Thailand

Bangkok
Chiang-Mai


Bangkok
Sky-metro, subway, high speed airport metro, monorail. light rail under construction

Bangkok, known to natives as Krungthepmahanakorn Amornrattanakosin Mahintrayu thethaya Mahadilokpob Noparat Rajataniburirom Udomrajanivej Mahasatharn Amornpimarn Awatarnsatis Sakatadtiya Wisanukamprasit, or "City of Angels" for short, has four mass transit projects, three of which have already become a reality.  The fourth, an indiect resurrection of a previously failed project, is now under construction. Several defunct projects exist, one of which remains an elevated graveyard.








 
Photos courtesy Ron Morris



 

Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS)

The two line Bangkok BTS is a 36.75 kilometer elevated transit system (pictured above) referred to as the Skytrain, or rot fai fah . The Skytrain, also known as the Green Line, has 25 stations and many island platforms
where the homeless like to sleep.  Two extensions totalling 31.2 km are underway, and a 19 km extension is due to break ground in June 2015.

Bangkok's BTS is a result of two systems - the failed Lavalin Skytrain and the Bangkok Metro. The Bangkok Skytrain intended to use Skytrain technology developed by Lavalin and used to this day on the Vancouver Skytrain.  The Lavalin Skytrain's alignment ended up as the current Bangkok Metro, while foundations built in the middle of the Taksin bridge for the failed Lavalin Skytrain are now used by the BTS Silom Line. A similar foundation on the Phra Pok Klao Bridge remains unused.

The official name of the BTS is the the System Formerly Known As The Elevated Train in Commemoration of HM the King's 6th Cycle Birthday. And they say abbreviations serve no useful purpose in life.

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Official Home Page
Ron Morris' excellent
Skytrain page
Thorough Skytrain page from Piers R. Conner
Skytrain photo gallery from Norbert Pogrzeba
Metroplanet home page
Siemens site with map
The Dawn of Modern Rapid Transit in Bangkok from Futureframe, a technology web magazine
Wikipedia page

MRTA publicity photo






Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRT)

Bangkok's subway opened April 13, 2004. Unofficial sources say the first 500 passengers were given a complimentary Thai stick, an I Love Yul Brenner pin-on button,
a police club in the shape of a metro train, and a souvenier pack of Marlboros.

The initial "Blue" line has 18 stations along a 21 km underground route.  Future extensions will be above and below ground. Most likely to open first is a
short above ground extension from Bang Sue station to Bang Kae station, a distance of 27 km, will there would be an interchange with the nearly completed 23 km Purple Line and three shades of the SRT Red Lines. Sue has not objected to having an extension put in and Kae is looking forward to it.

The Metro is known in Thai as Rot Fai Fah Mahanakhon and informally but more often Rot Fai Taiden, or "underground train". Which is an amazing coincidence as the train happens to run underground. It is operated by the
Bangkok Metro Company.

The first 23 km (three of four phases )of the 40 km Purple Line are under construction. The target opening for the first two phases is 2015.


Official Home Page of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand
Blue Line extension and Green Line
get financing (2012)
Official Home Page of the
Bangkok Metro Company
Children's Day in the tunnels encourages a new kind of commerce
Sweet page from Ron Morris
Kawasaki Delivers Tunnel Boring Machines for Bangkok Subway Project
photo of a station
system map from Reynolds's excellent subway site
2001 photos of the subway
Wikipedia page



Monorails


A 1.6 km, 4 station monorail on Fashion Island runs between a shopping mall and an amusement park. In 2002,
two young girls were killed in a monorail fire.  Two monorail lines, the Pink and Yellow lines, are scheduled to begin construction in early 2016.


Photos courtesy Ron Morris

Bangkok Elevated Road and Train System (SRT) (a.k.a. BERTS a.k.a. the Hopewell Project a.k.a. the Hopeless Project)

This dead project was to cover 64.1 km, 2 lines, and 49 stations. Whether it was due to political infighting or a simple lack baht, there remains throughout Bangkok a mass-ive transit grave, with a demo train sitting in a junkyard in Conburi. The plan was to build an expressway for automobiles with commuter rail in the center (the SRT) and a light rail or metro running underneath the road.

In April, 2003, SRT
announced it "hoped" to create a kinder, gentler BERTS from the partially constructed system, with trackage that could run it's own metro or be leased by Skytrain. A partial resurrection of the Hopewell project occurred with the SRT (State Railways of Thailand) Red Line project, consisting of the Dark Red Line and the Light Red Line. No, we're not joking.



Metro or Commuter Railway?


The SRT Light Red Line began construction in 2009. A standard gauge line utilizing in part the route of the Hopewell project, this 58.5 km 22 station commuter railway's first 15 km elevated section was completed in December 2012 but has yet to open due to a lack of rolling stock. In January 2013, approval to proceed was given for the 36 km dark red line.

Light Red Line official home page
Wikipedia page

Other dead projects that never got off the ground, so to speak, are the
Lavalin Skytrain, the Bangkok Land Skytrain, and the Klong Tramway.

Siemens site
Flicker Map (current as of 2015)
Unofficial Site
Official BTS site
Cross section of the Hopewell project as it was to be
The Dawn of Rapid Transit in Bangkok