Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha today officially presided over the launch of the maiden train on a 50-km railway trip from Bangkok's Hua Lampong station to Nakhon Pathom station.
The prime minister rang the bell to set off the maiden train from Hua Lampong at 9.29 am for Nakhon Pathom.
Gen Prayut and his cabinet ministers then boarded the maiden train for a short voyage to Bang Bam-ru station.
The 39 rail cars imported by the State Railways of Thailand (SRT) are among a total of 115 cars ordered by the SRT under the policy of the Ministry of Transportation to improve the country's railway service and replace old cars.
The new trains will be put into services on four routes, Bangkok-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani, Bangkok-Nong Khai and Bangkok-Hat Yai and will be operated in October.
The new trains have first-class sleeper cars, first-class seat equipped with a TV screen, free internet wi-fi, a USB slot for battery recharging, wheelchairs, vacuum toilets, surveillance cameras, opened door alarms, and sealed space between carriages for passenger safety.
The launch of the new trains was a turning point for the SRT as it sought to modernise its train services for passenger convenience, and safety.
The SRT expects the new trains will accommodate 900,000 passengers a year and will generate an extra 785.1 million baht in the first year.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)