BANGKOK – Thailand’s railway authority said on Thursday it will re-launch women- and children-only carriages along main routes nationwide after a 13-year-old girl was raped and killed in her berth on an overnight train earlier this month.
The State Railway of Thailand said in a statement that the special carriages will start operating on trains traveling to the north, the northeast and the south on Aug. 1. Female passengers and boys younger than 10 and shorter than 150 centimeters (4 feet 11 inches) can ride in the carriages, which will be run by female employees.
The move followed public furor over the fatal assault, allegedly carried out by the train’s staff, in early July. One employee was arrested in the rape and murder and a second was arrested as an accomplice. The national railway governor also was sacked by Thailand’s military government.
The railway authority said the new carriage service will ensure the safety and convenience of female and child passengers. Since the girl’s death, alcohol testing has begun on railway employees, and public health agencies have called for alcohol to be banned on trains altogether.
The women-only carriages had been canceled previously due to profit losses.