Thailand plans new coast-to-coast railway
New project to allow travellers to cross peninsula between Koh Samui and Phuket.
A new railway line is being planned in Thailand, connecting the country’s Andaman and Gulf coasts.
The Bangkok Post reports that plans for the 77km-long line were unveiled at a public hearing in southern Thailand’s Surat Thani province on Friday, and the project is now under consideration by the Thai government’s Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning.
If approved, the new line will stretch from Surat Thani on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, on the east coast of Thailand’s southern peninsula, to Phang-Nga province on the west coast. It will then connect with the planned Phuket light rail network, allowing passengers to access the popular resort areas on the Andaman Sea coast.
Surat Thani is also home to the ports that offer passenger ferry services to Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, whilst also connecting to Bangkok via the main north-south railway line.
“We will be able to link tourist attractions in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea”, the office’s deputy chief, Wilairat Sirisophonsin, was quoted saying by the newspaper.
The overall project will include a combination of existing rail tracks and a new line to be built in Surat Thani, connecting with new tracks in Phang-Nga province and the Phuket proposed tram network.
The plan to effectively connect Phuket and Koh Samui, two of Thailand’s top resort destinations, follows the recent launch of new direct ferry services between two of the country’s other main beach resorts, Hua Hin and Pattaya.