On January 22 FS International, a company of the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS) Group, signed a Preliminary Service Agreement (PSA) with Thai company Eastern High-Speed Rail Linking Three Airports, concerning the takeover of the operation and maintenance service of the Airport Rail Link, that connects Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Bangkok city center. FS International will manage the Airport Rail Link service from October 2021 through the local company Fs Italian Railways Thailand Ltd.
The agreement represents a preliminary step towards a definitive contract, the Operation & Maintenance Contract Agreement (OMCA), which will include the operation and maintenance of infrastructure, rolling stock and depots of three railway systems: the already mentioned 33 km Airport Rail Link, the 22 km Airport Link Extension to Don Muang Airport and the new 220 km high-speed line, the first to be built in the country, that will link the three main Thai airports.
The agreement is part of the broader strategic development plan of the company, that looks with interest to South East Asian countries and to the opportunities they offer, thanks to their robust economic growth, the expansion of their middle class and the investments in infrastructure made to further economic integration among the ASEAN members.
The high-speed line that FS International will manage is a fundamental component of the Eastern Economic Corridor, a project included in the Belt and Road Initiative that aims at transforming Thailand’s western provinces into an international industrial hub, interconnecting them with the other ASEAN members. The contract for the building of the railway, amounting to more than €6.9 billion, was awarded in 2019 to the Eastern High-Speed Rail Linking Three Airports consortium, that will convert 60km of already existing railways and build another 160km.
FS International is the global branch of the FS Group, one of the largest integrated Rail&Road players in the world, working in 5 continents and in more than 60 countries. The company offers integrated solutions on a wide array of mobility segments such as high-speed and conventional railway lines, freight and logistics services and rail and road infrastructure, providing services such as Operations & Maintenance (O&M), Design-Build-Operate-Maintain (DBOM) and Advisory & Consulting (A&C).
Among the international experiences of the company there are, for instance, an operation and maintenance contract for some lines of the Riyadh Metro, agreements for the training of personnel in Turkey and Indonesia, the independent review of the project of the Mineral Line in Oman and a consultancy for the restructuring of the Egyptian National Railways company.