Chaing Mai’s first rail project chugging along

A GOVERNMENT transport office confirmed today (Sept. 8, 2018) that the construction of northern Chiang Mai city’s first light railway transit system will start on target either at the end of next year or early 2020 at a cost of 86 billion baht, Thai News Agency reported.

Mr Chaiwat Thongkhamkhun, director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy Planning, said it will take 5 years to build the electric train system.

He took the press to inspect the routes and told them that Plan A, running both on land and underground for a distance of 35 kilometers, was chosen over Plan B, schemed as entirely on land.

He added that latter was rejected after taking Chiang Mai’s narrow roads into consideration as building the whole system on land could lead to even heavier traffic congestion.

“The investment is almost 100 billion baht because 70% of the system is going to be underground, and this requires 3 times more investment than an elevated system,” he said.

Also swaying the decision to opt for Plan A is that the Chiang Mai locals want to maintain the city’s architecture and identity.

Chiang Mai’s light railway transit system will have 3 routes, the Red Line covering a distance of 12 kilometers; the Navy Blue Line also covering 12 kilometers; and the Green Line stretching across 11 kilometers.


Top: Chiang Mai looks beautiful in this picture taken by the photographer while on the way up to Doi Suthep. Photo:  Cheng (CC-BY-SA-2.0)