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Suvarnabhumi » Bangkok airport rail link launch delayed

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

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The State Railway of Thailand is delaying the opening of its Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link after it found the developer Siemens would be unable to finish the railway on time.

SRT governor Yutthana Thapcharoen yesterday said his agency had planned to start commercial services between inner Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi airport next month, but Siemens was not ready to hand over the system.

Mr Yutthana said Siemens had not installed all 70 surveillance cameras required along the railway. Radio communications do not cover the link’s tunnel at the airport and the power supply for the railway was not yet stable. The installation of the cameras should be finished next week, and Siemens would then turn its attention to the radio communications and put in place a back-up power supply. “The power supply is a big problem,” Mr Yuthana said. “It must pass tests. Trains will stop if the service starts and encounters a blackout.”

Mr Yutthana said there were also other smaller problems. He had ordered staff to report any problems so he could alert the SRT board, which would then find ways to solve them. Mr Yuthana said it would take three more months to test the 28km, 26 billion baht system after Siemens handed it over to the SRT. The agency will seek compensation from the German company for the delays, Mr Yutthana said.

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