Japanese group wins bid to build Thai railway system


A Japanese consortium has won a bid to build an urban railway system in the Thai capital of Bangkok, The Nikkei reports.

As part of Japan’s drive to expand exports of railway infrastructure, East Japan Railway Co, along with Marubeni Corp and Toshiba Corp, will construct a new 23-kilometer (14-mile) rail line in Bangkok.

The deal, ordered by Bangkok Metro Public Co, is estimated to cost around 40 billion yen ($405 million).

The consortium will set up all hardware for the rail system by 2016 when its slated to start operations, including the power grid, signals and rail yards, as well as 16 stations.

JR East will supply 63 train cars through a subsidiary, electronics giant Toshiba will build the power grid, while Marubeni will oversee the entire project.

It will also provide maintenance services under a 10-year contract and will station about technicians with operational expertise in Bangkok.

Japan, a global leader in railway transit systems, is looking to broaden the industry overseas, particularly in emerging economies in Asia.

According to The Nikkei, JR East has conducted feasibility studies abroad and plans to shift focus on exporting railway systems and operational know-how. The company has its sights on a contract to build a high-speed train line between Malaysia and Singapore.

Central Japan Railway, another Japanese railway operator, is currently providing technology for renovating the automatic train control system of Taiwan’s super-express train service.

By Maesie Bertumen

Image: My Train Pix/Flickr



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