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Pattaya Daily News

23 October 2009 :: 17:10:32 pm 31624

Poll Reveals General Dissatisfaction With State Railway of Thailand

Pattaya, October 23, 2009 [PDN]: The State Railway of Thailand was roundly given a vote of no confidence by respondents in a Suan Dusit Poll, published October 23, 2009. Most respondents were apparently concerned about the old railway locomotives used, no clear SRT policy, bad management, and the poor quality of rail services. This comes after a week-long strike on southern routes and two recent derailments.
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The Rajabhat Suan Dusit University Poll conducted among a sample of 1,202 respondents nationwide from October 20-22, concluded that the railway-using public is apprehensive about the old state of the locomotives, and also concerned about the lack of a consistent policy from SRT management, ineffective management practices and the overall poor quality of rail services. Nearly half of the respondents backed the SRT’s plan to reduce its operating losses and increase efficiency by farming off certain elements to other concerns, but were not in favour of the SRT putting up fares to cover costs.

Meanwhile, Pornsilp Patcharintrakul, Deputy Secretary-General at the Thai Chamber decried the economic effects and the consequent loss of confidence by the private sector of the recent rail strike which paralysed the South for a week. Pornsilp also called upon the government to revamp the whole rail network.

To show just how ludicrous the effects of the strike were, at the end of the strike, a Yala-bound train was held up at Hat Yai station, waiting for negotiation between the rail authority and labour union, having to return to Bangkok because of no firm resolution.

There have also been two recent train crashes which have further demoralised passengers: one on October 5, when ten passengers were killed and nearly 100 injured when the Trang-Bangkok train was derailed near Hua Hin, and when the four carriages of a Kanchanburi-bound train were derailed at Ratchaburi on October 14. The recent cut backs by SRT no doubt contributed to the poor state of the track maintenance in both incidents.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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