Thailand Railway Development Analysis

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4. Thailand’s Railway Development in the Historical Perspective In several cases, the promising start does not necessarily guarantee the bright future. Sadly, the railway development of Thailand or Siam is one of the cases. Around the final years of the Nineteenth century, Siam became one of the few non-Western independent nations, including Japan, which successfully constructed the railway without assistance from private companies (Kakizaki, 2005: 2). During 1892 to 1930, Siam expanded the length of the railway network from just 265 kilometers to 2,862 kilometers (Leinbach, 1989: 91). The early period of railway development in Thailand prospered not only in terms of extension or scale, but also technological level. In 1930s, Thailand became…show more content…
The government of the People’s Party, who pioneered the regime change, aimed to replace the preexisting railway-dominated transportation plan with the Bangkok-centric nation-wide highway network (Kakizaki, 2005: 149). The change in transportation policy has inevitably stagnated, or at worst, retarded progress of Thailand’s railway development. Unsurprisingly, Thailand’s railway sector has suffered from deteriorated rolling stock and infrastructure, shortage of specialized human resources, and accumulated debt burden (TDRI, 2006: 3-2). In particular, the State Enterprise Policy Office (SEPO) of Thailand’s Ministry of Finance labelled the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) as the organization with performance “crisis”, because of widening financial losses and lack of efficient…show more content…
Rather than indicating the primary causes of the unfulfilled locomotive sector of Thailand, the chapter instead aims to illustrate how the fate of railway development in Thailand evolve over time and intertwine with political and economic change. In this chapter, the dissertation shows that how the rise and decline of the railway relates to the projects of the states that intended to establish unified political sphere and expand capitalist economy. Meanwhile, the chapter also portrays that the railway projects have been far from static, as they have had to adapt with the specific structural factors, which have conditioned projects, and the action of non-state actors, which has consisted of domestic oppositions and transnational actors. Briefly, the chapter reveals that the railway development has not been solely one of technical tools of Thai elites to reach specific interests or targets, but also a representation of the pattern of resource allocation and distribution in Thai

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