Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has presided over a virtual soft opening ceremony of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Red Line from Bangkok’s Bang Sue Grand Station today (Monday, August 2nd).
The 41 kilometre line encompasses 14 stops across Bangkok’s north-south axis, The line is divided into a 15 km route (4 stops) between Bang Sue and Taling Chan, known as the “Light Red” line, while the 26.3 km route (10 stops) between Bang Sue and Rangsit is known as the “Dark Red” line.
The journey from the central station to the final stop will only take 25 minutes on the Dark Red line and 15 on the Light Red.
Two types of vehicles were engineered for the Red Line: a six-carriage train with a capacity of 1,710 passengers per trip and a four-carriage train with a capacity of 1,120 passengers per trip. The system can run at the maximum speed of 160 kilometres per hour with a normal 120 KPH operating speed.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said the service will be free of charge for the first three months before fares come into operation from November.
The commuter train system was first approved in 2007, but the first phase of its construction did not begin until 2013. In addition to repeated delays, the cost of the project also came under intense scrutiny — the project ultimately cost 93.5 billion baht to build, up from 75.5 billion baht initially.
The Light Red line is expected to shuttle 35,000 passengers daily from Taling Chan in the west to Bang Sue station. The Bang Sue-Rangsit section, or the Light Red line, was designed to accommodate up a maximum of 300,000, although only about 86,000 commuters are expected to initially use the line.