The tragedy comes just days after 18 people died in Chachoengsao province which was followed by a promise to improve security at rail crossings nationwide in Thailand.

A young woman was killed on Thursday night when her Toyota Vios car was hit at speed by the Bangkok to Surat Thani express train in Phetchaburi province. Two work colleagues with whom she had journeyed for a meal from their workplace in Samut Songkhram, were also seriously injured.

The scene on Thursday night after midnight, when rescuers had removed the body of 21-year-old Thitichaya Yaemkesorn and extracted two of her badly injured colleagues from the mangled wreckage of her car. The car was hit by the Bangkok to Surat Thani Express Train at speed.

Just days after 18 people were killed when a tour bus was hit by a freight train in Chachoengsao province followed by promises from authorities to ramp up security at railway crossings, comes news on Thursday night of another fatal accident.

This time the crash occurred in Phetchaburi province in central Thailand adjoining Myanmar. It occurred in the northern district of Khao Yoi.

Crash occurred at night as a party of three were returning after dinner, alarm raised at 10.50 pm

The crash occurred at nighttime on a double rail track and saw a young woman, the driver of a Toyota Vios car, killed and two passengers in the car injured.

The car was hit at speed by the oncoming train. Its crushed, mangled and overturned wreck was found at the scene by rescue services.

It is understood that the three people, colleagues working at a factory in Samut Songkhram province, had been in the district of Khao Yoi for dinner. The accident occurred near a bridge that is under construction over the tracks in Huay Tong village.

A spokesperson for the Sawang Sanphet Rescue Foundation, which was called to the scene of the accident, said that locals raised the alarm at ten minutes to eleven at night. Police Colonel Narong Phraibua of Khao Yoi police station gave some preliminary information at the site.

21-year-old woman who died is named

Police examined the wreckage of the car at the scene after the deceased woman and two injured men were removed.

It was registered in Ayutthaya while its dead owner was named by police as 21-year-old Thitichaya Yaemkesorn.

The body of the deceased woman was found nearby outside the vehicle while rescuers had to extract the two injured men who were still alive.

Ms Thitichaya is reported to be from Ratchaburi province.

The men were named by police as 39-year-old Theerayuth Khuenta and 33-year-old Bundit Charoensap.

Bangkok to Surat Thani Express train stopped

Police and rescuers found the Bangkok to Surat Thani express train at a standstill on tracks near the accident scene. It showed no signs of being damaged by the impact.

Police Colonel Narong said that the three people in the car worked at the Royal Plus factory which produces bottle fruit juice in Samut Songkhram. The party was returning to the factory where they resided in living quarters for workers at the facility.

A full investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash.

Increasing pattern points to continued lack of investment in Thailand’s loss-making rail network

The increasing pattern of rail accidents involving road vehicles and rail lines is becoming a cause for concern. As well as a string of similar fatal incidents, two trains in Ratchaburi province in February collided due to a switching problem.

The issue is lack of investment in Thailand’s rail infrastructure which includes over 4,000 km of track throughout the kingdom. The rail lines are operated by the loss-making State Railway of Thailand (SRT) which runs up billions of baht in losses each year.

Confidence in the rail network is such that even though it is 50% less expensive than road transport, less than 2% of all the kingdom’s freight is moved by rail.

In 2015, the Thai government signed an agreement with China to upgrade the rail system but progress and implementation of the plan, the viability of which has been questioned, has been slow.

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Further reading:

18 dead in bus rail crash in Chachoengsao province early on Sunday morning with over 40 injured

20 injured in train collision in Ratchaburi province between freight and passenger train on Monday

Delivery van driver dies after crossing railway line at speed and colliding with an oncoming train

Bangkok’s BTS stations in emergency engineering probe following concrete slab fall last week

Thailand’s Council of Engineers calls of crane site regulation after fatal crash kills 5 workers on condo site