It’s been a while since my last post. However I have had quite a few other distractions over the last 6 weeks. This topic is a new look on some previous forms of Thai mass transport.
About a week ago while in the city I took the opportunity to take some new BTS images on a day with much clearer weather and more sunshine than my last round of BTS images.
The BTS is Thailand’s first real metro system. It opened in 1999 just 2 years after the Asian financial crisis that had laid waste to many other good ideas and projects in Thailand.
There are currently 2 lines operating on the BTS system. The first line runs from Onnut (Sukhumvit Soi 77) in the south to Mochit (near Chatuchuk Park) in the north. The second line runs from Saphan Taksin (near the Chao Phraya River) to National Stadium (Next to MBK shopping centre).
The Onnut – Mochit route covers lower and middle Sukhumvit road and Phanon Yothin road via Siam. The Saphan Taksin to National Stadium route covers part of Sathorn and Silom Roads and operates via Siam where a connection with the Onnut – Mochit line exists.
The BTS is the fastest way to travel in the inner city areas of Bangkok taking only 27 minutes to travel from Onnut to Mochit. Before the BTS opened in 1999 it took 90 minutes to travel by taxi from Siam to Mochit. Therefore it can be said that the BTS along with the more recent underground MRT line plays a massive role at keeping inner city Bangkok moving and a livable place.
Currently under construction there are two BTS extensions.
1. Saphan Taksin to Wong Wien Yai (Thonburi) This extension is complete but heavily delayed by local politics. However it’s now expected to open in April 2009 but don’t hold your breath.
2. Onnut to Sukhumvit Soi 107 (Bang Na) This extension is currently being built and is about 50% complete and is due to open some time in 2011 hopefully without any political problems delaying the opening.
General BTS information.
Fares range from 15 baht to 40 baht per trip depending on distance. Cheaper multi trip passes are available allowing a fixed price per trip regardless of distance travelled. Also a more recent stored value smartcard ticket gives users a 20% discount off the normal single fares.
The BTS operates from 6am to 12am 7 days a week on all lines. At peak times BTS trains operate every 2 minutes. Off peak it’s every 5 minutes and every 7 minutes late at night.
1. This is a general View of the BTS elevated track looking south along Sukhumvit road. Taken from Asoke BTS station. Note the density of development in this section of Sukhumvit roads. The BTS has helped make this development sustainable.
2. This is an image of a BTS train heading toward Mochit. Taken as it approached Asoke Station. Note how the elevated track is wider in this section. This is to allow a short holding siding mid route.
3. This is a shot of a BTS train heading towards Saphan Taksin. Taken as it rounds the tight curves between Chong Nonsi and Sala Daeng (Silom) Stations. Note how the BTS elevated track is build over an existing khlong.
4. This is another angle on the same BTS train as it approaches Chong Nonsi BTS station.
5. This is a shot of two BTS trains passing at the northern end of Chong Nonsi station. Note how most BTS trains are also used as mobile billboards.
6. This is shot of a National Stadium bound BTS train. Taken just after it departed Chong Nonsi Station. Note the density of mostly office building behind the train.
7. This is an image of a National Stadium bound BTS train taken as it rounds the Sathon road end curve.
8. This is another angle on the National Stadium bound BTS train. Taken as it approaches Chong Nonsi Station. Note: Below the Elevated BTS track there is part of the construction works for Bangkok’s 1st BRT line.
9. This is a general view looking south towards Rama 3 road at Chong Nonsi. This road will carry Bangkok’s 1st BRT route (Bus rapid transit). The footbridge with green netting on it is one of the many new BRT busway stations.
This is a link to the earlier BTS topic.
The Modern Rail Based Mass Transit of Thailand
Now for a little bit of SRT.
This next section of images is a mixture of SRT rail images from around Thailand. They don’t form part of any particular route or special SRT trip. Theses areas and lines have been covered in more detail in earlier topics.
1. This is a shot of an inbound SRT intercity loco hauled commuter train. taken as it approached Rangsit SRT station. SRT loco number 4302. Loco type Alstrom.
2. This is an image of a inbound SRT intercity express DMU train. Taken as it approaches Rangsit SRT station. This is a Japanese made Hitachi DMU. This type of DMU is very common in Thailand. It was built in the early 1980s for SRT rail.
3. This is another closer view of the inbound Hitachi DMU at Rangsit station. Rangsit station is on the main north line and is the 1st major commuter station in Bangkok. Although its under the city of Pathum Thani.
4. This is a shot of a south bound cement train waiting for line clear at Prachup Khiri Khan Station and loop. SRT loco number 4132. This is one of many cement trains operated by SRT rail.
5. This is another angle on the south bound cement train. Taken from within the sidings of Prachup Khiri Khan Station.
6. This is a picture of a Yala Bound loco hauled intercity rapid train. Taken at Prachup Khiri Khan Station. Note the large crowd waiting for this train and the loco of the cement train can be seen behind. SRT loco number 4225. Both locos are Alstrom locos.
7. This is a shot of the signal box and station at Ban Krut about 1 hour south of Prachup Khiri Khan City. In front of the signal box is a large fish pond.
8. This is a general view looking south along Ban Krut station. Taken from the sidings. Like most stations on the main south line they are also passing loops.
9. This is another general view this time looking north along Ban Krut station. Taken from the sidings. Ban Krut is a small fishing village with a nice swimming beach. A rather nasty storm was quickly approaching.
10. This is a shot of the signal control board inside the signal box at Ban Krut station. This station only has 6 outbound passenger trains and 3 inbound passenger trains a day that stop. Most trains run express though this station.
11. This is a shot of the very ornate roof of Royal Buddhist temple at Ban Krut. This temple sits on top of a 100 meter high limestone hill at the southern end of the Ban Krut beach.
This is a link to a couple of earlier SRT rail topics.
I hope you find the pictures and vehicles shown to be of interest if you view this please post some comments and feelings about the pictures.