Master Plan News November-December 2003

MASTER PLAN NEWS 2003 November-December

This section contains news of the Master Plan, overall Bangkok development, the Bangkok Governor's development plans, and articles about interconnecting mass transit projects.

Mass Transit News main page


Major overpasses and tunnels planned for trouble areas - translated and summarized by Wisarut Bholsithi from Dailynews, November 26, 2003

BMA is ready to handle the projects for 11 new overpasses and tunnels with a price tag of 7.9 billion baht. The Civil Works Bureau is finishing the preliminary design. However, budget constraints have limited BMA to pay 40% of the price tag while the other 60% will be covered by the central government. The projects with the highest priority will need 100% central government contributions.

There will be 2 groups for the projects:
1) 8 overpasses and elevated ways
1.1) Lad Phrao overpass across Lad Phrao Intersection with a price tag of 0.455 billion baht - now in the bidding process.
1.2) Elevated way across Bang Khun Non Intersection - Southern Railway - and Fai Chai Intersection with a price tag of 0.996 billion baht
1.4) Uruphongse overpass across Sri Ayutthaya - Rama 6 Intersection with a price tag of 0.400 billion baht
1.5) Phyathai overpass across Sri Ayutthaya - Phyathai Intersection with a price tag of 0.300 billion baht
1.6) Sathupradit overpass across Rama III - Sathupradit Intersection with a price tag of 0.360 billion baht
1.7) Rama III overpass across Rama III - Ratchadaphisek Road (under Rama IX Bridge) with a price tag of 0.360 billion baht
1.8) Narathiwat overpass across Rama III - Narathiwat Ratchanakharin Intersection with a price tag of 0.360 billion baht
1.9) Ratchada Elevated Way (Asok - Sukhumvit) with a price tag of 1.050 billion baht

2) 2 Tunnels
2.1) Mahaisawan underpass - along Taksin Road with a price tag of 0.788 billion baht
2.2) Borommarat Chonnanee underpass along Charansnitwongse Road with a price tag of 0.800 billion baht.

3) 1 New road connecting Sarasin Road and Ratchadaphisek Road with a price tag of 1.53 billion baht

The elevated way and overpasses will be constructed first since it is a lot easier to construct overpasses than dig underpasses which requires major removal of infrastructure. The hard lesson from the Bang Plad Underpass shows that BMA may need at least three years to dig a new underpass. Even though all 11 projects are not included in 2004 annual budget, BMA will ask for the budget from the central government to start the Lad Phrao overpass. The other overpasses will be done by the end of 2004. The new tunnels and the new road will be done by the end of 2005. However, it is up to Traffic Policy Office to find the ways to finance the projects.

Nakhon Sawan Bypass Road - November 26, 2003
A satellite image of the handy new Nakhon Sawan bypass road (you will have to log in to Yahoo Groups to see it though).

Government 'approves' two massive infrastructure projects - November 25, 2003
Discuss these stories on the 2Bangkok.com Forum
This brief article from Channelnewsasia does not make it clear what approved means--this is usually because the foreign and even the local press do not have a clear understanding of the opaque process Thai infrastructure projects must go through before they truly get started: ...The first project is a 270 billion baht rail network which will extend along a 251 kilometre (156 mile) network in Bangkok and its suburbs and take six years to complete.
The second project which is worth some 56.8 billion baht is a 128-kilometre elevated expressway from Bangkok to Thailand's southern peninsula. "This project is still under a feasibility study," Sita said...


The Bangkok Post has a fuller article explaining what is going on: ...To speed up road improvements and construction, the government will not adhere to time-consuming bidding contests but resort to quick price negotiations with contractors. These negotiations will be based on unit prices of such projects and contractors who offer the best discount for each project will be hired...
"Social and economic damage caused by traffic problems are too huge for us to wait for lengthy bidding contests that may save only a negligible amount of money. The new method [of unit price negotiation] may even be cheaper,'' he said, adding the government would shoulder most of the 400-billion-baht investment.
Government spokesman Sita Divari said railway expansion for greater Bangkok would cost 270 billion baht and result in five extended routes with a combined length of 296 kilometres. All routes will be linked, including the BTS skytrain system and the subway of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority.
About 60 billion baht will be spent on road improvements and construction.
Meanwhile, 70 billion baht will be allocated for the construction of a southern shortcut project from Ratchaburi across the sea to Phetchaburi.
Known as the Laem Phak Bia project, the 128km-long route will link the planned Bang Yai-Ban Pong motorway in Ban Laem Bua village, passing Pinklao-Nakhon Chaisri and Thon Buri-Pak Tho highways, crossing the sea from Samut Sakhon to Ban Makham Chang village east of the Lam Phak Bia peninsula in Phetchaburi and ending in Cha-am district of Phetchaburi.


The Nation has a very general article with few details ('PM tackles traffic woes').

More on the Bangkok mass transit map of 2020 - November 13, 2003
Wisarut Bholsithi has listed the routes in English from a map (135kb) and chart (161kb) from Thansetthakij, November 6-8, 2003, displaying planned Bangkok mass transit in 2020.
Yesterday we printed commentary about the map and chart: Bangkok mass transit in 2020

New networks which have to be done in 20 years (by 2024) from the new map.
1) BTSC Skytrain
Northern Extension (Dark green)
1.1.1) Mochit - Kaset - Saphan Mai -> to be done in 2009
1.1.2) Saphan Mai - Donmuang - RTAF - km 25 - Khookhot - Sai Mai -> to be done in 2024
Southeastern Extension (Dark Green)
1.2.1) Onnut - Bangna - Bearing - Samrong -> to be done in 2006
1.2.2) Samrong - Bang Nangkreng - Samut Prakarn -> to be done in 2009
Western Extension (light Green)
1.3.1) National Stadium - Rama I - Phan Fah - Sanam Luang - Thonburi Railway Station - Phrannok Intersection (Charansanitwongse) -> to be done in 2009
1.3.2) Phrannok - Wat Pleng - Phutthamonthon Sai 2 -> to be done in 2024
Note: Phutthamonthon Sai 2 is very remote suburb... even though it is not far from Phutthamonthon Sai 4 which is close to Phutthamonthon Park and Mahidol University
Southwestern extension (light green)
1.4.1) Saphan Taksin - Taksin Road -> to be done in 2004
1.4.2) Taksin Road - Phetkasem Road -> to be done in 2006
1.5) Bangkok Ring (Gold)
Kaset - Yothin Phatthana - Nawamin - NHA - Lam Salee - Hua Mark - Seacon - Sri Iam - Sri Thepha - Thepharak - Poochao Samingphrai - Phra Padaeng - Bang Mod - Rama II - Wat Sai - Bang Wah - Wat Pleng - Talingchan - Nakhon In - Tiwanon - Ngam Wongwan - Kaset -> started after 2010 and all to be done in 2024
1.6) Airport Line (Brown)
Chong Nonsee (Sathon) - Thanon chan - Narathiwat Ratchanakharin - Tawan Daeng Intersection - Phetchahueng (Bang Krajao) - Sanphawut - Bang Na - Wat Sri Iam - Ram 2 - Kingkaeo - Southern Terminal - Northern Terminal
2) MRTA subway
2.1) Blue line
Southern Extension (Hua Lamphong - Grand Palace - Tha Phra)
Tha Phra Link (Tha Phra - Bang Wah)
Bangkahe extension (Bang Wah Bang Khae)
Northern Ring (Bangsue - Tao Poon - Bang Pho - Bang Oh - Charansanitwongse Krungthon - Pinklao - Phran Nok - Tha Phra)
All have to be done in 2009
2.2) Orange Line
Bagkapi - MRTA - Thai Cultural Center - Victory Monument - Yothee - Sang Hee - Krungthon - Bang Bamru -> all to be done in 2009
Note: Bang Bamru is a quite remote area.
2.3) Further extension of Orange line Bangkapi - Summakorn - Minburi
2.4) Purple Line
Bang Yai (Bang Buathong) - Phra Nanklao - Kae Rai - Rewadee - Tiwanon - Wongsawang - Bang Son - Taopoon - Bang Pho - Bang Krabue - Samsen - Kiakkai - Sanghee - Thewet - Bang Lamphoo - Phan Fah - Wangboorapha - Memorial Bridge - Wongwian Yai - Taksin Road - Dao Khanong - Rat Boorana - Nakhon Kheunkhan -> all to be done in 2009
2.5) Branch line of Purple line - Sri Saman (the blind spot near RTAF area) - Muangthong Thani (Eastern gate) - Chaeng Watthana - Samakkhee - Kae rai -> this has to be done in 2024
Note: If the Kanchanaphak family sets up a monorail system linking this branch with Impact Convention Center, Tiwanon road and Chaeng Wathana Road, it will end any further need for mass transit system to Impact.
2.6) Pink line (Southern Ring)
Tha Phra - Mahaisawan - Thanon Tok - Sathupradit - Tawan Daeng - Wat Chonglom Port Authority - Kluay Namthai - Ekkamai - Ekkamai Nuea - Klongtan Station - Nawasri Ram Indra Atnarong Expressway - Yothin Phatthana - Yoo Yen (Ram Indra Km 5.5) - Or Nguen (another blind spot)
Note: This line from Klong Tan Station to Or Nguen may not be able to pick up the passengers without other lines as well as feeder buses and vans.
2.7) Grey Line
Klong Toei - Klay Namthai - Phra Khanong - Thanon Onnut - Sri Nut - Rama IX Park - Kingkaeo (near Western gate of NBIA)
3) SRT
All to be done in 2009.
Note: The Gold Ring has ended any further need for the Orange line from Phra Padaeng to Samrong
and the Yellow line (Sri Nakharin Section)--even though those who live along Lad Phrao will not like this.
Note 2: MRTA has told the Traffic Policy that the Purple line and the readjustment of Orange line will create environmental havoc and take time to implement. However, MRTA agreed with the Traffic Policy Office that the Northern Ring should be implemented - even though it needs to be started after the northern and southern extensions. The others will follow later on.
Note 3: Makkasan Station without a heavy rail feeder line (except the monorail that link Pratoonam and Chitlom Station together) will not be much of use at all.
3) SRT - NBIA Northern Terminal - Southern Terminal -> This will cause a big competition and be good for passengers, but can be started only after the Southern terminal is built.
Other articles about the planned future mass transit investment:
389 billion baht for 255km of mass transit in six years--reality or just a dream? - Dailynews, November 3, 2003
Discuss these stories on the 2Bangkok.com Forum
Raising 500 billion baht - October 30, 2003
Plan to invest 389 billion baht for mass transit in Bangkok and 111 billion baht for nationwide double tracking goes to cabinet soon - Bangkokbiznews, October 28, 2003
500 billion baht mass transit system to be complete in six years - Thairath, October 16, 2003
Injecting 500 billion baht into mass transit - Thansetthakij, October 12-15, 2003

Bangkok mass transit in 2020 - November 12, 2003
The following comments by Wisarut Bholsithi are based on this map (135kb) and this chart (161kb) from Thansetthakij, November 6-8, 2003, displaying planned Bangkok mass transit in 2020.
Wisarut:
1) It seems to me that the Traffic Policy Office has agreed to put Bangkok Ring Railway (Big Gold Ring) into consideration, but this plan has it started after 2010 [instead of earlier] and be done in 2020
2) The Traffic Policy Office also consider asking BTSC to readjust the two Skytrain routes (Silom and Suhumvit line) by putting the northern section of Sukhumvit Line and the southern section of Silom Line into a single North-South Skytrain route while the eastern section of the Sukhumvit Line and the western section of the Silom line would be an East-West line for better traffic arrangement. However, I would expect that such readjustments would not be easily welcomed by Bangkokians and BTSC even though it would please foreign tourists.
3) The southern section of the Blue Ring has been readjusted to a Pink Line (Tha Phra - Mahaisawan - Rama 3 - Klong Toei - Ekkamai - Klongtan - Lad Phrao -Ram Indra) via Sri Rat Expressway. However, I expect that those who live in the Lad Phrao area will not be pleased with this kind of route. They would feel they have been insulted by losing their rights to have a mass transit line along Lad Phrao Road and get a new tollway instead.
4) Same thing can be said to those who live along Chaeng Watthana - Ram Indra Road. They feel they should have a mass transit system along Chaeng Watthana Road from Pakkret to Minburi, but the government refused to listen to them and gave them the new tollway connecting to the 2nd stage expressway and Kanchanaphisek Outer Ring Road to keep Donmuang Tollway viable instead. The new branch of the Purple line from Kae Rai to Muangthong Thani via Prapa Canal help them somewhat.
5) The BTSC extension to NBIA has turned into a the new line--the Brown Line. It is a line that goes from Chong Nonsee to Bang Na and then goes along Bangna Trat Highway. However, the environmental concerns must be taken into account since it has to go across Bang Krajao - the green island between Klong Toei and Phra Padaeng. Either two underwater tunnels or a giant cable bridge like Rama IX Bridge and Rama VIII Bridge. [Here are some ideas that have been put forth for new Chao Phraya bridges.] However, goes right through business areas and will get a big cheer from businesspeople.
6) The Grey Line is very poor line. It goes through Klong Toei Neighborhood via Rama IV Road and then along Pravet canal to end up around Kanchanaphisek Road. At best, it is a the shuttle line between the Gold Ring, Blue Ring, and Skytrain.
7) I notice that some lines are cutting across residential areas instead of going along roads. There will be a need to pay those who have their houses expropriated a very good sum of money or protest will ensue.
8) Too bad the Traffic Policy Office did not notice that people live along Chaeng Watthana - Ram Indra Road and Lad Phrao road... or did know, but are asking those people to ride buses and vans to go along those road instead allowing new mass transit lines. The government even has a policy to move some agencies to Pakkret and Chaeng Watthana Roads [so lack of mass transit here is odd]. There many be a hidden agenda. Those big guys (cabinet members, MPs, senators, senior bureaucrats, etc.) [besides having business interests in cars], hate mass transit above their heads along the way to their offices and are known to prefer expressways since they use cars to go to and from work.

Two roads to ease Thon Buri snarl-ups - Bangkok Post, November 6, 2003
Oddly enough these roads have been open since October 15, but have yet to be named: ...one of the roads goes in a north-south direction from Rattanathibet road to Phetkasem road. The road is about 18 kilometres long and passes Charansanitwong 13 and 35 roads, Boromratchonnanee road and Suanphak road.
The other one goes east to west from Tiwanon road to Kanchanaphisek road (the western bypass). It is about 12 kilometres long, passes Pracharat and Phibulsongkhram roads, crosses the Chao Phraya river near Wat Nakhon-in temple, and then passes Bang Bua Thong-Nonthaburi road...

Thai SRT map - November 4, 2003
Besides not being able to manage the railroads, SRT cannot maintain a website either. Wisarut notes: Before the SRT website went down to drain, I got this Thai map of the SRT National Network with the shortened names that only SRT staff and Thai rail fans could decipher
. Here's another map of the Thai railway network.
389 billion baht for 255km of mass transit in six years--reality or just a dream? - translated and summarized by Wisarut Bholsithi from Dailynews, November 3, 2003

Also: map (scanned from Dailynews - 119kb)

BTSC (the Skytrain)
1) Samrong-Paknam Extension: Onnut - Samrong - Samut Prakarn - 16.8 km
2) Taksin - Phetkasem Extension: Saphan Taksin - Taksin Road - Phetkasem - 6.7 km
3) Phaholyothin Extension: Mochit - Saphanmai Extension - 10. 7 km
4) Rattnakosin Extension: National Stadium - Rama I - Phan Fah - Pinklao - Charansanitwongse - Subway Section - 5.5 km
Total 39 km
Investment 76 billion baht
Expected Numebr of Passengers - 1,226,000 passengers a day

SRT (the railroads)
1) Northern Commuter - Bangsue - Rangsit - 22.73 km
2) Airport Link (Eastern) Bangsue - Phaythai - Makkasan - NBIA - 34.47 km
3) Southern Commuter - Bangsue - Taksin center - Mahachai - 42.29 km
Total Distance 115 km
Investment 108 billion baht
Target Passneger 910,000 passengers a day

MRTA (the subway)
There are two options:
1) Stick with the old route asssignments:
1.1) Blue Line -> Pha Nanaklao - Bangsue - Huay Kwang - Hua Lamphong - Tha Phra - Bangkhae
1.2) Orange Line -> Bang Kapi - MRTA - Thewet - Phan fah - Wang Boorapha - Ratboorana
2) Modifications of routes with additional sections:
2.1) Blue Ring -> Om Noy - Bang Khae - Tha Phra - Hua Lamphong - Bangsue - Charansnitwong - Tha Phra - 39 km, 66.97 billion baht
2.2) Orange Line -> Bang Kapi - MRTA - Victory Monument - Sam Sen - Bang Bamru 23 km -> 56.26 billion baht
2.3) Purple Line -> Bang Yai (Bang Buathong) - Phra Nanklao - Tao Poon (Bangsue) - Sam Sen - Phan Fah - Wang Boorapha - WOngwian Yai - Taksin - Mahaisawan - Ratboorana
(Nakhon Khuenkhan)
Elevation: Bangbuathong (Bang Yai) - Bangsue (Tao Poon), Mahaisawan - Ratboorana
Subway: Bangsue (Tao Poon) - Mahai Sawan
Investment 81 billion baht - 39 km
Expected Numebr of Passengers:
Blue Ring -> 1,167,000 passengers a day
Orange Line -> 226,000 passengers a day
Purple Line -> 456,000 passengers a day
The modification plan is to allow moving from north to south and east to west without changing subways. The Blue line will be a ring.
The complete plan, which is expected to be approved by Premier Thaksin and the cabinet, has a goal to be done by 2009.


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