In a recent article on the popular TheThaiger.com website, it was announced that Pattaya City Hall has set aside 70 Million Thai Baht to conduct a preliminary plan and environmental impact assessment for a proposed (light rail) tram project in Pattaya. The proposed (light rail) tram network is simply part of the Thai Governments massive undertaking to develop not just Pattaya but the entire Eastern Seaboard in conjunction with their Eastern Economic Corridor (E.E.C) initiative. Other examples of the E.E.C. initiative include the recent expansion of Utapao International Airport and the expansion of Laem Chabang Harbor which is still underway.
The go-ahead for a feasibility study using electric trams in Pattaya, was first given by Pattaya City Hall back in December 2018 (Pattaya Mail Jan 18, 2019) and Deputy City Manager Sutham Petchket with the advisory assistance of Mr. Sumet Piriyawat from Facility of Engineering over at Burapa University first chaired a meeting of local and regional transportation officials back on the 10th of January, 2019.
The Red Line is the first part of the proposed project, which will ostensibly connect the Southern Beaches of Pattaya with Sukhumvit Road. The placement of a proposed tram station with generous car-parking provision on the outskirts of the city alongside Sukhumvit Road will almost certainly help to alleviate some traffic congestion issues which is indicative of the forward thinking of City Hall.
At the time of writing this article, and according to Pattaya Watchdog two companies are rumored to be in the running for the tender to build Pattaya’s new light rail network subject to the outcome of this feasibility study. Sources mention that the cost of building the Red Line will be around 8 Billion Thai Baht and in a bid to save money will be at ground level as opposed to that of a elevated monorail system which is far less cost effective. At present the Red Line is not planned to link up with the proposed high-speed 3 airport rail link between Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao airports.
Obviously everything is dependent on a favorable outcome of the 70 Million Thai Baht feasibility study and if successful proposed plans for a second route, namely the Blue Line at a cost of 12 Billion Thai Baht will inevitably follow.
On a personal level, I’m extremely excited to hear about this feasibility study and see it as an encouraging sign that Pattaya may end up having a new light rail network which will be a healthy addition to Pattaya’s mass public transportation network. And as such, I wish Deputy City Manager Sutham Petchket and his colleagues every success in the future.