For those staying in resorts and hotels, or anywhere in the big metropolis, getting to their destination as quickly as possible is very important. For those staying in a 5 star resort in Hua Hin, the announcement of a high-speed train system for the area sounded like wonderful news. Problem is, the development project has been forced to stall again.
Bidding for the aforementioned rail system has been put on hold after the State Railway of Thailand received orders from the State Enterprise Policy Office to cast a wider net on bidders for the project. The SEPO believed that current potential investors were either ill-fit for the task at hand, or were adequate, but not devoted enough to the idea. In accordance to that, the SEPO ordered that the SRT conduct further research and bidding, as per public-private partnership laws.
According to a source, the SRT would require approximately 2 months to prepare, before performing a second go at the bidding process.
The Bangkok-Hua Hin high speed rail and the Bangkok-Rayong route are two mass-transit railway development projects, with the former costing about Bt94.67 B, and the latter being worth Bt 153 B. They are both covered by the PPP Scheme (Public-Private Partnership), with the two projects being designated for the fast track.
The Transport Minister of SEPO, Mr. Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has ordered that the SRT prepare all information relevant to the property, with particular focus on data like development proposals, before the project moves on and is submitted to the PPP committee designated for the project, in order to ensure a smooth and quick processing.
Some sources has suggested that both projects are likely to be funded using the net-cost PPP model, which was the financial model used for other mass-transit projects, namely the Yellow and Pink lines. Under a PPP model, the government will handle the land expropriation fees and any additional subsidies, whilst the private sector will handle investing in the project, as well as operation and maintenance for 30 years under contract.
There has been some word around the SRT that investors may find the project unappealing, since the eastern rail route may provide low returns on investments.
Hopefully, a solution is found, so that the people around the region, travelling from their offices, homes and 5 star resort in Hua Hin, can benefit.