New station signals new era for rail transport in Thailand

With ten mass transit projects and a new mega-station nearing completion in Bangkok, Thailand’s rail transport sector is experiencing a renaissance, according to the Bangkok Post newspaper.

Thailand is in the midst of a massive infrastructure upgrade worth over $100 billion. While the Kingdom’s infrastructure development includes airports, seaports, highways, and logistics networks, new and upgraded railroads are a major component of the national push for advanced development.

The Bangkok Post hailed the development of Bang Sue Central Station, the largest train terminal in the region scheduled to open in January 2021. Built at the cost of nearly half a billion dollars, it will replace the classic art deco Hua Lamphong station as the jewel in the crown of the Kingdom’s railroad network.

“Once completed, Bang Sue Central Station will be the largest railway station in (Southeast Asia). All diesel train services which terminate at Hua Lamphong will eventually be moved here, and the old train station will be converted into a museum,” Woraut Mala, State Railways of Thailand deputy director, told the Bangkok Post.

The new station will serve high-speed trains, diesel trains, and electric trains. Its three-story building will house 26 platforms along with shops and restaurants, and parking for 1,624 cars.

In a nod to Thai history and culture, the Bang Sue Central Station will also feature a memorial dedicated to King Chulalongkorn the Great, known as the Father of Thai Railroads. It will have a statue, fountains, and ponds. King Chulalongkorn, the fifth king of the Chakri Dynasty, passed away in 1910 and was credited with beginning the modernization of Thailand.

The station will also have a service center for electric and diesel trains, and a walkway will connect it with Mor Chit Bus Terminal, the largest in Bangkok.

“When the lines open in 2021, we expect to see around 208,000 commuters and travelers to pass through Bang Sue Central Station. By 2032, the number will increase to 396,000 per day,” Worawut said.

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