Stepping inside the realm of a new era of transport and rediscovery, Nirut Maneephan, the enthusiastic governor of Thailand’s State Railway (SRT), has announced what is eagerly anticipated to be “the most romantic route” of the country, the travelogue of Thailand. A soothing ride, crisscrossing through four charming provinces in the magnificent North of Thailand – Phrae, Lampang, Phayao, and Chiang Rai, this railway is more than just a mere transit system but an astonishing experience waiting to unfold.
Sprawling across a vast distance of 323 kilometers with 26 remarkable stations to board and deboard, this railway journey promises to drench travelers in an ethereal taste of Thai culture, emblematic landscapes, and captivating storytelling through every turn.
The hallmark of the journey promises to be its last leg – Chiang Rai province. The locals here have been patiently waiting and yearning for a railway connection to grace their land for over six decades now, and their fervor is finally about to pay off. The new railway line comes with an estimated price tag of 85.35 billion baht, with construction progressing swiftly, even outrunning the initial schedule by about 2.7%, a fact corroborated by Nirut courteously.
Accentuating the local involvement and community spirit, the governor highlighted that almost 80% of the requisite land has been smoothly procured, thanks to the residents who are working in unison and proving to be very cooperative. This collective endeavor has already paved the way for the completion of about 950 meters of a pivotal tunnel along the proposed route in a mere span of eight months, a testimony to the exemplary execution of the project.
In a recent interaction with reporters, Nirut conducted a walk-through of a significant feature of the project – the 2.7km-long tunnel excavated specifically for the rail project in Phayao’s Muang district, a momentous achievement in the nascent phases of the project.
But this rail route isn’t just another transportation line – it is a long-awaited lifeline. The Den Chai-Chiang Rai rail route is not merely meant to foster tourism but also envisages fuelling the industrial engine of the region. Serving as a new goods transport route, it aims to invigorate the trade and commerce between the North of Thailand and its neighboring territories of Laos and southern China. As an added bonus, the advent of the railway line will be instrumental in slashing the travel time by a significant hour for roads travelers, further emphasizing the multifaceted benefits residents can reap from this ambitious project.