Above: Detail of a subway station entrance
Right: Subway car arriving in Thailand on a Antonov AN124-10 in October, 2003.
(Photo: The Freight Co. Ltd.)
Left: Subway excavation machine before being lowered into the site in May, 1999.
Below: Subway construction workers sitting in front of a fresh air tube in Morchit Station in March 2001.
Notable subway articles on 2Bangkok.com
* Phet & Umporn, you are REAL heroes! Subway
construction workers make 175 baht (about USD $4) a day
Extended hand straps on the subway - September 5, 2006
The handstraps on the subway have been extended the length of the trains--instead of stopping in front of the subway doors.
Subway tunnel segments - March 21, 2005
Withawat notes the field of subway tunnel panels and writes: Here is a picture taken along Rama IX Road near Ramkamheang intersection. The site was set up for like this for more than a year...
Any idea why so many extra segments are left? Was there this much leftover money from the previous project to create all this extra material?
Subway Construction Photos
to the subway depot development plans? - 2Bangkok.com has the
only English-language mention of the attempts to develop expropriated
MRTA land for commercial use. It was extensively covered in the Thai-language
Subway Latest News
And the number one question we get at 2Bangkok.com-> Is it safe/practical to build a subway in flood-prone Bangkok?
All the entrances and shafts to the subway are built above the 200 year flood level for Bangkok (1.2-1.5 meter above ground level). If the water goes over the 200 year flood level, all openings have "stop block" doors that close to seal the openings. There are also water traps to keep water from going down into the stations.
What is it called? METRO (in English) / Rot Fai Fah Mahanakhon (in Thai).
Will there ever be a tunnel under the Chao Phrya River?
It will happen someday! It is already budgeted at 2 billion baht per kilometer. There are underwater tunnels in Hong Kong and San Francisco, so why not here?
Controversy from the Thai-language press: Subway unsafe? - June 17, 2004
What is the gauge? 1.435 meter-gauge (the same as for the BTS Skytrain) with a third rail for power transmission
What is the fare? 10 baht for July 3-August 12. After that 14-36 baht with a 15% discount until the end of the year.
How often do the trains run? every 4-6 minutes and every 2-4 minutes during rush hour. Trains run everyday from 06:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
How fast do they go? 35 km/hr
How much did it cost? 108.148 billion baht (about US$ 2.75 billion) The ratio of investment between public and private sectors is 80:20. The public sector pays for construction and private sector pays for trains.
How much did the workers who worked on the construction site make? 175 baht (about USD$ 4) a day - from Manager Sunday, March 10, 2002
What is the passenger capacity? More than 40,000 passengers per hour per direction
How many passengers is the system expected to carry a day?
Initial estimates: Year 2002-3: 404,880 passengers/day
Year 2010: 631,837 passengers/day
Year 2020: 836,268 passengers/day
Update: December, 2000 - OCMLT estimates daily passengers would be about 300,000 passengers a day instead of 400,000 (based on the experience of the Bangkok Skytrain).
Update: May, 2001 - Prachachart Thurakij reports on May 24-27, 2001 that the estimated number of daily passengers will be 270,000-280,000.
Update: October 17, 2001 - "BMCL currently estimates a daily ridership of 237,000 for the subway for the first year of operations, down from original projections of 430,000."
Is there an official Bangkok Subway webpage? Yes. It is located at http://www.bangkokmetro.co.th/.
What other subway can the design of the Bangkok subway be compared with?
The Bangkok subway is similar to the one in Singapore with doors along the platform to save on air-conditioning, prevent accidents and suicides, and stop hazardous chemicals from easily circulating through the system in the event of a terrorist attack.
What are the stations like? The stations are 20 meters deep, about 18-25 meters wide and 150-200 meters long, depending upon location. The rails will be on either side of the platforms, except at some places that will require multilevel tunnels (e.g. Silom Station).
Most tunnels will run side by side, but under Rama 4 Road, which is covered by elevated roads and hemmed in by utilities, they will run one above the other.
First looks at the Phetchburi, Queen Sirikit Convention Center, and Hua Lampong subway stations - April 6, 2004
Peculiarities of the subway stations
- If you want to go to Lumpini Park, do not get off at Lumpini Station. Exit at Si Lom Station.
- If you want to go to Central Lat Phrao, do not get off at Lat Phrao Station. Exit at Phaholyothin Station.
- If you want to go to Chatuchak Weekend Market, do not get off at Chatuchak Station. Exit at Kamphaengphet Station.
- If you want to go to Thailand Cultural Center, you have to get a taxi from the station. Thailand Cultural Center is quite a distance from Thailand Cultural Center Station.
How will the Silom Subway Station connect to the Saladaeng Skytrain Station?
Will any of the stations have a special design?
Two stations were originally promised to have special designs:
1. Hualampong Station will have a 'museum' detailing railroad mega projects in Thailand starting with the first railroad cars imported by Rama V. On opening day, some informational plagues had been installed detailing past mass transit in Thailand.
2. Queen Sirikit Convention Center Station was to be 'completely designed with traditional Thai-style decor.' So far, this station does not have any special design though.
From Siam Business Weekly (AKA Siam Turakij) (Vol. 7, No. 334, May 6-12, 2001): So far, BMCL found that they can make a commercial development in ONLY 9 stations. The other 9 either have very little space left or MRTA will turn them into a museum.
The following stations will not have commercial development for the following reasons:
1) Hua Laphong (museum)
2) Silom (narrow space for interchange station)
3) Bon Kai (narrow space)
4) Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (Thai design inside)
5) Asok (narrow space for interchange station)
6) Rama IX (narrow space)
7) Lad Phrao (park and ride)
8) Mochit (narrow space for interchange station)
9) Kamphaengphet (narrow space and the weekend market)
Also: The eight subway stations with the most potential for development - Prachachart Thurakij, February 25 - 28, 2002
How many people have visited the construction site?
excerpted from the Bangkok Post, August 30, 2001
Work on the city subway has attracted 25,894 visitors since the project began in 1999....
Entry to the site is restricted to 50 people at a time for safety reasons, resulting in a waiting list of up to two months. Visitors include people from neighboring countries on study tours to develop similar systems in their own countries....
2Bangkok.com's tour of the Morchit Station Construction - March 14, 2001
When did the subway cars arrive?
Where to see the subway cars - January 19, 2004
Subway cars are often stored in the open at the MRTA Depot. They can be seen by taking Thiam Ruam Mit Road to where it merges into the road (unnamed?) that circles the subway depot.
What are the lines and when will they be completed?
Blue - The Bangsue-Huay Kwang section of the MRTA Blue Line (this is the northern section) was going to open December 2002, then was pushed back to August 12, 2003, then late-2003, February 2004, and finally August2004. Then the opening date was brought forward to July 3, 2004.
Latest on subway extensions: MRTA planning for 91-km expansion of subway - Thairath, April 5, 2004 and Than Setthakij, April 4-7, 2004
See Bangkok Subway Routes & Stations for complete station lists.
Subway Status Report
Parties lay out rival subway plans - Bangkok Post, September 18, 2006
...Thai Rak Thai is carrying on with its electric train project. The Democrats have their own plan, called the ''Democrat Train.''
The BMCL is the operator of the existing 10-kilometre subway linking Hua Lampong railway station in central Bangkok and Bang Sue district.
Thai Rak Thai accused the Democrats of stealing its mass transit system idea, announced for the first time five years ago during the 2001 general election.
...Thai Rak Thai is pursuing its idea to build 10 routes of a 333- kilometre railway, on and under the ground, at a cost of 570 billion baht, at a flat fare rate of 15 baht a trip.
...According to the Democrat Train project, the party wants to build seven routes of a 139-kilometre railway at a cost of 265 billion baht...
Nod for subway - The Nation, June 7, 2006
...the dark red, light red and purple lines would go ahead, reasoning that the time-consuming project cannot wait for the formation of a new government...
MRT ready to develop subway's extended purple and blue routes - TNA, June 2, 2006
...The subway's extended purple route will start from the Bang Sue Station to Bang Yai area in Bangkok's suburban Nonthaburi Province, according to Ms. Anchalee.
The extended blue route will, on the other hand, start from the Hua Lampong Station to Ta Pra and Bangkae in the city's Thonburi side...
SRT subway line open to bidding soon - The Nation, May 31, 2006
The State Railway of Thailand will proceed with the construction of the two subway lines it is in charge of - the Dark Red and Light Red routes- after the government gave the agency the green light to go ahead with the projects using its own budget...
planning to raise the subway ticket prices on October 1
- Manager Daily, Thairath, Dailynews, August 23,
Service disrupted for 15 mins by glitch - Bangkok Post, June 12, 2005
...The train that had encountered a problem was then towed away to Bang Sue station...
Plan for discount on subway fares/independent safety inspections for subway - translated and summarized from Prachachart Thurakij, May 25, 2005
BMCL has made a settlement on subway discounts offered on June 4, 2005. It will be a 20% discount for stored value cards (9-25 baht) and 30% discount for student cards. Those who pay for a single trip would have to pay 12-31 baht rate until September 2005.
During the three month discount experiments, BMCL got 30,000 more passengers a day.
During a trip for subway security in England, MOTC witnessed the contract signing between BMCL and Lloyd's Register Group for the independent subway safety inspection. This measure is to make independent inspection possible. BMCL has to pay 11 million baht a year to Lloyd's register group for this independent inspection contract.
Pressuring BMCL to offer subway discounts
- translated and summarized from Prachachart Thurakij,
May 25, 2005
resumes service after encountering minor problem -
The Nation, March 21, 2005
Subway stuck again--this time from debris
from a discarded pen - translated and summarized from Channel
11, February 20, 2005
Couples tie the knot in Bangkok subway station - TNA, February 15, 2005
...Although the venue was being promoted under the slogan 'Ring the Marriage Bells - Valentine's 2005 with the Bangkok Subway', real bells were notably absent yesterday, as couples queued for the event organized by Bang Sue district in conjunction with the Bangkok Metro Co., Ltd. (BMCL), the operator of the Bangkok's subway system...
Subway passengers boosted by Chinese
New Year festival - translated and summarized from Manager Daily, February 10, 2005
The opening of the