On the 15th of May 2009. The long awaited BTS extension to Wong Wian Yai opened for regular service. This BTS route extension is the first BTS extension since the BTS opened in 1999. This BTS extension is quite special in a number of different ways. It is the 1st heavy rail metro line to operate within the Thonburi area of Bangkok. It is the 1st Metro line to cross the Chao Phraya River. It is also the 1st electric railway to cross the Chao Phraya River.
However the Wong Wian Yai BTS extension has a very difficult birth. The construction of this new line started back in 2002. The line was plagued with delays and ended up as a political football between the Democrat party and the former Thai Rak Thai Party. The line was eventually completed with help from the Bangkok City Council instead of the Central Government as is the norm for these high priced Metro lines in Thailand.
So after 5 years of delays the BTS extension to Wong Wian Yai is now open for business. Now that the BTS line is now open the people of Thonburi now have a way to finally skip the massive traffic jams on the Taksin Bridge. It now takes just 11 minutes from Wong Wian Yai to Silom via the BTS for a distance of about 4 km. Compared to up to 90 minutes by direct bus at peak times. A time saving of nearly 80 minutes! This traffic jam is one of the slowest in Bangkok with average speeds of under 2 kph!
The new BTS line also opens up a possible rail connection to the SRT Mahachai line. Although the Wong Wien Yai BTS station and the Wong Wian Yai SRT stations are not right next to each other the connection is possible by taking a short motorbike taxi ride or walking for about 15 minutes between the two stations. This connection allows a total travelling time between Mahachai City and Silom of 90 minutes down from close to 3 hours by bus. More details on how to transfer between the BTS and SRT stations at Wong Wian Yai later on.
There are more benefits to this new BTS extensions than just a faster travelling time. It will allow higher density developments in the Wong Wian Yai area and will revitalise an area that has been in decline for decades due to extremely congested traffic. This will open up a lot of old areas for condo and office projects in effect extending the Sathorn area westward.
As great as the new BTS line is for the Wong Wian Yai area it does have a major issue with its operation. The former terminus at Saphan Taksin only ever had one platform this station is surrounded by large road bridges and cannot be expanded. The new BTS extension had to convert this terminus station into a through station but with only a single platform.
This means the BTS is probably the only totally new metro line in the world with a single track section in the middle of a busy double track line. This single track section is predicted to create small delays on the whole of the Silom BTS line. On my visit this prediction was holding true as the frequency west of Saphan Taksin was uneven at times and BTS trains had to wait up to 3 minutes just to get into Saphan Taksin station. This has built in a bottleneck into the BTS system from day one of the BTS extension. However a 3 minute delay is far better than an 80 minute delay as experienced by bus travellers.
The next BTS extension expected to open is the Bang Na Extension along Sukhumvit road. This extension is due to open in 2011 and is under construction right now.
Information on BMTA and the new BTS Feeder bus services to Wong Wian Yai BTS station will be outlined in detail later on.
Now for some pictures of the Wong Wian Yai BTS extension. The weather on the 1st full day of service was rather unpleasant with haze and heavy rain periods this made for very difficult photographing conditions.
These pictures were taken using a brand new Panasonic DMC-TZ11 Digital Camera. I purchased this camera in late April 2009 after 3 months of being without a Camera. This means I'm now back in action and expect more informative transport topics on the site in the future.
1. This is a shot of entrance to the BTS station at Wong Wian Yai. Taken looking toward Silom just after the rain had stopped. The style of the entrance is very similar to the main system in Bangkok.
2. This is a general view of Wong Wian Yai BTS station taken looking east along Krung Thonburi Road. This station has a large area at the western end dedicated to equipment rooms.
3. This is another general view shot of Wong Wian Yai BTS station. Taken looking along the side of the station from the western entrance footbridge.
4. This is a shot of a Bangkok City Council information display for passengers just inside the western entrance of Wong Wian Yai BTS station. It outlines the history of the BTS and future extension projects.
5. This is an image of the western ticket barriers at Wong Wian Yai station. They have provided a larger than normal amount of ticket barriers at this station. They are of the same type as on the rest of the system.
6. This is an image of the passenger concourse after the ticket gates at Wong Wian Yai. Unlike the other BTS stations the new stations do not have any retail or advertising space. However I expect this will come at a later date.
7. This is a shot of the platforms at Wong Wian Yai Station. Taken looking east along the platforms. The new BTS stations have a different roof design to the old BTS stations. The new stations are fully covered over rather than leaving a gap where the tracks are. The platforms appear to have been designed for 6 car trains.
8. This is a shot of a BTS metro train waiting to form the next service at Wong Wian Yai. Taken looking west toward the end of the new BTS extension. The new BTS extension uses the same trains as the main system.
9. This is a shot of a BTS train just after it arrived at Wong Wian Yai station. Taken looking east as it was unloading passengers. Note: both platforms are used at Wong Wian Yai for arrivals but the northern platform are for departures only.
10. This is an image of a BTS train departing from the holding area on an empty cars run back to Bangkok. It was operating via the wrong road through Wong Wian Yai station. Taken looking west from the end of the platform.
11. This is a shot of the empty cars BTS train passing another BTS as it waits for passengers at Wong Wian Yai Station.. Taken looking east along the platforms. The empty cars train appears to have a problem with it as there had been an announcement regarding a delay to service.
12. This is another angle on the empty cars train and the waiting train at Wong Wian Yai Station. Taken at the exact time the two trains were parallel to each other. Note the red marker lights on the trains. Both trains where heading in the same direction.
13. This is a shot of another BTS train just after it had arrived at Wong Wian Yai station. Taken looking west along the platform. The train make is Siemens and are all imported from Germany. It is unclear if any extra BTS trains were purchased for the extension.
14. This is a general view shot looking east toward Krung Thonburi BTS station. A couple of new condo towers are well under construction in anticipation of the new BTS line.
15. This is a shot of a BTS train approaching Wong Wian Yai Station. This train was switching tracks to arrive on the departure platform. Taken looking east towards Krung Thonburi station.
16. This is another shot of a BTS train as it was entering Wong Wian Yai station. Taken looking east towards Krung Thonburi station. All the BTS trains operating on the Wong Wian Yai had two drivers on board at the same end. This I assume is part of the training for the new line.
17. This is a shot of BTS train set 1139 waiting to depart from Wong Wian Yai station. Taken looking west along the platform. All BTS trains have 4 doors per side unlike some of the trains in Melbourne that have only 2 per side.
18. This is a short movie of a BTS train departing from Wong Wian Yai station on a trip to National Stadium station. The simple signal system can also be seen as the train departs from the station.
19. This is a short movie of a BTS train arriving at Wong Wian Yai station. The trains motion through the points east of Wong Wian Yai station can be seen. The train had an advert for air freshener products on it.
20. This is an inside shot of a BTS train while it waits to depart from Wong Wian Yai station on a service to National Stadium. This new extension is expected to bring in at least 50000 extra people per day to the whole system.
21. This is a movie of a ride on the BTS between Wong Wian Yai and Krung Thonburi stations. Note how the track seems to collect a lot of water. Also the BTS trains horn is herd on approach to Krung Thonburi station. It sounds like a car horn and is very rarely heard.
22. This is a shot of a BTS train as it rounds the curve before the Taksin bridge on its way to Saphan Taksin station. Taken from Krung Thonburi station looking east.
23. This is a shot of the platform area at Krung Thonburi station. Taken looking west along the platforms. Out of the two new BTS stations Krung Thonburi is likely to be a rather quite station for a while to come. Both new stations share the same feeder buses due to road layout.
24. This is an image of the ticket office at Krung Thonburi station. This ticket office and ticket gate layout is identical to the main system. The only difference is a green logo of the construction company above the window.
25. This is a general view of Krung Thonburi station. Taken looking south west from a footbridge. Despite is lower use it is the same size as the much busier Wong Wian Yai station.
26. This is a shot of the eastern entrance bridge at Krung Thonburi station. Again it is of a similar style to the main system.
27. This is an image of the step entrance at Krung Thonburi station. In this area the footpaths are rather narrow making it appear as the station entrance is taking up the whole footpath. It is also made worse by the overgrown fence next to the station.
28. This is a shot of the infamous Taksin Bridge ever present traffic jam. Taken from Krung Thonburi station looking towards the Taksin Bridge. This image was taken around midday on a Saturday. On a week day it can take over 40 minutes just to travel this 1 km section of road!
29. This is an image of a notice at Krung Thonburi station informing passengers that the new BTS extension will be free for the next 3 months and that 30 day pass holders need to get a single trip ticket for the free travel.
30. This is a shot of the ticket machine at Krung Thonburi station. Although its free to use the new stations it looks like they will be a Section 1 fare of 15 Baht per trip in the future.
31. This is a movie of a ride on the BTS between Krung Thonburi and Saphan Taksin station. Note the wonderful feeling of sailing past the horrible traffic on the Taksin bridge. Also when the train enters the single track section at Saphan Taksin the electricity cuts off for a second as it passes the points.
32. This is a shot of a BTS train as it was departing from Saphan Taksin station. Taken from the eastern end of the single platform station. The area directly in front is a holding siding that was used when Saphan Taksin was a terminal station.
33. This is a short movie showing a BTS train waiting for access to the single platform at Saphan Taksin station. The shaking of the camera at a couple of spots is due having to move back under cover as it was starting to rain. Note how the train passes though the points and the single platform at the station with new signs to indicate train direction.
34. This is an image of the new floor makings at Saphan Taksin station. The platform is split into two zones one for each direction of travel. The Green Zone is for trains to National Stadium.
35. This is an image of a new overhead LCD information screen at Saphan Taksin station. When a train approaches the single platform station the screen displays the destination and which zone to wait in. In this case the Purple Zone for trains to Wong Wian Yai.
36. This is an image of the new information screen displaying where to wait for each direction of travel. This is only displayed when there are no trains present in the station.
37. This is a shot of the new platform markings in the middle of the platform at Saphan Taksin station. When both colours are displayed on the ground you can wait there for both directions of travel. So do note what train it is as it comes into the station.
38. This is an image of the new floor makings at Saphan Taksin station. The platform is split into two zones one for each direction of travel. The Purple Zone is for trains to Wong Wian Yai.
39. This is an image of the new platform information screen displaying a train to National Stadium. The screens are to help passengers know which direction the train is heading as it arrives.
40. This is a shot of a BTS train approaching Saphan Taksin station from Wong Wien Yai. Taken looking west over the Chao Phaya River. In the foreground mounting points for a platform extension can be seen. This is due to the fact that Saphan Taksin station is only long enough for 5 cars.
41. This is a shot of the track at the western end of Saphan Taksin station. Throughout the new BTS extension there are yellow sensors for the signal system. Unlike on the rest of the BTS system the signal system at Saphan Taksin is more complex due to the single track.
42. This is a shot of a Wong Wian Yai bound train about to load passengers at Saphan Taksin station. Taken looking east along the single platform. Note the how the screen displays the train destination.
43. This is a shot of a Wong Wian Yai bound BTS train. Taken as it passes the points on the Taksin Bridge on its way west across the river. After these points the rest of the line is double track.
44. This is an image of a National Stadium bound BTS train. Taken as it loads passengers at Saphan Taksin station. Note the information screen displaying the trains destination.
45. This is a shot of a BTS train waiting in the holding area at Wong Wian Yai station after completing a trip from National Stadium. Note the lovely stormy sky. Yet another rain storm was coming in.
This next section of the topic is related to the feeder bus services for the new BTS extension.
There are a number of BTMA and private bus routes that feed the new BTS stations in the Wong Wian Yai area. These mostly depart from the northern side of the station for both directions. However Route 76, 80N and 108 depart from the southern side of the station on outbound trips.
The following buses are known to service the new BTS station at Wong Wian Yai.
Route 3: Mochit 2 – Khlong San.
Route 20: Samut Chedi – Tha Din Daeng via BTS.
Route 76: Samae Dum – Phloen Chit.
Route 80N: Wo Po Ao Village – Taksin Bridge.
Route 84: Sam Phran/Om Yai – Khlong San.
Route 84N: Aue Arthon Salaya – Khlong San.
Route 105: Mahachai Mai – Khlong San.
Route 108: Ratcha Yothin Junction – Tha Phra - Taksin Bridge.
Route 120: Mahachai City – Khlong San.
Route 172: Kheha Thonburi – Happy Land.
In addition to these bus services there are also mini truck – bus services connecting with the BTS stations.
At Wong Wian Yai BTS station there is a poster displaying information about special BTS feeder bus routes. These services are said to depart under the BTS station at Wong Wian Yai. But appear to have not started to operate as yet. But may begin service on Monday 18th May 2009. There are 3 separate routes all are rather short local routes.
1. This is a shot of the poster referring to the new BTS feeder bus services at Wong Wian Yai BTS Station. These services appear to operate only between 6am and 7pm Monday to Friday. But the poster doesn't provide the full information on these services.
2. This is an image of a Thonburi Commercial College – Khlong San truck bus service. Taken as it was passing Krung Thonburi station.
3. This is a shot of a Route 84 Om Yai – Khlong San bus. Bus number BMTA 6 – 50389. Bus type Isuzu. Taken as it was passing Krung Thonburi station.
4. This is a shot of a Route 105 Mahachai Mai – Khlong San bus. Bus number BMTA 5 – 40323. Bus type Hino. Taken as it was passing Krung Thonburi station.
5. This is an image of a Route 120 Mahachai City – Khlong San bus. Bus number 120 – 21. Bus type Hino. Taken as it was passing Krung Thonburi station.
6. This is an image of a Route 76 Samae Dum – Phloen Chit bus. Bus number BMTA 5 – 67241. Bus type Daewoo aircon. Taken as it was join the main road to head through the traffic to Phloen Chit.
7. This is a shot of a Route 108 Ratcha Yothin Junction – Tha Phra - Taksin Bridge bus. Bus number 108 – 29. Bus type Merc non aircon. Taken out the front of Krung Thonburi station.
8. This is a shot of a Route 80N Wo Po Ao Village – Taksin Bridge bus. Bus number BMTA 6 – 50129. Bus type Isuzu. Taken out the front of Krung Thonburi station.
9. This is a shot of a Route 20 Samut Chedi – Tha Din Daeng via BTS bus. Bus number BMTA 5 – 6824. Bus type Merc 0305.
10. This is a shot of a Talat Phlu – Khlong San truck – bus. Taken as it was passing Krung Thonburi station. Truck type Suzuki.
11. This is an image of a Route 84N Aue Arthon Salaya – Khlong San bus. Bus number BMTA 6 – 56096. Bus type Isuzu aircon. Taken as it was passing Krung Thonburi station.
This final section of the topic relates to the transfer between Wong Wian Yai BTS station and Wong Wian Yai SRT station.
It is a real shame that the SRT station and BTS station at Wong Wian Yai are not next to each other. However they are close enough for one to walk between the two stations in 15 minutes. It is also possible to take a Motorbike taxi between the two stations for 10 to 20 Baht a trip.
Below are the instructions of how to walk between the BTS and SRT stations at Wong Wian Yai.
Step 1: Leave Wong Wian Yai BTS station via exit number 1.
Step 2: Walk down these steps on the northern side of Wong Wian Yai station and then do a U turn at the bottom of the steps. Then Walk West along Krung Thonburi road.
Step 3: Walk along Krung Thonburi road and over the Klong Bang Sai Kai bridge. Then turn Right into this soi.
Step 4: Walk along this soi until the end.
Step 5: Walk straight ahead here then turn to the Right on to Taksin road.
Step 6: Walk North along Taksin Road.
Step 7: Cross this footbridge over Taksin road.
Step 8: Turn to the Right once reach the other side of the footbridge.
Step 9: Walk North along Taksin road. Then turn Left into the 1st soi after crossing the footbridge. Once to see the Bangkok Bank ATM then walk Behind the ATM and onto the platform of Wong Wian Yai SRT station.
During Peak Travel periods on weekdays doing this transfer makes a lot of sense as you can save up to 90 minutes off a direct bus service despite the 15 minute walk via this route to transfer between the BTS and SRT stations at Wong Wian Yai.
For information on the SRT Mahachai Line please visit:
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- After living and working in Thailand for over 5 years in October 2010 I relocated from Mahachai Thailand to Melbourne Australia. I have a wide interest in railways, ferries, metros, trams, buses and mass transit system planning throughout Thailand and the Asian region.
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- ▼ 2009 (14)
Thai Mass Transport Topics List
- Welcome to the Thai Mass Transport Systems Blog
- The Buses of Rama 2 road
- The Buses of Wong Wian Yai
- SRT Mahachai Train runs with the doors wide open.
- A Trip from Wong Wian Yai to Bang Bon on the SRT Mahachai line.
- A Ride on Route 147 (Kanchana Phisek rd)
- A Ride on Route 146 (Kanchana Phisek rd)
- The New Southern Bus Terminal + Intercity buses.
- The Mass Transport Vehicles of Mahachai City.
- SRT: The Maeklong line and Maeklong railway market
- The Maeklong Bus Terminal
- The Modern Rail Based Mass Transit of Thailand
- The Modern Bus Based Mass Transport of Bangkok.
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Chao Phraya Express)
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Dao Khanong Klong Boat)
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Klong Saen Saep Boat service)
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Phra Khanong Klong Boat Service)
- SRT: The Mahachai line a trip from Bang Bon to Mahachai.
- SRT: The Mahachai Rail Yard.
- SRT: The Eastern Line and the construction of the Airport Rail Link.
- SRT: The Main System (Hualamphong Station and rail yard).
- SRT: A trip on the Ayutthaya Commuter Line (Main North line).
- The Buses of Suvarnabhumi Airport and Suvarnabhumi Bus Terminal.
- SRT: Prachuap Khiri Khan railway station and night shots.
- The Mass Transport of Prachuap Khiri Khan.
- A Summary Bus Guide to Bangkok’s Mass transport bus system.
- SRT: Thonburi Rail Yard + Thai Steam Engine Fleet.
- The Buses of Nakhon Pathom and Bus Route 402.
- SRT: The Thonburi to Nakhon Pathom Commuter Line.
- The Mega Mochit 2 Bus Terminal.
- Mochit 2: The Metro Bus Terminal.
- SRT: Bang Sue Junction and Station.
- The Main South line: Bang Sue to Taling Chan link.
- The Mass Transport of Samut Chedi and The Temple in the Sea.
- The Mass Transport of Kheha Thonburi + Vans of Rama 2.
- The Buses and Trucks of Paknam City
- The Mass Transport of Phra Pradaeng.
- Free BMTA Bus and SRT rail travel.
- SRT: The Queensland railways SX commuter carriages.
- A little extra BTS and SRT.
- The Bangkok BRT (Bus Rapid Transit System) and Buses of Thaphra.
- SRT Cargo Trains and Chachoengsao Junction (Eastern Line).
- SRT: Kaeng Khoi Junction night shots and movies.
- SRT: Hin Lap Station and Curve + Dong Phraya Yen Pass.
- Alternative Travel arrangements for Bangkok Airport Passengers.
- The Mega Victory Monument Metro Bus Terminal.
- The Eastern Bus Terminal.
- SRT: Cab Ride Mahachai Line: Bang Bon – Wong Wian Yai.
- The Buses of Rangsit.
- The Rangsit Metro Bus Terminal and Bus Depot.
- The Buses of Pathum Thani.
- SRT Northern Line: Paknam Pho Station and Yard.
- SRT: Kaeng Khoi Junction in the Daylight.
- SRT: Bua Yai Line and Chong Samran.
- The Buses of Saphan Taksin.
- The Buses of Sanam Luang and Tha Chang.
- The Buses of Nonthaburi.
- Chao Phraya Express Boats – The New Pak Kret Service.
- The Southern Line: Hat Yai Junction Station and Yard.
- The new BTS Extension to Wong Wian Yai.
- The Tha Din Daeng cross river ferry + Route 20 terminus.
- The Buses of Chinatown.
- The Eastern Line: Kabinburi and Prachantakam.
- SRT: Khok Salung and Pasak Chonlasit Dam.
- SRT: Southern line the second attempt.
- The state of the Mahachai Line and Bang Bon "Track Lake".
- The Mass Transit of Vientiane Laos.
- Udon Thani's Mass Transit System.
- Thai VIP Intercity Buses + Thai - Lao International Buses.
- The Mass Transit of Mukdahan.
- SRT: Hualamphong Station by Night + Overnight Trains.
- SRT Northern Line: Thailand's Highest and Longest – Khun Tan.
- The Bangkok Airport Rail Link: The fastest train in Thailand.
- SRT: Maeklong Line – Ban Bo Station.
- Bangkok BRT System: Chong Nonsi BTS (Sathorn) to Ratchapruek.
- SRT: Mahachai Line + Buses of Wong Wian Yai during morning peak.
- The new BTS extension from On Nut to Bearing.
- SRT Northern line: Steam Locomotives at Bang Pa In.