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Tunnel Boring Machine Creates Thailand’s Longest Railway Tunnel



Railway Tunnel Boring Machine Creates Thailand's Longest Railway Tunnel

The State Railway of Thailand has reported its first breakthrough with a tunnel boring machine working on the country’s longest railway tunnel in Saraburi Province. A State Railway spokesperson said a 5.2-kilometre section of the railway tunnel officially became the country’s longest tunnel.

The new railway tunnel section beats the 1.3-km Khun Tan tunnel which is part of the Northern railway route located on the border of Lampang and Lamphun.

The breakthrough marked a milestone for the dual-track project carried out by Italian-Thai Development Plc and the Rail Tunnelling Co.

The 5.2-kilometre section is the first out of four tunnels which will form the dual-track rail route between Saraburi Province and Nakhon Ratchasima. It begins on the 136-km mark in the Map Kabao-Jira Junction section of the Northeastern line.

Upon completion of the dual-track railway route it will bring the Northeast closer to the rest of the country as more rail trains, including high-speed trains, will be able to run more frequently and carry more passengers and freight to the upper Northeast.

The Den Chai-Chiang Khong railway project

While three more tunnels will be constructed along the main Northeast line, four new tunnels will be built on the Den Chai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Kong branch line the State Railway spokesperson told CTN News.

The branch route spanning 323km will go through Phrae, Phayao, Lampang and Chiang Rai, where it will run to the 2nd Chiang Saen port, before terminating at the border bridge which crosses to Laos.

The four tunnels on the Den Chai-Chiang Khong route comprise two to be built in Phrae with a combined length of 7.5-km, a third near the Phayao University and a fourth at Doi Luang in Chiang Rai.

In April, the SRT announced it expected to name the contractors for the Den Chai-Chiang Khong and the 355-km section between Ban Phai and Nakhon Phanom in the northeast route next month. Electronic bidding will be held to select the contractors to work on the sections.

Six companies are expected to take part in the e-bidding, said Suranadet Thupawirot, the SRT’s chief engineer for constructions and special projects.

The Den Chai-Chiang Khong project is valued at 72.9 billion baht, while the Ban Phai-Nakhon Phanom is worth 55.4 billion baht, he said. The Den Chai-Chiang Khong project is further broken down into three construction contracts.

Participants are required to submit their bids on May 18 with the bidding result expected on July 8, 2021.

When it is open for service, 4,811 people are likely to use this service each day. The project is expected to accommodate 313,669 tons of products from Thailand each year. When products from China are included, the volume will increase to about 1.6 million tons a year.

The Bureau of the Budget stated that it would allocate a budget for the project, based on necessity and suitability, after the draft Royal Decree took effect.

Source: CTN News

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