• SRT: The Eastern Line + construction of the Airport Railway

  • Tell us where you were and what you saw!
Tell us where you were and what you saw!

Moderator: David Benton

  by thaitransit
Also Last weekend I took a trip on SRT’s Eastern Commuter line. This line is also known as the Chachoengsao Commuter line. The Train I took was the 15.25 Kabin Buri Stopping all stations. I rode it as far as Hua Takhe Station. The reason for getting off at Hua Takhe is that is considered close to the eastern edge of Bangkok’s suburbs. But there is lots of development beyond now with the new airport close to Hua Takhe. The 15.25 train was hideously late at around 40 minutes due to crossing loop delays and overcrowding when it arrived at Hua Takhe!

The Eastern Commuter line is a line that is at 100% capacity right now and is expected to carry many times more passengers than there is space on the trains. The line starts at Yommaraj Junction and runs to Chachoengsao about 60km east of Bangkok. From Yommaraj this line runs as 2 separate single lines that then join at the junction for the Klong Toei port line (Night freight only). Then the line is single track for 100 meters until it enters Makkasan station and loop. After Makkasan the line is single track until the double line starts at Hua Mak station. Between Makkasan there is only one short loop near Klong Tan station. After Hua Mak station its high standard Double track to Chachoengsao.

The result of this layout is that the eastern line suffers from massive delays and capacity problems that are only made worse by the construction of the elevated airport rail link. There are only 16 trains a day inbound and 14 trains a day outbound. Trains are built up to the maximum of the loop lengths for the loco hauled trains. Most trains on this line are full to the point of people hanging out the doors or just cant get on.

The possible passenger catchment for the eastern line is around 3 million people but the trains will never come close to fully servicing this demand. The majority of these people cram on to the thousands of BMTA buses servicing the areas along the line including the new airport. If you don’t take the train there is no other traffic free way into inner Bangkok so its better to try and cram on to one of the dangerously overcrowded trains of the eastern line. If you want to get to the city in under 1 hour. Rather than 2 to 3 hours by slow bus.

However it’s not all bad news for the eastern line. When the airport rail link opens next year it will allow a metro class service for half of the line. Greatly reducing the congestion. Also with the opening of the airport line extra trains from Hua Mak to Chachoengsao can operate, as they don’t need to run though the single line as passengers can transfer to the new line there.

1. This is a movie showing a trip from Yommaraj Junction to Uropong Station. Note the busy level crossings and the very densely built up railway village that the train passes right though. Some of these homes have satellite TV.



2. This is an image of Uropong Station the 1st station on the eastern line. The curved platform on the right is used by 1 train a day that starts at Rangsit. But that curve is also used by a large amount of slow cargo trains from the east and from Klong Toei port.


3. This is a picture of Phayathai Station. This station an interchange station with the BTS system. It is in a very poor condition due to airport rail link works and lack of maintenance. The broken concrete platform is where you wait for eastern line trains.


4. This is a short movie of passing under the construction works for the new airport rail line. Note the construction works and the state of the existing eastern rail line. Filmed between Phayathai and Rachaprarop Stations.



5. This is a picture of the track condition between Phayathai and Rachaprarop Stations. Note how close the railway village homes are to the track. The concrete walkway is inside the trains loading gauge as can be seen from the line of dirt down the middle of the walkway.


6. This is a picture of the inner city Rachaprarop Station. This is the closest station to Pratunam the shopping district of Bangkok. It’s in the worst condition of all stations on the eastern line. Note the small concrete area is where you wait and to access it you must walk along the track.


7. This is a shot of the Rachaprarop level crossing and above the track is the construction of the new Rachaprarop station on the Airport Line. This level crossing just has a small roll way metal barrier to protect it. Despite it being on a very busy wide main road.


12. This is movie showing the crossing of two full commuter trains at Makkasan station and loop. Note how people run for the train and the area around the station. Also if you look carefully some old trains can be seen beyond the airport lines columns.



If you would like to see 40 more images and information about the eastern line please visit:

http://thaitransit.blogspot.com/2008/04 ... on-of.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.