The Lavalin Skytrain

More details of the project are here: The 1979 Bangkok mass transit masterplan

Have you ever wondered why the flyover at Ratchadaphisek Road and Lat Prae Road is in two sections (one on either side of the road) instead of in the middle like every other flyover? [These flyovers were eventually torn down and replaced with a normal single bridge when the subway was constructed there in the early 2000's.]

This was done to accommodate the Lavalin Skytrain. Back in 1984, Lavalin planned to build a skytrain along the then nearly deserted and far-out-of-town Ratchadaphisek Inner Ring Road. The Thai-language newspaper Dailynews contends the project was aborted because Lavalin could not come up with the financing, but nearly all international sources cite "political interference" as the reason the contract was terminated by a new government in 1992. It would be the end of 1999 before Bangkokians finally had a fixed mass transit system (the BTS Skytrain).

Presently MRTA is constructing the subway along the old Lavalin route (Ratchadaphisek Road) and found that the unusual split flyover would block the entry to the park and ride facility. So this May 2001, a nine-month project will begin to remove the flyover and reconfigure the Ratchadaphisek-Lat Prae Road, forever erasing the only sign of the Lavalin Skytrain. The demolition of the split-flyovers began in July, 2001 starting with the west flyover. The schedule is here.

Reiner Zimmermann writes in concerning this project: Lavalin (the original "Skytrain") would have been somewhat unique, being propelled by linear motor technology. This technology was developed by Lavalin in Canada in the 80s and resulted in a Skytrain-system in Vancouver and two short lines in Toronto and Detroit, but globally it did not catch on. Only Japan built three all-underground lines: Osaka (15 km), Tokyo (43 km) and Kobe (8 km). Bombardier (successor of Lavalin) eventually landed an order in Kuala Lumpur, the 29 km "PUTRA."

Another reader wrote: ... the Lavalin skytrain technology was first developed not by Lavalin but by the public-sector Urban Transportation Development Corporation, a now-defunct agency of the Ontario (Canada) provincial government -- subsequently privatized to Hawker-Siddeley which was or became a part of Lavalin. And by the way, this bit of Canadian technology performs poorly when there is heavy snow.

Fast Facts
Status: This project is defunct

Lavalin Skytrain map
SNC Lavalin website (Thanks to Oran Viriyincy for pointing out this site.)
More details of the project are here: The 1979 Bangkok mass transit masterplan

Last updated September 20, 2001
Source: ETA Map (published around 1984-85)

Rama IV Line
1) Mochit
2) Kampahengphet
3) Bangsue
4) Prachachuen
5) Taopoon
6) Kiakkai
7) Sri Yarn
8) Sang Hee
9) Thewet
10) Krungkasem
11) Saphan Khao - Interchange Station with Memorial [Bridge] Line
12) Ban Krua - Muslim community of Chams who migrated to Thailand during the Anamese-Siamese War (1832-1846)--they are the source of Jim Thomson's Thai silk
13) Yotse
14) Hua Lamphong
15) Rong Muang
16) Sam Yan
17) Silom
18) Lumphinee - Interchange Station with Sathorn Line
19) Bon Kai
20) Klong Toei
21) Port Authority
22) Bangkok University
23) kluay Namthai
24) Phra Khanong
26) Onnut (Onnut station of Skytrain)

Another description of the routes is on this page.

Sathorn Line
1) Lad Phrao (Ratchada - Lad Phrao Station)
2) Ratchada
3) Suthisarn
4) Pracharat Bumphen
5) Tiam Ruam Mit
6) MCOT (Mass Communication Organization of Thailand - Channal 9 TV Station)
7) Din Daeng
8) Asok [Railway station] - Interchange Station with Memorial [Bridge] Line
9) Witthayu (Wireless Road)
10) Ploenchit
11) Yasoob (Thai Tobacco Monopoly)
12) Lumphinee - Interchange station with Rama IV Line
13) Sathorn
14) Surasak
15) Sathorn (Saphan Taksin Station of Skytrain)
16) Charoen Nakhon
17) Thonburi
18) Taksin - Interchange station with Memorial [Bridge] Line
19) Talad Ploo (Talad Ploo station of Mae Klong Railway)

Memorial [Bridge] Line
1) New Phetburi (Wat Mai Chonglom)
2) Asok [Railway Station] - Interchange Station with Sathorn Line
3) Makkasan [Railway Station]
4) Pratoonam
5) Phyathai
6) Uruphongse
7) Yommarat
8) Nangloeng
9) Saphan Khao
10) Worachak
11) Saphan Phut (Memorial Bridge)
12) Prachathipok
13) Wongwian Yai
14) Taksin - Interchange station with Memorial [Bridge] Line
15) Samreh
16) Chomthong
17) Mahaisawan
18) Dao Khanong

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