THAILAND: The government’s plans to build a 220 km fast passenger railway linking three airport in the Greater Bangkok area have been thrown into disarray after the State Railway of Thailand board resigned.
Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who supervises the Ministry of Transport, said the resignations on October 1 would prevent the signing of the land acquisition contract which had been scheduled for October 15.
There is a November 7 deadline for the signing of the contract. Minister of Transport Saksayam Chidchob told national news agency NNT that the ministry had put forward its nominations for a new board to the State Enterprise Policy Office, and the list could be forwarded to the cabinet for final approval next week.
There was no immediate comment from the Charoen Pokphand consortium which has been selected to develop the line under a 50-year PPP concession. Shareholders include China Railway Construction Corp, Hyundai Group and Siemens.
The proposed 1 435 mm gauge railway designed for 250 km/h operation would make use of the existing airport rail link between Suvarnabhumi airport and central Bangkok, with extensions at both ends to serve Don Muang airport to the north of the city and U-Tapao to the south.