The State Railway of Thailand has picked a firm to build the Nakhon Ratchasima-Khon Kaen double-track rail route, speeding up state plans for six new railway routes nationwide.
The route, the second project the SRT has awarded to private firms, following its first call for bids for another double-track line in other provinces, will cover 185km in the Northeast, connecting the Chira Road junction in Nakhon Ratchasima and the adjacent province of Khon Kaen, SRT governor Wutthichart Kalayanamitr said yesterday.
The CKCH Joint Venture, one of four bidders, was awarded the contract after it offered a price of 23.4 billion baht, which is lower than the median price by 0.75%. The winner, which comprises construction giant Ch Karnchang Co and Ch Thawi Kosang Co, is expected to sign a contract this month after the SRT board gives the final say. Work will start early next year, Mr Wutthichart said.
Under the project, a new rail track will be built in parallel with the existing line, linking the Chira Road junction and the Khon Kaen station. Most parts of the route will run on the ground except for a 5.4km section near the Khon Kaen station which will be elevated.
This northeastern line is one of six dual-track railway projects listed under urgent state investments in basic infrastructure next year. Last month the SRT awarded to another private firm the construction of the Chachoengsao-Khlong 19- Kaeng Khoi rail route.
The line links Chachoengsao, located to the east of Bangkok, with Klong 19 station in Chachoengsao’s Bang Nam Prieo district and Kaeng Khoi district in Saraburi in the Central Plains.
The progress of the two rail route projects improves prospects that the SRT can complete bidding for remaining lines early next year, Mr Wutthichart said.
Officials are scheduled to open bidding for the third double-track rail route linking Nakhon Pathom and Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Hua Hin district next month. Other routes — Lop Buri-Pak Nam Pho in Nakhon Sawan, the Chira Road junction-Map Kabao in Saraburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon — will soon follow suit.
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