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Jonathan Fairfield

The New Skytrain (continued for 2019)

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Current BTS North extension dates.
  • N9 (Central Lad Prao) opening August 12th this year (my understanding is that it will be free initially).
  • N10-N13 opening December this year.
  • Rest of the extension opening December 2020.
 
I was at Central Ladprao very recently, it looks like they will really have to speed up works on that station & surrounding area to have it ready for August 12.

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47 minutes ago, FarangryBirds said:

I was at Central Ladprao very recently, it looks like they will really have to speed up works on that station & surrounding area to have it ready for August 12.

 

Tell me about it. 

 

The civils chaps are throwing manpower at it and a lot has happened in the last weeks. I have hopes.

 

 

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On 6/7/2019 at 6:12 PM, Lakegeneve said:

When the BTS ext from On Nut to Bearing opened in August 2011 (2 years late due to a BMA official being scared to issue the S&E tender), provision was made for a spur line to run down Bang Na-Trat rd to the airport. You'll see the viaduct widen after Udom Suk and a little before the intersection - actually right at suk soi 103/4 where the huge block of land is for the future "largest shopping center in asia" and just adjacent where the new Eastern Bus terminal will be located.

 

This spur line was never part of the original BTS expansion plans nor the original M-Map Master plan, but was added as an idea by the BMA around 2006/7 to cater for the future T3 at the airport and provide an alternate route for the then yet to be built ARL. M-Map has since been updated in 2017, but still does not include this line.

 

Subsequently, Samak Prakan City Hall proposed to OTP in MOT that it be a light rail line. However, they also had the idea 3 years ago to build a LRL providing a link from City Hall up Srinakarin rd to Bang NaTrat then east so they need to resolve these two ideas. Currently, we need a bunch of lines and exts (Purple South, Blue west, Orange west, Brown line, BTS Silom west est) to progress to tendering before this line is resolved.

 

Someone asked me a few years in the previous thread when this will be built. At the time, I suggest not until after 2023-2025 at the earliest but now the latter date is more plausible. The delays with construction of T2 and with T3 not even being approved also delay this line as it will essentially run to T3 and the APM that will be built linking the terminals. That's not to say a line along the Bang Na - Trat corridor is not currently needed, only that there are other pieces of the network that need to be in place first.

Thanks for this detailed information and explanation. Makes sense what you say. I don't want to argue with your timeline or reasoning. Just some thoughts added:

 

1. Living at Mega Bangna it seems they wanna built a huge little own city there. That being said I wouldn't wonder if Mega Bangna itself helps to shorten the timeline you mentioned. I really wouldn't wonder.

 

2. The traffic from Mega Bangna till Udom Suk (and from Udom Suk inside the city I don't even have to mention that) is super packed. In rush hours you stay nearly 30-60 minutes till you reach Udom Suk. I am not sure if that is not needed as you explained. I feel there is a lot of traffic coming from up here. 

 

3. Condos being built here are advertising with this BTS line already. Not saying they know better, but I don't know if they really lie to their customers and if they really say it takes 5 years. Again just an indication that I believe in a shorter timeframe.

 

4. Wondering how independent Samut Prakan is from Bangkok regarding Budget. But again I live here only 3 years so I am not the most knowledgeable guy.

 

Saw the stuff at Udom Suk yes. So from my perspective it is all prepared to built (if they have the budget and resources of course). 

 

Again just my thoughts to this and some hope that it will be started to built in 1 year from now or so. But most probably if we both meet up here in 2023 at Thaivisa your prediction will be right.

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MRT Brown line (Monorail) Update

 

The MRTA Board officially approved the investment plan for the MRT Brown line last week.

 

Unfortunately, this is another line which should be heavy rail metro but which will be a light rail as a monorail. (Same goes for Pink and Yellow lines - both originally planned as heavy rail metros but changed to mono rail after lobbying by monorail builders and ostensibly for budget saving measures). Long terms problems will be the consequence for all these lines.....

 

As the N2 Expressway project and MRT Brown Line are undergoing an integrated design process - a first for Bangkok - most of the detailed design will be done by EXAT.

 

Design is expected to be finalised by end of 2019 with a tender by mid next year. If construction starts in late 2020 or early 2021 it is planned to be completed by 2025. Currently plan is 20 stations for the 22.3 km line but the previous plans had 22/23 stations. The probably will need to add a couple more.

 

This video provides a good overview of the route;

 

If you are wondering what the pillars are in the middle of Kaset-Namawin rd section, they were built for the N2 expressway which was originally planned to be built around 10 years ago.

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MRT Brown line (Monorail) Update
 
The MRTA Board officially approved the investment plan for the MRT Brown line last week.
 
Unfortunately, this is another line which should be heavy rail metro but which will be a light rail as a monorail. (Same goes for Pink and Yellow lines - both originally planned as heavy rail metros but changed to mono rail after lobbying by monorail builders and ostensibly for budget saving measures). Long terms problems will be the consequence for all these lines.....
 
As the N2 Expressway project and MRT Brown Line are undergoing an integrated design process - a first for Bangkok - most of the detailed design will be done by EXAT.
 
Design is expected to be finalised by end of 2019 with a tender by mid next year. If construction starts in late 2020 or early 2021 it is planned to be completed by 2025. Currently plan is 20 stations for the 22.3 km line but the previous plans had 22/23 stations. The probably will need to add a couple more.
 
This video provides a good overview of the route;
 
If you are wondering what the pillars are in the middle of Kaset-Namawin rd section, they were built for the N2 expressway which was originally planned to be built around 10 years ago.
Great information and nice video. Somehow I don't get it why they can not manage to put the interchange stations closer together. Sala Daeng and Lumphini is one of these bad examples. Other two interchange are okay in their design and distance by foot (Asok / Sukhumvit, Chatuchak / Mo Chit).

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On 6/17/2019 at 6:42 PM, Lakegeneve said:

You can hope all you want but it's not going to happen for a at least a few years.

 

There are currently 5 extensions which have been delayed for the last 2 years which are a priority (MRT Purple South, MRT Orange West, SRT Light Red west, SRT Dark Red north & MRT Blue west). All of these have been approved previously and indeed some are actually delayed from original tender dates of 2013! Thereafter, you have the 3 BTS extensions which are much more advanced - 2 of which have been approved. Then you have the MRT Brown Line which be tendered next year along with the N2 Expressway. 

 

All of those are priorities before this line/ext. 

 

1&2) Mega and the whole area has had bad traffic for years. None of that really matters in determining when a line will be approved. The BTS north ext from Mo Chit to Saphan Mai (as it was initially to be) was first meant to open in 2008! Phahon Yothin rd has always been one of the worst traffic corridors in Bangkok. The same could be said for the MRT Blue line extension along Phetkasem rd, a terrible road corridor. That didn't stop the tender for the MRT Blue ext being delayed by 3 years and the planned opening of late 2016 ending up being 3rd quarter 2019!

 

Again, a main determining factor will be when T3 is approved.

 

3) You are not really suggesting that property developers don't lie are you?!? I could give you dozens of examples of condo projects promising in their brochures that X or Y line will open soon. 5-10 years ago, most of them had inaccurate route maps which magically passed their condo, let alone having any idea of when a line/ext will open.

 

Pray and hope all you want but the only element which would bump this ext/line up the priority list would be simple vested interests by one of the governing parties due to important figures having property interests along this route. This is exactly what happened with the northern section of the Purple line being approved first rather than the more important southern section. Thank the then BJT senior party figures then in governing coalition for that. 


First of all I told you in the first sentence of my post that you will be most probably right.

 

Secondly I think you are right.

 

Thirdly the last point you make is what could change the whole thing. Big political interest in the line or let's say big money interest that it happens (Mega Bangna and Central Bangna). Hope you agree with me that political power/decisions are buyable. So i would not wonder if the timeline changes due to someone paying for it enough money that the interest is big to built it faster.

 

And yes I of course believe that the condo builders lie in some points e.g. timing. Still sometimes they also know more than we normal dudes :) they are not small fishes.

 

 

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5 hours ago, dantilley said:

Do you know of any updates on the Airport Link @Lakegeneve? Specifically:

 

  1. Trains under maintenance coming back into service - I think this may have happened now, to some trains at least, as they increased the frequency slightly in April?

I will let LG answer the other questions, but on this I believe all trains are now in service.  For the last several weeks the service in the morning has been great - they've worked out a good system.  Trains every 6-8 minutes but every two trains or so they send an empty one from Phaya Tai straight up to Hua Mark where it starts again and picks up passengers.  So if the first one comes and it is busy I usually only have to wait a few minutes for the next one or an empty one.  And the train after the empty one is fine too as it is obviously much less busy as the empty one cleared all the backlog.  This empty train system runs until about 9.15am (I think) after which it is not needed.  It works really well and is surprisingly innovative for the SRTET / SRT.

Don't know if they do something similar going the other way in the evening as I don't use it at that time.

 

 

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On 6/19/2019 at 8:58 AM, dantilley said:

Do you know of any updates on the Airport Link @Lakegeneve? Specifically:

 

  1. Converting the 4th carriages of the old express trains to allow pax to use them (still not done, believe it or not!)
  2. Trains under maintenance coming back into service - I think this may have happened now, to some trains at least, as they increased the frequency slightly in April?
  3. Ordering more trains, ideally 4-carriage trains.
  4. Extension up to DMK airport.

Thanks for your great and informative posts as always! 🙂

 

Quote

 

ARL update: (posted 6/5/2018)

The Eastern HSR tender is out and the expectation is that a winning bid will be awarded by July/August with work commencing by the end of the year ....if all goes smoothly - which it never does! http://www.railway.co.th/download/2561/Invitation-to-Tender-HSR3Airports.pdf

 

The Transport Ministry has decided that whoever wins the bid to build and run the Eastern HSR will also take over operating the ARL. The SRTET will be abolished and a new SRT entity will be established to manage the 4 planned HSR lines.

 

I now estimate that any new rolling stock for the ARL will not be available until 2022 at the earliest unless the previously mentioned leasing plan come to fruition - knowing the SRT it probably won't.

 

 

There is really not much to add to what I posted (below) when you last asked the same queries back in mid Nov 2018;

Quote

 

Hi dantilley, you must feel like a broken record having to ask the same questions for the last few years. Regarding the new rolling stock (the budget which was approved back in mid 2013), I previously mentioned that it has all been put on hold as whoever wins the Eastern HSR bid (the tender closes this week), will take over operations of the ARL and thus purchase new rolling stock.

 

Thus nothing new before 2023!!! How is that for a completely messed up process of obtaining (NOT) new rolling stock.

 

Quote

Another issue, which I've posted on a number of years ago is that the track is cheaper Chinese steel which is why the SRTET has had a lot of problems and has had to grind it so regularly. It will all need to be replaces at some stage before HSR ops commence so we can expect a complete shutdown of the line at some point - which most likely will be needed as I'd expect the signalling system will be upgraded/changed.

Since those posts, the CP consortium did win the 225b contract to build the Eastern HSR line. However, there were about 6 months of delays while CP tried to extract better terms which the SRT refused to accede to. The contracts were due to be signed in mid May, and the 15 June but it has not been signed as yet as far as I know

 

Related is that the BJT has been given the Transport Ministry (Newins younger brother Saksayam) and it is worth noting that the BJT leader Anutin used to be the owner of construction company STEC which has a load of previous and current contracts - MRT Purple Line, MRT Blue Line (Tha Pra to Lak song), MRT Orange Line previous BTS exts etc. We might see some interesting vested interests playing out in decisions in the future. (See previous ref MRT Purple Line)

 

Once construction does start there are a wealth of complicated issues............

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On 4/29/2019 at 1:33 PM, sidgy said:

Very good, I can only imagine the time and effort you have put into this. I note you have the purple line following Rat Burana road as opposed to Suk Sawat, Is this a definite? My wife seems pretty adamant it will follow Suk Sawat

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile appplease note, my wife (Thai) is no authority and generally goes with what she feels to be correct

Sorry, long time not checking in. She may very well be right - it would make sense - but the extension I've drawn is the only one I've seen anywhere. Please let me know if you see any different. 

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Is there a similar thread on TVF about the development of railway infrastructure nationwide?

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