• A Little extra BTS and SRT - Thailand

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by thaitransit
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.


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.


If you would like to find out more information and see more pictures please visit:

http://thaitransit.blogspot.com/2008/10 ... d-srt.html

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.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Whatever happened to the laid back city, of river motorboats on the Chao Phraya, gardens, and of course lots of smoke from 2 cycle motor vehicles, that i visited some 40 years ago?

If there was a structure much higher than five stories in Bangkok, i never saw it.

Your final photos in the set reminded me of "Thailand as I knew it".
  by george matthews
Whatever happened to the laid back city, of river motorboats on the Chao Phraya, gardens, and of course lots of smoke from 2 cycle motor vehicles, that i visited some 40 years ago?
Progress or "development".
  by NellieBly
Did some work involving BTS just before it opened in 1999. Got to ride test trains around the system. One interesting problem that Siemens (the desing-build contractor) had was that when two trains approached each other, if the drivers were friends they would stop, window to window, and say hello and have a short conversation. It had to be pointed out to them that this sort of behavior was not consistent with necessary on-time performance.

The other story I enjoyed dealt with the choice of English as the language used in the control center. Why? Apparently, Thai has no word for "emergency". They lack the concept.

When the system opened, it was initially a flop, in part because of some poor pricing decisions but also because Thais simply do not put much of a premium on being "on time". I hope it's doing better now. It's a nice system, well designed.

Mr. Norman, your memories of Bangkok are long out of date. It is, and remains in my memory as, a city so frenetic that New York is relaxed and slow-paced by comparison.
  by thaitransit
I had always assumed they used Thai language internally with staff. I have never seen there control centre so I don't really know but I suspect its inside the BTS office building near Mochit BTS station.

The system is very successful nowadays with upto 600000 people a day using it. The 1997 crash would not have helped early loadings when it opened in 1999 as Thailand didn't really get back on track economic wise until 2001/2.

The system is still exactly the same as it was route wise and train wise as in 1999. But two extensions are under construction. one the Taksin extension is 5 years behind but has been 99.9% complete for over 2 years now. just issues with local politics and signal systems. This extension will also have a short single track/single platform at Saphan Taksin station after it opens. Meaning the BTS will be the only metro in the world with a new single track line.

A second extension is under construction toward Soi Bearing Sukhumvit 107. Work began in 2007 and is likely to open in 2010. it is rumoured that this extension may open before the Taksin one which is finished bar some signal cable work.
  by Adgarharrison
The BTSC ordered 12 new trains (12 sets of 4 cars) from Changchun Railway Vehicles Co. Ltd. based on the Bombardier MOVIA, though their design will be modified to the existing BTS's Siemens Modular Metro. The new trains were delivered in June 2010 [2] to serve on the Silom Line, which cannot increase train frequency because of a single track bottleneck at Saphan Taksin station, though the number of passengers increased after the Wong Wian Yai and Krung Thonburi stations were opened. These trains consist of 2 motor cars and 2 trailer cars and will feature LCD TVs for public announcements and advertising. An advanced digital voice announcement (DVA) and passenger information systems will be installed.