while Hitachi will be responsible for the design and construction of rolling stock. Sumitomo will be responsible for administrative work and local installation work.
“The Red Line train project will be constructed with Japan’s best transportation technology,” said Yoichi Kujirai, president and chief executive officer of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Commercial Aviation and Transportation Systems unit.
“The project will strengthen Thailand-Japan relations and we are glad to be a part of Thailand’s megaprojects,” he added.
The Red Line consists of 10 train stations including a station for Don Mueang airport.
Deputy Transport Minister Omsin Cheevapruek said the Red Line from Rangsit to Taling Chan will be ready for service in 2020 or earlier if the construction goes well.
The project is expected to serve more than 300,000 commuters a day between Bangkok and its periphery.
Mr Wutthichart said the number of passengers could increase to almost 450,000 if the line is extended from Rangsit to Ban Pachi station in Ayutthaya in the future.
Japanese firms to construct elevated rail in Bangkok