The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) began a test run of an electric locomotive, powered by on-board batteries, on Wednesday. The engine was jointly developed by the King of Mongkut Institute of Technology (KMIT) Ladkrabang, the Clean Energy Public Company and the SRT.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said that, initially, the electric locomotives will be used to tow carriages from Hua Lamphong railway station to the Krung Thep Aphiwat Train Terminal (aka Bang Sue Grand Station).
He said that there is one battery recharging point at Bang Sue, but more recharging points will be set up at other train stations, adding that about 50 electric locomotives will be produced this year.
Electric locomotives are environmentally friendly and can reduce expenditure on diesel, which currently is the main source of fuel for trains, by about 60% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25%, said Saksayam.
The minister also said that the batteries used in the locomotives are produced using advanced technology and can be replaced in 10 minutes, which can help streamline the recharging process.