Japanese Consortium Signs Contract to Build Railway in Thailand

08 November 2013 Friday, 07:05

A consortium of three Japanese companies has won a contract worth an estimated 40 billion yen ($405 million) to build a passenger railway in Thailand.

East Japan Railway Co., Marubeni Corp. and Toshiba Corp. said Nov. 6 they will build the 23-kilometer Purple Line that will connect Bangkok’s Bang Sue district with the Bang Yai district in Nonthaburi province. Bangkok Metro Public Co. is scheduled to begin operations of the line in 2016.

The companies said they are the first Japanese project team to win an overseas order for a comprehensive railway project that includes system construction and maintenance management.

A subsidiary of JR East will build 63 train cars, while Marubeni and Toshiba will source other operational equipment, including signaling systems and substations, from domestic and international manufacturers.

In addition to the operational management system, the three companies will jointly establish a new company to conduct maintenance management of the line.

The train cars will be based on the new stainless steel Sustina cars developed by Japan Transport Engineering Co. Formerly known as Tokyu Car Corp., the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of JR East last year.

Sustina train cars were introduced this year on the Tokyu Toyoko Line operated by Tokyu Corp., a former owner of Tokyu Car.

According to JR East officials, Sustina train cars are highly regarded in Thailand for the quality of their construction, enhanced safety features and light weight.

JR East also announced the same day that it will assign 180 train cars of its 205-series that were previously used on the JR Saikyo Line and the JR Kawagoe Line to a railway operator near Jakarta.

According to JR East officials, it will send the train cars to the Indonesian capital this month along with more than 10 engineers to instruct the Indonesian railway about operation and maintenance of the cars.

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