Bangkok Skytrain Main Page 1999-2008

Government to buy BTS Skytrain for Bt56 billion - TNA, May 5, 2008

Skytrain extensions - October 4, 2006

The Nation, October 3, 2006 - New government to select and proceed with only 3 key pending mass transit projects, BoT Gov. Pridiyathorn said Tues.

Translation of Skytrain work schedule

1. Public relations project
2. Move trees, street isles
3. Move underground telephone lines
4. Move electric lines, pipes of underground telephone lines, strip electric line 69/115 kv, strip electric line 24 kv
5. Move sidewalk drain pipes
6. Rail structure
7. BTS stations
8. Rail work
9. Bogey operation system works

Translation of the map of the Skytrain extension project on Sukhumvit Road (right)

1. Bangjak E 10
2. Punnavithi E 11
3. Udomsuk E 12
4. Bangna E 13
5. End point


Bangkok's skytrain seeks permission to buy 12 new trains - DPA, November 6, 2006

(Above) Advertising insert from the Nation for the Skytrain's 3rd Anniversary
(Right) The Bangkok Post's 3rd Anniversary insert

Skytrain Info

(on this page) Skytrain FAQ
(on this page) Skytrain Ephemra

First Ride on the Skytrain
Big Changes: The View from the Street
One Year On: Various Skytrain Photos
Skytrain Route Map & List of Stations
Skytrain Design Cross Sections
Skytrain Links

Democrats launch mass transit policy - The Nation, August 28, 2006
...He said the Democrats planned to build seven new mass transit train routes in Bangkok stretching 139 kilometres and costing Bt265 billion. He added the government should invest in such a project.

Bangna extension - August 22, 2006
Wisarut reports: I got this satellite image (853kb) of ongoing construction of Bang Na extension from Sawatdee Bangkok (August 18-24 2006)
Note that this one is the old plan which can be revised in  the following manner
1) Construction the 5th station (E14)  between Soi Lasalle (Sukhumvit 105) and Soi Bearin (Sukhumvit 107) instead of the original position at a few meters beyond Bangkok Boundary Pole due to the bitter complaints from those who live around that area...
2) BMA is going to move the the 4th station (E13) up north by 100 meters from the original E13 station for better connection with BITEC convention Center.
3) To accomplish these 2 task, the curve at Bang Na Interchange will have reduced radius which have created big headache for Italian Thai Development PCL.

Skytrain to run to Sukhumvit 107 - The Nation, July 19, 2006
Bangkok officials will sign a contract today to extend the Skytrain from On Nut to Sukhumvit 107...


Skytrain to get smart - The Nation, July 21, 2006
...Anat Arbhabhirama, an adviser to the BTSC board of directors, said the company planned to introduce new contactless smart-card tickets called the Smart Pass. Introduction of the Smart Pass is aimed at providing Skytrain passengers with more efficient and convenient service, while enabling future integrated ticketing with other transport systems, such as the subway and buses...

Bids for extended electric train routes postponed - TNA, July 11, 2006
Bidding for firms interested in constructing Thailand's three extended electric train routes, earlier scheduled to be opened in July, has been postponed, Transport Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal announced here on Monday...

Skytrain extension to open next June - The Nation, June 26, 2006
A new stretch of the Skytrain system across the Chao Phya River will open in June next year.
The route will link Taksin Bridge station to a new station in Thon Buri.
The fare for the crossing will be Bt10, but no fare on the train service will exceed Bt40.
Apirat Sivapornpitak, who heads Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's Traffic and Transportation Department, Monday said the extension would be finished by the end of the year.
"After that, we will test the system and then allow members of the public free rides," he said.
Apirat said the official opening would be in June.

BMA given green light to invest in three elevated train routes - TNA, May 25, 2006
...The routes include the ones from On Nuj Station to Soi Baring on the outskirts of Bangkok and from Tak Sin Bridge Station on Sathorn Road to community areas in the city's Thonburi side, including Wongwienyai...

The Skytrain Extension controversy

Skytrain stuck on curve near Siam Station
Posted at 22:02, April 8, 2005 - Popular host Sorayuth on the Kuy Kooy Khao program on Channel 9 says he is getting SMS messages that the BTS is out of order. It has some problem so it parked at the curve near Siam Square.
Posted at 22:08, April 8, 2005 - People still stuck inside. Officers are trying to use another train to connect.
Posted at 22:12, April 8, 2005 - From the Nation Channel: An executive of BTS said it is first time that the electric system has failed and it will take about a half an hour to fix and get people out.
Posted at 22:15, April 8, 2005 - It was parked for about 40 minutes.
Posted at 22:16, April 8, 2005 - All are safe. Another train pushed the stalled train to Rachatevi Station and people exited the train.

(Photo: Thanachard)
No escape - August 24, 2005
Left: Thanachard sends in this photo of a TV on the Skytrain.

Skytrain accident: Bangkok’s Skytrain service unaffected by minor accident - TNA, April 2, 2005
Bangkok Transit System (BTS) offiicials have quickly assured the city’s sky train commuters that their safety was not at risk after a minor accident, early on Saturday morning, injured five staff members.
“The accident will not affect the Sky-train service which resumed as normal on Saturday/today,” the Acting President of the Bangkok Transit System (BTS) Anat Apapirom told TNA.
The accident occurred at 00.30 when a maintenance car hit another train carriage stopped at the Ari station waiting for further orders from the control room. There were no passengers on the train at the time as the BTS service stops at midnight.
“Initial investigation results suggest the accident was caused by human error,” Mr. Anat said.
The driver of the maintenance car failed to stopped at the agreed point ordered by the control room and caused the minor accident, he added...

A tale of three newspapers: Buying back the Skytrain
- January 28, 2005


The Skytrain is five years old - December 5, 2004
This year started with unilateral government plans to nationalize mass transit systems which eventually led to a government admission that the extensions would continue to be blocked (they have been since 2002) as punishment for the Skytrain company not complying. Finally, in the last two weeks came news that the Skytrain was attracting more passengers, mainly from synergy with the newly opened subway, and would be able to finance the extensions on its own and implement joint-ticketing without involving the government.

Some notable Skytrain articles from this year:
Government to punish Skytrain: no extensions, no connections to other systems - Prachachart Thirakij, October 25-28, 2004
Skytrain Taksin Extension - 300 million baht loss due to Samak's poor planning - Sawatdee Krungthep, November 19-25, 2004
Skytrain spurns nationalization: will finance extensions and smart card system on its own - Prachachat Turakij, November 22, 2004
News on the extensions & Skytrain news 2004

December 5, 2003 - Bidding on extensions is 'delayed.'

December 5, 2002 - and still no extensions...

December 5, 2001 - BTS is pinning its hopes on the approval of extensions to make the Skytrain possible. Meanwhile, the Skytrain finally attracted 300,000 passengers - After nearly two years carrying less than half the planned number of passengers, the skytrain finally broke the 300,000-passenger mark on Friday. Full article

December 5, 2000 - It's hard to believe a year has already passed! In its first year, much has transpired. Business-wise, the Skytrain is struggling--not enough people have access to the lines. Feeder buses were belatedly implemented after much wrangling. It seems city buses have little interest in facilitating passenger transport (their main goal being traveling the same historic routes without alteration). Disabled groups finally got the elevators and escalators they were promised. Skytrain fans' biggest booster may be the new Bangkok governor who is pushing hard for extensions to be started immediately and completed in two years.

NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS! - Dispatch from Morchit Station
December 5, 1999, 11am (04:00 GMT) - The Skytrain opened for its first day of business with throngs of people crowding the stations. The lines for the ticket booth at Morchit Station reached out of the station and across the pedestrian walkways. A Chinese dragon troupe performed on the platform to ensure good luck. Still unfinished are the elevators and escalators for the handicapped. There were plenty of attendants around to stop people from entering the train platforms with food and drink. The commercial shops at the stations appeared to be doing a brisk business. December 5 was chosen as the opening date since it is HM The King's birthday. This day is a national holiday and is considered an auspicious day.

Skytrain FAQ

When will the extensions be done?
Never. The extensions have been
Andy scanned the BTS brochure with a map (208kb) of future expansion plans - Official extension map

Defending the Skytrain
No, the Skytrain is not falling apart, getting later and later, or "as crowded as Tokyo..."

Why the 2-inch step where the Subway and Akytrain connect at Sukumvit?
We are not sure. Below is the infamous 2-inch step (discussed in the forum) and five signs warning people of the drop.


How will the Silom Subway Station connect to the Saladaeng Skytrain Station?

Skybridge connecting Saladaeng Station with Silom Subway Station - translated and summarized by Wisarut Bholsithi from BTS
To facilitate the interchange at Asok and Saladaeng, more escalators will be installed. After that, Silom Skybridge will be constructed with cooperation from MRTA. Eventually, the contactless smart card system will be used in both Asok and Saladaeng.
Escalators will be installed in Sanam Pao, Saphan Kwai, Phyathai and National Stadium.
LED signs have been installed over the automatic turnstiles with up-to-the-minute info about BTSC including accidents or the delays. Installed at the following stations:
1) Victory Monument
2) Mochit
3) Siam
4) Phrom Phongse
5) Saphan Taksin
6) Saladaeng
7) Onnut
(Graphic: BTS)
Commentary by Wisarut: BTS declines to install a contactless smart card system since MRTA subway is going to get the passengers from Phaholyothin stations. Thus, there is no urgency to install more escalators and smart card system at the time being until the northern extension becomes a reality.

Does the Skytrain go to the airport?
No, it goes nowhere near the airport. The best way to get into town from the airport is the meter taxis OUTSIDE the terminal. There are other taxi stands inside the building, but they are more expensive. Go outside and there is a line near the curb just like any airport. The fare is what is on the meter plus 50 baht. You pay this to the driver when you reach your destination. You also have to pay any expressway tolls.

Who designed the Skytrain stations?
Overall, it was part of a "design and build" plan carried out by a Siemens/Italian-Thai consortium. Siemens/Italian-Thai used BDP of England and Dezseyi Associates Limited of Hong Kong as consultants. The final design was an amalgamation of these sources. (Source: Martin Linford of DAL)

What does the Skytrain look like inside?
See photos from a ride on the Skytrain.

Does the Skytrain have a "Park and Ride" service?
Yes. One is in front of Sukhumvit 81 near Gate C of Onnut Station. The other is close to Queen Sirikit Park, Kampaengphet 3 Road, near Chatuchak Park.

How many passengers does the Skytrain carry daily?
The original estimate was 400,000 passengers a day, but the actual number has turned out to be closer to 220,000 - from Bangkok Post, October 1, 2001
UPDATE: Meanwhile, the Skytrain finally attracted 300,000 passengers - After nearly two years carrying less than half the planned number of passengers, the skytrain finally broke the 300,000-passenger mark on Friday. Full article

What is the frequency of the trains?
Every 3 to 6 minutes. 7am-9am & 5pm-8pm will be peak hours with trains every 2 minutes. See also the Skytrain Fare Page on the Official BTS site. (Whoever runs the BTS website changes the entire directory structure all the time, so do not be surprised if the link is broken.)

Need a free shuttle bus to a Skytrain?
BTS has good maps. (Whoever runs the BTS website changes the entire directory structure all the time, so do not be surprised if the link is broken.)

Can the handicapped use the Skytrain to take a city tour?
Five Skytrain stations have elevators. They are: On Nut, Asok, Siam, Morchit, and Chong Nong Si. You'll still need a couple people to help you negotiate the bumpy sidewalks around the stations. The main tourist attractions downtown (the Grand Palace, etc.) are no where near Skytrains.

What are the journey times?
Traveling the length of the Silom line should "not exceed 13 minutes" and for the whole Sukhumvit line, it should "not exceed 30 minutes."

When will the first and last trains run each day?
6am-12 midnight The Skytrain has remained open later on some special occasions such as New Year's Eve.

There are two Skytrain lines. Why are the colors of both lines green? Shouldn't one be red or something different?
According to BTS COO Paul Anderson, a cabinet decision years ago specified colors for the lines (dark green and light green) and the government has been unwilling to allow any change in their initial color designation.

Are there any Skytrain souvenirs available?
The first Skytrain collectible was a limited-edition set of four commemorative tickets bearing the portrait of HM The King issued in January, 2000. Other merchandise is on sale at shops in various Skytrain stations.

Can I take the Skytrain to BITEC (the convention center)?
Take the Skytrain to the OnNut station then it is a 15 min taxi or shuttle bus ride to BITEC (depending on traffic). BITEC has free shuttle bus service to and from BITEC on event days.

Is the Taksin Extension named after the Prime Minister?
No. "Taksin" refers to King Taksin--one of the first Thai Kings of the modern era. "Thaksin Shinawatra" is the Prime Minister and not royalty.

What are the metal plates blocking the view from the Skytrain tracks between Siam and Ratchathewi Stations?
Princess Sirindhorn is living at Sra Pathum Palace, so the plates are for security and privacy for the palace area. Saen Saeb Commuter Boats now have to slow down as they pass Sra Pathum Palace.

(Photo: Ben)
I heard about parts breaking off of the Skytrain. Is this true?
Since the Skytrain opened many readers have asked about the 'missing edgings' or 'pieces broken off the Skytrain" especially along the Sukhumvit leg of the tracks. Ben has documented several instances of this. We wonder whether these fell down or were removed.

What is the third rail on the line between Asoke and Phrom Phong is for?
This is to allow rolling stock to be moved onto different tracks.
There are 10 places with 3rd tracks:
1) Mochit Terminal
2) Onnut Terminal
3) National Stadium Terminal
4) Surasak-Saphan Taksin
5) Asok-Phrom Phong
6) Ratchdamri - Saladaeng
7) Chong Nonsee - Surasak
8) Ari-Sanam Pao
9) Phyathai - Ratchathewee
10) Chitlom - Ploenchit
(Thanks to Wisarut for answering this question.)

Are the Skytrain stations too noisy?
June 4, 2004 - Wisarut reports: For the case of noise in Skytrain stations (Five Skytrain stations (Saladaeng, Phromphongse, Saphan Kwai, Victory Monument, Siam) exceeding noise limits - Matichon, May 31, 2004), Thai netters have split opinions. Some said the Skytrain is very noisy compared with the Seoul Subway System while the others said the NYC Subway is much noisier and even their mobile phone is much noisier than Skytrain. Look at this to see Thai netters' opinions.
BTSC has agreed to invest 10 million baht to use grinders to smoothen the steel rails and use lathe tools to smoothen the steel wheels since friction between rails and wheel is the main source of noise. The noise from vehicles under the Skytrain station is inevitable.

(Photo: Nils)

More footbridge photos - January 4, 2005
Photos of the pedestrian walkway connecting the Saladaeng Skytrain Station to the Si Lom Station (above and right). Recent news (Big plans for Bangkok green spaces and clean roads - Manager Daily and Thairath, January 3, 2005) indicates the walkway will be extended from the end of Silom all the way to Sukhumvit Road.
UPDATE: Thanks to several readers for pointing this is not what is mean from the article. What is actually said is that Nana and Asok will connect with Sukhumvit 1.

(Photo: Nils)


Footbridge and map news - January 4, 2005
Wisarut Bholsithi reports: The footbridge connecting Saladaeng Station with Silom Station as well as Robinson Silom is still incomplete. The new extension of Ratchaprasong viaduct connecting Central World is not done either (above).
The new subway map from MRTA is improved. It now included the BTS Skytrain route and stations as well as the piers of the Chao Phraya Express Boat. The quality of the map is still not at par with the Groovy Map used by BTS.

What are those silver boxes at the Skytrain stations?
June 7, 2002 - We noticed an air quality sampling unit (EcoTech model 0-HV2000) in the center of the Saphan Kwai Skytrain station last night. This station is often enveloped in exhaust fumes from the cars below. There is also a unit at street level next to the Don't Get Sick Restaurant. We have been informed by BTS COO Paul Anderson that these are normally scheduled tests.

Phayathai BTS/SRT interchange station - September 21, 2004
Nothing better demonstrates the gulf between the new, privately-run mass transit systems (such as the Skytrain and Subway) and the state-owned railroads (SRT), than the interchange at Phayathai. In the background is the modern Skytrain station. In the foreground is the railroad 'station'--an uneven cement platform along the tracks. The Skytrain has been open almost four years and rail riders are still lobbing for at least some kind of roof for waiting on trains in the rain and sun. (The awning on the left is for cars in an adjacent parking lot.)

(Photo: Wisarut Bholsithi)

Skybridge - September 11, 2003
A new 'Skybridge' under construction connecting Discovery Center to walkways going to the National Stadium station.

All Taksin Extension news has been moved here.




Electronic message boards - April 29, 2004
Testing a new electronic message board being installed in the Skytrain stations...

Skytrain cards - September 5, 2003
New charming designs of the Skytrain 15 and 30 trip passes...
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