11 July 2024

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has launched a trial run of used train carriages, donated by Japan and refurbished by the SRT, on the Bangkok-Chachoengsao-Bangkok route, before full operation is expected to begin at the end of this year.

According to SRT Governor Nirut Maneephan, 17 used diesel powered carriages were recently donated to the SRT by the Hokkaido Railway Company in Japan. All the air-conditioned carriages are being renovated at the SRT’s maintenance centre in Makkasan, with three of them ready for the trial run.

The SRT governor said that modifications have been made to the trains, with the wheel base being narrowed from 1.067 metres to one metre, to fit the standard rail gauge in Thailand. The interiors have been given a major facelift, with all the curtains replaced and seats cleaned. The braking, electrical and air-conditioning systems have been overhauled. The exteriors of the carriages have been repainted in its original white with a blue stripe, to maintain the original Japanese design.

During the trial run, the governor said the SRT will conduct an opinion survey among passengers on what they think about the service. The trial service will initially be a short-haul route for one-day trips on special occasions or for charter.

The governor added that renovation of the remaining carriages may take about two years.