Full steam ahead for Bangkok rail line construction

Connectivity is key for thriving cities and economies, and Thailand’s capital is unlocking its potential, completing two new commuter rail lines last week as the Prime Minister inspected work on a new main terminal.

The building of a comprehensive commuter rail network for Bangkok is moving full steam ahead. The web of rail lines is designed to include 14 routes with a combined length of 344 miles and cover all Bangkok and adjacent provinces. As of December 2020, nine routes are now fully or partially operational.

Thanks to the openings of the Green Line and the Gold Line, central Bangkok is now connected to neighboring Pathum Thani province in the north and Samut Prakarn province in the south. Together, the two routes added 59 stations to the city’s elevated and underground networks.

The rail system is an essential component of making Bangkok more livable and one of the world’s great cities. For decades, the capital was plagued by some of the world’s worst traffic jams because of the lack of mass transit alternatives.

The Gold Line, while only three stations long, is a technological breakthrough for Thailand, as it has the first driverless trains in the Kingdom. It also links up with boat services on the Chao Phraya River, the main waterway in the city and the central plains.

The Green Line is much longer, stretching 42 miles and expected to carry 1.5 million passengers a day.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha took a day in early December 2020 to inspect work on Bang Sue Grand Station. Slated to open in November 2021, it will supplant Hua Lampong station as the country’s largest rail hub.

“Thailand will be the largest rail hub in the region,” when it is completed, the Prime Minister said.

Photo courtesy of https://thainews.prd.go.th/th/news/detail/TCATG201216094510766