The Evolution of Sustainable Transport in Thailand

Why does Thailand need to invest in its Rail Network Urgently?

  • Thailand needs to improve its infrastructure to maximise exports and economic growth. A higher speed / higher capacity rail network has direct benefits for reducing logistics costs and enhancing Thailand's economic competitiveness;
  • Reduce impact of traffic growth by shift of freight transport and passenger long distance travel from road / air to rail. Environmental benefits in reducing Thailand's overall carbon footprint, and contributing to the global reduction of green house gas emissions.
  • Rail lines are traditionally corridors of economic growth and an improved network would spur development outside of Bangkok and spread wealth across the country to address poverty and social issues.
  • Safety – current track and locomotives are ageing. HSR design / operation must learn from mistakes in other countries (China). Also phase out level crossings and vehicle / train conflict.
  • Improved rail corridors are intended to be constructed to act as flood barriers.

In conclusion, Thailand is preferring rail over road investment for the future although there will undoubtedly be setbacks as a result of funds required to rehabilitate the country following its worst flooding in over 50 years. China’s best intentions to support Thailand in its High Speed Rail development may not work out but there is always Japan and, hopefully, the private sector that have an interest. It must be remembered that Thailand is still a developing country and the latest proposals to rehabilitate the existing railway is at least a step in the right direction and the upgraded standard gauge tracks and High Speed Rail will happen, someday!

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January 12, 2012

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How does transport planning fit into Meinhardt's capabilities?
Previously, many of Meinhardt’s development-related projects required a traffic impact study or transport planning input; until now, Meinhardt has appointed sub-consultants to carry out this work. We now have the benefit of providing a more integrated and efficient service by offering transport planning to our clients.

At the same time, we are growing transport-led projects, such as planning for roads and metros, which can indirectly provide our Civil, Structural, Infrastructure and Environment teams with more exposure.

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