The 1979 Bangkok Mass Transit Masterplan


Model of the Wireless Road Station

THE 1979 BANGKOK MASS TRANSIT MASTERPLAN
Last updated July 20, 2003
Data from the National Library, researched and summarized by Wisarut Bholsithi
See the two maps at the bottom of this page.

The 1979 masterplan compiled by Japanese Advisers, would have consisted of the following:

First Stage Urban Mass Transit Lines
This would have been the Lavalin Project. The routes are described using today's landmarks to more easily visualize the plan.


1) Rama IV Line
Phrakhanong - Hua Lamphong - Mochit

From Skytrain Onnut Station to Phrakhanong and then go along Rama 4 Road to Klongtoei Neighborhood, passing through Port Authority area and expressway area to interchange with the Sathorn line at Klong Toei station before going back to Rama IV Road to Hua Lamphong.
After that, the line would have gone along Phadung Krungkasem canal to an interchange with Makkasan-Dao Khanong line at Nakhon Sawan Road near Thewakam Bridge (the old Tramway Bridge - now a concrete bridge for cars) and then going underground before going through Ratchadamnoen Avenue at Makhawan Rangsan Bridge (the bridge near ESCAP Building and the Royal Thai Army HQ). The underground section would have been 600-meters long before resuming an elevated section at Thewet.
After that the line would have gone along Samsen Road to Kiakkai and then turn right at Bang Pho to go along Pracharat Sai 2 Road, Tao Poon, Bangsue Junction, Chatuchak Weekend Market and terminate at Mochit Station.
Total distance would have been 25 kilometers - 23 stations with 2 interchanges and 700-900 meters between each station. The expected numbers of passengers was expected to be 200,000 passengers a day in 1990. ETA expected that this line would be opened in 1984.

2) Sathorn Line
Wongwian Yai - Sathorn - Lad Phrao

This section would have started from Talad Ploo near Kantayaram in Soi Chao Mae Sae Sim and then go out to Taksin Road to interchange with the Memorial Line near Charoen Rat Intersection (600 m from Wongwian Yai). Then it would go along Krung Thonburi Road, passing Chaoeng Nakhon near Soi Ton Sai and then go across Saphan Taksin to go along Sathorn Road to interchange with the Rama IV Line at Wireless Intersection. Then passing Lumphnee Boxing stadium and turning left to go along Maenam Railway (a cargo railway line between Makkasan and Klongtoei Port) to interchange with the Memorial Line at Makkasan Railway station before going along Eastern Railway to reach Asok-Dindaeng Road. The line would have gone along Ratchaphisek Inner Ring road to end up at 1.8 km after passing Ratchada-Lad Phrao (near the present Subway Park and Ride).
Total distance would have been about 20 km - 17 stations with 3 interchanges and 700-1300 meters between each station. The expected numbers of passengers was expected to be 200,000 passengers a day in 1990.


Cross-section of the Makasan Road Station

3) Memorial Line
Dao Khanong - Memorial Bridge - Makkasan

The would have started 400-meters south of Daokhanong Bridge to go along Taksin Road to Wongwian Yai and then go north along Prapokklao Road to Wongwian Lek and go across Chao Phraya by the center bridge of Phra Pokklao Bridge (near Memorial Bridge).


The center bridge of the Phra Pokklao Bridge (near Memorial Bridge) was intended for the Lavalin Skytrain.


The surface of the Lavalin Skytrain Bridge over the Chao Phraya River with rusting rebar sticking up. There is some discussion about whether this bridge could be used as an aboveground platform for future subway extensions.

Next the line would go along Chakkrawat Road to pass Yapwarat Road at Wat Tuek and then go along Chakkraphaddiphong Road to Nakhon Sawan Road to interchange with the Rama IV Line at Saphan Thewakam Intersection (the intersection between Nakhon Sawan Road and Look Luang road - a road parallel with Phadung Krung Kasem Road).
After Saphan Thewakam, the line would go along Nakhon Sawan Road to Royal Tuft Field and then go along Lan Luang Road, go across Northern Railway at Yommraj Intersection before going along the Eastern Railway to interchange with the Sathorn Line at Makkasan. After that, the line would go along the Eastern Railway to end up at Wat Mai Chonglom (1.2 km from Asok-Dingaeng Road).
The total distance would have been 16 kilometers - 15 stations with 3 interchanges and 700-1300 meters between each station. The expected numbers of passengers was expected to be 200,000 passengers a day in 1990. If all went according to plan, all three lines would be opened in 1986. Total distance would be 61 kilometers.

A listing of the stations is on this page.

Left: Rolling stock at the station. This idea is adapted from BART (Hopewell) - needing six heavy rail cars running at 15 minute per train for non-rush hour and four minutes during rush hour--compared with current trains running at 6-8 minute per train during non rush hour and 3-5 minutes per train during rush hour-- using 3 heavy rail cars.

Types of stations
There would have been three types of stations -
1) Elevated station - reinforced concrete and elevated from the road - 13.41 meters wide, 120 meters long, 9.92 meters high from road to platform. Passengers can use flyovers at both ends to up to the platforms.
2) Ground level - reinforced concrete - 13.41 meters wide, 120 meters long, 1.55 meters high from road to platform. Passengers can use the flyovers at the center of station to go to the platforms.
3) Underground section - Ratchadamnoen Avenue - reinforced concrete - 8.8 meters deep from the ground level, 13.41 meters wide, 120 meters long, 1.55 meters high from road to platform. Passengers can use the gate at one end of the station - no gate at the other end.

Right: Lavalin Skytrain tracks running down the center of a road toward a station.

Three interchanges
A) Saphan Thewakam (or Nanaloeng area) - Rama IV line and Memorial Line
B) Wireless Road - Rama IV line and Sathorn Line
C) Taksin Intersection - Sathorn Line and Memorial Line
The terminals, interchanges, and major stations would have had park and ride facilities.

Taksin Bridge was constructed as a foundation for the Lavalin elevated mass transit system and was finished in September 1980 by the Italian Thai Development Co. Ltd. and Dragages et Travaux Publics & Impresa Generale Di Construczioni (Italvi SPA).

Left: June 14, 2003 - The bridge is being used as a mass transit support--for the BTS Skytrain. More on the Taksin Skytrain extension here.

Fare prices
Without government subsidies - 35 satang/km
30% subsidies - 20 satang/km
40% subsidies - 15 satang/km
(at 1980 level - 1999 level would be much higher due to inflation and economic turmoil)

Suburban Expansion Lines


A) Northern Western Line

A1) Bangsue - Taopoon - Wongsawang - Tiwanon
A2) Tiwanon - Nonthaburi - Sanambin Nam - Royal Irrigation Dept - Pakkret
(Present plans see this becoming the northern extension of the Blue Line subway)
Total distance of 14.4 km

B) Northern Line

Mochit - Lad Phrao - Kaset - Bangkhen - Donmuang - Rangsit
(Present plans see this becoming the Skytrain Northern Extension)
Total distance of 21.6 km

C) Eastern line

C1) Makkasan - Huay Kwang - Ram Khamhaeng
C2) Ram Khamhaeng - Huamark Stadium - Bangkapi - Minburi
(Present plans see some parts of this becoming the Orange Line subway)
Total distance of 21.1 km

D) Southern Line

Phra Khanong - Samrong - Samut Prakarn
(Present plans see this becoming the Samrong and Samut Prakarn extension of the Skytrain)
Total distance of 22.3 km

E) Southwestern Line

Dao Khanong - Phra padaeng - Samrong
(Present plans see this becoming part of the southern extension of the Orange Line)
Total distance of 15.1 km

F) Western Line

Wongwian Yai - Tha Phra - Phaseecharoen
(Present plans see this becoming part of the Blue Line Southern extension)
Total distance of 8.3 km

Total distance for all suburban lines - 102.8 km

Total distance of all lines

The total distance if all nine lines had been implemented - 163.8 km (about 101.5 miles - nearly equal to the current Washington DC Metro lines, which took 25 years to built).


Map of the 1979 Mass Transit System: The three lines of the defunct Lavalin project are Rama IV Line in red, Sathorn Line in green, and the Memorial Line in blue. Too bad... The red line which was supposed to be the first operating line, belongs to the nearly bankrupt State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and is the scene of the defunct Hopewell Project.


Another Lavalin map from an information booklet
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