Thai govt considers sanctions against Bangkok monorail operators

The Thai government is currently mulling over the enforcement of contractual remedies against Northern Bangkok Monorail and Eastern Bangkok Monorail, the operators of the city’s Pink and Yellow lines respectively. This move follows a series of incidents that have raised concerns over the safety standards of the monorail lines.

Suriya Jungrungreangkit, the Transport Minister, pointed out that the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has the contractual power to impose a fine amounting to 5% of the annual construction cost instalment payable to the concessionaires. This right can be exercised if the operators fail the performance assessment scheduled for the coming three months. A failure could also lead to a suspension of the annual instalment payments.

Last week, two incidents involving the monorail lines raised questions about the overall safety and construction quality of the system. The Yellow Line’s services had to be momentarily suspended after metal fragments fell from the tracks, causing damage to several road vehicles. A couple of days later, concrete from the Pink Line’s elevated tracks construction site tumbled down, damaging a car and injuring its passenger.

This isn’t the first time these monorail lines have been under scrutiny for safety. On January 2, a tyre from a Yellow Line train dislodged, damaging a taxi underneath. This incident followed another from the previous week, where a section of the Pink Line’s conductor rail broke free, damaging parked cars along Tiwanon Road in Nonthaburi.

Related news

Eastern Bangkok Monorail, the operator of the Yellow Line launched in July of the previous year, is slated to receive US$25.05 billion in construction costs from the state. These costs are divided into ten annual instalments of US$2.5 billion.

Similarly, Northern Bangkok Monorail, the operator of the Pink Line that opened on January 3rd, is set to receive US$22.5 billion in construction costs divided into ten annual instalments of US$2.25 billion.

The transport minister also mentioned the soon-to-be-implemented rail transport law, which will empower the Department of Rail Transport with greater authority to regulate safety measures and practices across all rail operators.

Thailand NewsTransport News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles