Construction of new Bangkok rail links set for completion this year

PHOTO: Thai to Siam

Bangkok residents will see construction of a number of rail projects finally completed this year, with hopes this will do something to alleviate traffic problems in the capital, as well as improving air quality. The Bangkok Post reports on 4 electric rail routes it’s hoped will be up and running later this year.

The Pink Line
This 34.5 kilometre track between Nonthaburi and Min Buri is expected to begin with a trial run in July. The route will cover a total of 30 stations between the central Thai city of Nonthaburi and the Min Buri district in the east of the capital. The opening of the Pink Line is eagerly anticipated by Bangkok residents fed up with doing battle with traffic on the Ram Inthra thoroughfare. The monorail line will operate driverless carriages, travelling at a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour. Each train will have capacity for 1,000 passengers and the line is expected to be fully functional by October 2022.

The Yellow Line
Also in July, the 30.4 kilometre Yellow Line is expected to begin test runs. The monorail route will connect 23 stations between the Bangkok district of Lat Phrao and the central province of Samut Prakan. Trials are expected to run between Wat Sri Iam and Samrong stations. There has been some debate about the 2.6 kilometre stretch between the Ratchada-Lat Phrao and Ratchayothin intersections, with some saying it will take passengers away from the MRT Blue Line by allowing them to transfer to the Green Line without having to use the Blue Line. A spokesperson for the Mass Rapid Transit Authority says it’s a matter of wait and see.

“We’ll have no real figure until the Yellow Line extension opens. We’ll talk about compensation later when it’s time. And we can assure that a decision will be made with the public interest at heart.”

The “Light Red” and “Dark Red” Lines
Finally, these 2 lines are expected to be up and running by November. The Light Red Line is a 15 kilometre stretch, linking the Bangkok districts of Bang Sue and Taling Chan, while the Dark Red Line is a 26.3 kilometre route connecting Bang Sue and Rangsit, in the province of Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok. Both lines will begin trial runs in July, when the public will be invited to travel for free. The lines, collectively known as the State Railway of Thailand’s Red Line, were approved in 2007, but construction did not begin until 2013. The commuter train system has been hampered by ongoing delays and questions about the cost. It was originally projected to cost 75.5 billion baht, but that has risen to 93.5 billion baht.

The 4 new lines will come as a welcome addition to the 3 lines completed last year, including the new Gold Line connecting Krung Thon Buri station with Khlong San district office, and extensions to both the MRT Blue Line and BTS Skytrain Green Line.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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