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Thailand’s New Eco-Friendly “Ultraman Trains” to Start Service

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Thailand's Eco-Friendly Train "The Ultraman" Starts Service

Thailand’s State Railway reports it will deploy its newest eco-friendly diesel-electric “Ultraman Trains” on select lines this month.

The new trains were dubbed “The Ultraman” because of their unique red-grey locomotive, which rail enthusiasts believed resembled the renowned Japanese manga character.

SFR Consortium, which won a contract for 6.52 billion baht to acquire 50 new trains in August 2020, imported the trains produced by CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Company.

Twenty sets arrived in February, another 15 are scheduled to arrive at the end of October, and the remainder will arrive in February of the following year.

Thailand's New Eco-Friendly "Ultraman Trains" Starts Service

The trains have a top speed of 120 kilometres per hour, which is significantly faster than the SRT’s previous rolling stock.

“The increased operating speeds, together with ongoing dual-track enhancements around the country, will improve our overall service capacity,” according to its new governor Niruj Maneepun.

According to the SRT, the locomotives produce 24% less carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon particles and 25% less PM2.5 pollution when powered by biodiesel or gasohol E20 — 20% ethanol and 80% unleaded gasoline 95.

“Furthermore, the trains are outfitted with a German-made electronic air brake system. CCTV cameras are also installed for added security. “Mr. Niruj added that the SRT had completed its test runs.

“Because the Ultraman is higher than our older trains, we need to undertake testing to guarantee the train can safely pass through tiny routes and tunnels,” he explained.

According to the SRT, the trains will run between Bangkok-Nong Khai, Bangkok-Trang, and Bangkok-Chiang Mai.

“Before the trains are deployed, our audit committee will conduct final inspections. We aim to employ the Ultraman trains to meet our logistics requirement in addition to increasing tourism, “He stated.

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Japanese Trains Get a New Lease on Life

Thailand’s State Railway also announced seventeen second-hand passenger trains from Japan have been refurbished and will be put into service for tourism routes next month.

The 17 diesel carriages, donated by the Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido), arrived at Chon Buri’s Laem Chabang port on December 13, last year. The shipment cost SRT 42.5 million baht.

On September 6, SRT governor Nirut Maneephan took the media on a training test run consisting of three newly refurbished carriages.

The air-conditioned train left Bangkok’s Makkasan rolling stock maintenance and repair center and arrived at a railway station in the eastern province of Chachoengsao an hour later before returning to Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong station.

The carriages, originally designed for Japan’s 1.067-metre gauge rail tracks, have been modified to work with Thailand’s one-metre gauge tracks, and their interiors and exteriors have been refurbished. The carriages’ bodies have also been repainted in white and lavender colours.

Mr. Nirut stated that the three renovated carriages will be available for day trips beginning in October and that the SRT will solicit public input on preferred tourism routes.

The refurbishment was done by technicians and cost about 200,000 baht per carriage, whereas new carriages cost between 80 and 100 million baht,” he explained.

“Even though the SRT had to pay 42.5 million baht for the shipment, the result of the renovation was well worth all of the costs and efforts,” he said.

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