Speaking after a meeting on the Phuket mass transit system, transport permanent secretary Chartchai Thipsunawee yesterday (Jan 17) unveiled details of a 60km rail tram which will be constructed between the airport to Chalong intersection in Muang district.
Mr Chartchai said the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) will be commissioned to supervise the project.
He said the tram with a speed of 100 km/h will have 23 stations along its route. Planners were deciding whether there will be a special lane for the tram or if it will share lanes with other vehicles.
The stations will include Phuket International Airport, Thalang and Koh Kaew and the second provincial bus terminal.
Mr Chartchai, however, voiced concern over what to do about level crossings, saying the tram route will pass 39 intersections and 37 U-turns in the province.
He told the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning, the Department of Highways and the Department of Rural Roads to devise solutions to the problem.
The agencies had to specify whether an overpass or tunnel will be built at each crossing or if traffic lights will be used if the tram and vehicles share the road. After this has been settled, work on the construction design will commence, he said.
For a crossing at the airport’s entrance, an overpass will be built to connect the tram with its station in the airport’s premises. A 150-metre skywalk connecting a station with a terminal will also be built, said Mr Chartchai.
“For the investment, the MRTA will study whether the private sector will be responsible for the entire investment or only as a joint venture,” he added.
Mr Chartchai also discussed the construction of a 158km railroad linking Surat Thani, Phang-nga and Phuket provinces to boost tourism.
Transport Ministry moving forward with the new railway project to link Surat-Phang nga and Phuket,the 158 kilometre railway will run north and south to boost tourism to the area.
Mr Chartchai stated that the new railroad project will have two 1 metre wide lanes and 12 stations along the route which will run from Takhanun to Baan Thungpho.
However, there are three areas that must be studied for improvement prior to any the project getiing approval. First, plans for installing flyovers over the railroad in 18 locations, a U-shaped flyover at one location and underpass at 82 locations.
The transport ministry have assigned the Rural Road Department and Highways Department to gather preliminary studies related to these issues who should be ready to propose their plans with next month.
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