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New line to premier Swiss tech

New line to premier Swiss tech

An arch culvert from Switzerland is built in tambon Pong Pa Wai in Den Chai district of Phrae province as part of the Den Chai-Ngao section of the 323.10-kilometre Den Chai- Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong double track railway project. SRT

Arch culvert technology from Switzerland has been adopted into the State Railway of Thailand’s (SRT) double-track railroad being built between Den Chai district in Phrae and Chiang Khong district in Chiang Rai.

Ekkarat Sriarayanpong, head of the SRT governor’s office, said that for the first time in Thailand, the technology is being employed in construction of the first arch culvert in the 323.10-kilometre Den Chai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong double-track railway project.

He said the first such arch culvert is being built in Tambon Pong Pa Wai in Den Chai district as part of the railway’s Den Chai-Ngao section.

Designed to stretch 33.5 metres long and rise 4.2m, the installation of the culvert is expected to wrap up in two months, he said.

He said the adopted Swiss technology is expected to help cut the costs of arch culverts by 20-25% and reduce the site’s carbon footprint by reducing the cement used.

Instead, he said, precast fortified concrete slaps are produced in a factory before they are taken to the site to be assembled.

He said the culvert’s arch design also leaves more room for vehicles when passing underneath the railway, with a total height from floor to ceiling of up to 4.2m.

At least 37 such arch culverts will be built in this project, 21 in the first section of the railway, another eight in the second and at least eight others in the third section, he said.

The 103.7km first section (Den Chai-Ngao), which cost 26.6 billion baht to build, is 6.49% complete, faster than initially planned.

The 132.3km, 26.89-billion-baht second section (Ngao-Chiang Rai) is 7.76% complete and also ahead of schedule.

The third and last 87.1km section (Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong), which was allocated a 19.38 billion baht budget, is 5.54% complete and is also ahead of schedule, he said.

He said the new double-track railway, expected to be ready in 2028, will be faster for both passengers and moving merchandise.

He added that it will also connect with Laos and China’s Kunming region.

More importantly, this new double-track railway will allow goods from other landlocked countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region to be transported through Thailand and then shipped to a third destination country from the Laem Chabang seaport, he said.