Research and development of light rail transit vehicle prototype using Thailand’s localization in order to extend into industrial production
Principal Investigator: Dr. Paiwan Kerdtuad, Rajamangala University of Technology Isan Khon Kaen Campus
Electrification of public transport provides an opportunity to not only lower air pollution, but also meet global goals on climate change. This project determines to develop Thailand’s capability to design and manufacture light rail vehicles and their parts through collaboration between public and private organizations in Thailand and abroad, thus enabling Thailand to replace imports and reduce its dependence on foreign technologies. Light rail vehicle prototypes will be developed via academic collaboration with world-class institutes in Germany, France and Japan. Through technology localization process, the research team expects to develop prototypes of various parts – bogie, car body, traction motor, traction inverter, cooling system, pantograph, auxiliary power unit, fastener, and rubber concrete rail sleeper – and assemble a full light rail system. Industry partners in this project – including Cho Thavee Public Company Limited, Total Innology Company Limited and Tappratarnporn Wasduphan Limited Partnership – all have the potential and capacity to expand their production lines to manufacture parts for the light rail transit system. In addition to the prototypes, the project will contribute to human resource development in both the academia and industry in the area of railway design and production to enable the growth of Thailand’s railway industry to meet the rising demand. The implementation of light rail transit system is being planned in several major cities, including Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai and Phuket. Overall, the project will underpin Thailand’s climate vision to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and net zero emissions by 2065, as well as the effort to turn Thailand into ASEAN EV production hub.