Rail transport in Thailand
|Rail transport in Thailand|
|Major operators||BTSC, BMCL|
|Total||4,346 kilometres (2,700 mi)|
|Electrified||80.55 km (50.05 mi) (rapid transit)|
|High-speed||0 km (0 mi)|
|Main||1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
|Meter gauge||4,346 kilometres (2,700 mi)|
|Standard gauge||80.55 km (50.05 mi) (rapid transit)|
|Third rail||51.95 km (32.28 mi) (BTS Skytrain and Bangkok Metro)|
|Overhead line||28.6 km (17.8 mi) (Suvarnabhumi Airport Link)|
|Tunnel length||3.626 km (2.253 mi)|
|Longest tunnel||1.352 km (0.840 mi) (Khun Tan Tunnel)|
|Longest bridge||0.442 km (0.275 mi) (Rama VI Bridge)|
|Highest elevation||578m (Khun Tan Railway Station)|
- 1 History
- 2 Operators
- 3 Network
- 4 Rail transport in Bangkok
- 5 Rolling stock
- 6 Infrastructure
- 7 Future
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
SRT was founded as the Royal State Railways of Siam (RSR) in 1890. Construction of the Bangkok-Ayutthaya railway (71 km or 44 mi), the first part of the Northern Line, was started in 1891 and completed on May 23, 1892.
The Northern Line was originally built as 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge, but in September 1919 it was decided to standardize on 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) meter gauge and the Northern Line was regauged during the next ten years. On July 1, 1951, RSR changed its name to the present State Railway of Thailand.
In 2005 SRT had 4,070 km (2,530 mi) of track, all of it meter gauge. Nearly all is single-track, although some important sections around Bangkok are double or triple-tracked and there are plans to extend this.
The SRT has long been popularly perceived by the public as inefficient and resistant to change. Trains are usually late, and most of its equipment is old and poorly maintained. The worst financially performing state enterprise, the SRT consistently operates at a loss despite being endowed with large amounts of property and receiving large government budgets; it reported a preliminary loss of 7.58 billion baht in 2010. Recurring government attempts at restructuring and/or privatization throughout the 2000s have always been strongly opposed by the union and have not made any progress.
All intercity rail transportation is managed by the State Railway of Thailand, a government agency responsible for rail infrastructure investment as well as freight and passenger services.
In Bangkok, the Skytrain is operated by Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited (BTSC) under a concession granted by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) but the investment for the structure and system were fully supported by BTSC.
The underground system is operated by Bangkok Metro Company Limited (BMCL), while whole project investments were shared by Mass Rapid Transit Authorities (MRTA) and BMCL, which all civil structures was provided by government sector and the system was provided by private sector (BMCL). The deal of contract between BMCL and MRTA are under the concession agreement for 25 years operation.
Thailand has 4,431 kilometers of meter gauge railway tracks not including mass transit lines in Bangkok. All national rail services are managed by the State Railway of Thailand. The four main lines are the Northern Line, which terminates in Chiang Mai, the Northeastern Line, which terminates at Ubon Ratchathani and the Lao border in Nong Khai Province, the Eastern Line, which terminates at the Cambodian border in Sa Kaeo Province, and the Southern Line, which terminates at the Malaysian border in Yala and Narathiwat Provinces.
|Bangkok-Chiang Mai||679 km (422 mi)||Standard gauge||High-speed rail|
|Bangkok-Pattaya-Rayong||196 km (122 mi)||Standard gauge||High-speed rail|
|Bangkok-Nakhon Ratchasima-Nong Khai||615 km (382 mi)||Standard gauge||High-speed rail|
|Bangkok-Padang Besar||982 km (610 mi)||Standard gauge||High-speed rail|
|Den Chai-Chiang Rai||??||Meter gauge||Inter-city rail|
|Ban Phai-Nakhon Phanom||??||Meter gauge||Inter-city rail|
|Khiri Rat Nikhom-Phuket||??||Meter gauge||Inter-city rail|
|Chumphon-Ranong||??||Meter gauge||Inter-city rail|
|Hat Yai–Songkhla||1913||30 km (19 mi)||Meter gauge||1978|
|Nam Tok–Thanbyuzayat, Myanmar (Burma Railway)||1944||285 km (177 mi)||Meter gauge||??|
|Bangkok–Samut Prakan (Paknam Railway)||1893||21 km (13 mi)||Narrow gauge||1960|
|Bang Phlat–Bang Bua Thong (Bang Bua Thong Railway)||1909||??||Narrow gauge||1943|
|Chumphon–Kraburi (Kra Isthmus Railway)||1943||90 km (56 mi)||Meter gauge||1945|
|Bung Wai–Ban Pho Mun||1930||7 km (4.3 mi)||Meter gauge||1954|
|Nong Khai–Talat Nong Khai||1958||2 km (1.2 mi)||Meter gauge||2008|
|Sungai Golok–Rantau Panjang||1921||3 km (1.9 mi)||Meter gauge||??|
|Wongwian Yai–Pak Khlong San||1904||??||Meter gauge||1961|
|Aranyaprathet–Poipet, Cambodia||1970||6 km (3.7 mi)||Meter gauge||1974|
|Ban Phlu Ta Luang–Sattahip Port||1989||11 km (6.8 mi)||Meter gauge||??|
|Tha Ruea–Phra Phutthabat (Phra Phutthabat Railway)||1902||20 km (12 mi)||Narrow gauge||1947|
|Phetchaburi–Bang Thalu (Chao Samran beach Railway)||??||??||Narrow gauge||??|
|Hua Wai–Tha Tako||1940||53 km (33 mi)||Meter gauge||1967|
- Malaysia - yes - same 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) gauge
- Laos - yes - 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) gauge across Mekong River on Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge
- Cambodia - yes - disused (being rebuilt)
- Myanmar - no - defunct - (see Death Railway). But projected extension will rebuild the route.
Rail transport in Bangkok
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, King Rama V eagerly built a tram network for Bangkok by employing foreign engineers and technicians, especially Danish engineers. In fact, Bangkok had electric trams before Copenhagen. However, due to a lack of interest and maintenance the tram network was completely scrapped in 1968.
Bangkok is the location of Hua Lamphong Railway Station, the main terminus of the national rail network operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). Trains travelling on the Northern Line to Chiang Mai, the Northeastern Line to Nong Khai and Ubon Ratchathani, and the Eastern Line to Aranyaprathet originate at the station, and so do some trains of the Southern Line, which terminates at Su-ngai Kolok and has a connection to Malaysia (the other Southern terminus is Thonburi). In addition to long-distance services, the SRT also operates a few daily commuter trains running from and to the outskirts of the city during the rush hour, and passenger numbers have high.
|Bangkok-Lopburi||North Railway, SRT Dark Red Line||133 km (83 mi)||Hua Lamphong, Sam Sen, Bang Sue, Rangsit, Ayutthaya, Ban Phachi, Lop Buri||Metre gauge|
|Bangkok-Saraburi-Kaeng Khoi||Northeast Railway, SRT Dark Red Line||125 km (78 mi)||Hua Lamphong, Sam Sen, Bang Sue, Rangsit, Ayutthaya, Ban Phachi, Saraburi, Kaeng Khoi||Metre gauge|
|Bangkok-Chachoengsao-Prachinburi||Northeast Railway, Suvarnabhumi Airport Link, SRT Light Red Line||122 km (76 mi)||Hua Lamphong, Makkasan Railway Station, Hua Mak Railway Station, Chachoengsao, Khlong Sip Kao, Prachinburi||Metre gauge|
|Bangkok-Ratchaburi||Northeast Railway, SRT Light Red Line||101 km (63 mi)||Thonburi, Taling Chan, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Ban Pong, Ratchaburi||Metre gauge|
|Bangkok-Suphanburi||Northeast Railway, SRT Light Red Line||142 km (88 mi)||Hua Lamphong, Sam Sen, Bang Sue, Taling Chan, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Nong Pladuk, Suphanburi||Metre gauge|
Rapid transit systems
Bangkok is currently served by three rapid transit systems: the BTS Skytrain, the underground MRT and the elevated Airport Rail Link. Although proposals for the development of rapid transit in Bangkok had been made since 1975, leading to plans for the failed Lavalin Skytrain, it was only in 1999 that the BTS finally began operation.
The BTS consists of two lines, totalling 30.95 kilometres (19.23 mi): Sukhumvit Line running southwards from Mo Chit Station in Chatuchak District along Phahon Yothin Road and then eastwards along Sukhumvit Road to Bearing Station in Bang Na District, and Silom Line which runs eastwards from National Stadium Station in Pathum Wan District, then southwest along Ratchadamri, Si Lom, Narathiwat Ratchanakharin and Sathon Roads, crossing the Chao Phraya towards Wong Wian Yai Station in Khlong San. Both lines are elevated, and interchange at Siam Station in Pathum Wan. At its opening, the BTS had seventeen stations on the Sukhumvit Line and six on Silom. Two and five additional stations have since opened on each respective line, in 2009 and 2011. Construction is ongoing to extend the eastern end of the Sukhumvit Line to Samut Prakan, and the southern end of the Silom Line to Bang Wa Station in Phasi Charoen District.[dated info]
The underground MRT system opened to service in July 2004, and currently consists of one line, the Blue Line. It runs for 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Bang Sue Station in the district of the same name in a southward arc through the east along Ratchadaphisek Road, terminating at Hua Lamphong, where it connects to the central railway station. It has eighteen stations, and connects to the BTS system at BTS stations Mo Chit, Asok, and Sala Daeng. The Blue Line is being extended to form a circle, with a western portion along Charansanitwong Road on the western side of the city, and continuing further west to Bang Khae.
Although initial passenger numbers were low and their service area remains limited to the inner city, these systems have become indispensable to many commuters. The BTS reported an average of 392,167 daily trips in 2010, while the MRT had 178,334 passenger trips per day. However, relatively high fare prices have kept these systems inaccessible to a portion of the population.
The Airport Rail Link, opened in August 2010 after many delays, connects the city centre to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Samut Prakan Province to the east. It is operated by the SRT, and offers Express and City (commuter) services between the airport and the City Air Terminal at Makkasan where it connects with Phetchaburi Station of the MRT. It terminates at Phaya Thai Station, where it connects to the BTS. Its eight stations span a distance of 28 kilometres (17 mi).
Several additional transit lines currently under construction include the northward Purple Line towards Bang Yai on the west side of the river in Nonthaburi Province, and the Light Red grade-separated commuter rail line to Taling Chan, to be run by the SRT. The entire Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan in Bangkok Metropolitan Region consists of eight main lines and four feeder lines totalling 508 kilometres (316 mi) to be completed by 2029.
In addition to rapid transit and heavy rail lines, there have been proposals for several monorail systems, the most notable being a line linking Chulalongkorn University with Siam Square, to be funded by the BMA. In 2010 Grand Canal Land Company proposed a 600–800 metre line linking its properties on Rama IX Road with the Phra Ram 9 MRT Station, but failed to secure approval.
|Line||Colour||Date opening||Terminal||Top speed||Electrification||Length /km||Number of stations||Daily passengers||Character(s)|
|Sukhumvit Line||Light Green||1999||Mo Chit||Bearing||80 km/h (49.71 mph)||Third rail||22 km (14 mi)||22||600,000||Elevated|
|Silom Line||Dark Green||1999||National Stadium||Talat Phlu||8 km (5.0 mi)||11|
|Chaloem Ratchamongkhon Line||Blue||2004||Hua Lamphong||Bang Sue||21 km (13 mi)||18||240,000||Underground|
|Airport Rail Link||Crimson||2010||Phaya Thai||Suvarnabhumi Airport||160 km/h (99 mph)||Overhead lines||28 km (17 mi)||8||40,000||Underground and Elevated|
|BTS Skytrain Lines|
|Line||Colour||Date opening||Terminal||Length /km||Number of stations||Daily passengers|
|Sukhumvit Line||Light Green||1999||Mo Chit||Bearing||22 km (14 mi)||22||600,000|
|Silom Line||Dark Green||1999||National Stadium||Wongwian Yai||8 km (5.0 mi)||9|
|2013||Wongwian Yai||Talat Phlu||2 km (1.2 mi)||3|
|BTS Skytrain Extension lines|
|Line||Colour||Date opening||Terminal||Length /km||Number of stations||Status|
|Sukhumvit Line extension||Light Green||2017||Bearing||Kheha Samut Prakan||11 km (6.8 mi)||7||Under Construction|
|??||Mo Chit||Saphan Mai||11 km (6.8 mi)||12||Planned|
|??||Kheha Samut Prakan||Bang Pu||??||??||Planned|
|2017||Udom Suk||Suvarnabhumi Airport||??||??||Planned|
|??||Saphan Mai||Eastern Outer Ring||??||8||Planned|
|Silom Line extension||Dark Green||2013||Talat Phlu||Bang Wa||5 km (3.1 mi)||2||Under construction|
|??||National Stadium||Yot Se||7 km (4.3 mi)||1||Planned|
|Bangkok Metro Lines|
|Line||Colour||Date opening||Terminal||Length /km||Number of stations||Daily passengers||Character(s)|
|Chaloem Ratchamongkhon Line||Blue||2004||Hua Lamphong||Bang Sue||21 km (13 mi)||18||240,000||Underground|
|Bangkok Metro Expansion plans lines|
|Line||Colour||Date proposed opening||Terminal||Length /km||Number of stations||Status||Character(s)|
|Chaloem Ratchamongkhon Line extension||Blue||2015||Bang Sue||Tha Phra||13 km (8.1 mi)||7||Under construction||Elevated|
|2015||Hua Lamphong||Lak Song||14 km (8.7 mi)||10||Under construction||Underground and Elevated|
|??||Bang Khae||Phutthamonthon Sai 4||??||5||Planned||Elevated|
|Purple Line||Purple||2014||Khlong Bang Phai||Tao Pun||23 km (14 mi)||16||Under construction||Elevated|
|??||Taopoon||Rat Burana||20 km (12 mi)||16||Planned||Underground and Elevated|
|Orange Line||Orange||2019||Bang Khun Non||Suvinthawong||37 km (23 mi)||28||Planned|
|Pink Line||Pink||2014-2016||Nonthaburi Government Center||Min Buri||34 km (21 mi)||24||Planned||Elevated|
|Yellow Line||Yellow||2022||Lat Phrao||Samrong||18 km (11 mi)||11||Planned|
|Brown Line||Brown||2019||Nonthaburi Government Center||Sammakorn||21 km (13 mi)||23||Planned|
|Grey Line||Grey||2019||Watcharaphon||Rama IX Bridge||26 km (16 mi)||21||Planned|
|Light Blue Line||Light Blue||2029||Pracha Songkhro||Chong Nonsi||9 km (5.6 mi)||9||Planned|
State Railway of Thailand
Daewoo Heavy Industries (APD.20)
The BTS Skytrain uses two variations of Electric Multiple Unit rolling stock. All operate on 1435 mm rail gauge (standard gauge). All trains have 4 doors on each side per car, an air-conditioning unit, and LCD monitors for public announcement and advertising. The power supply for all trains is at 750 V DC from the third rail.
Airport Rail Link
Siemens supplied nine Desiro Class 360/2 trainsets. The only significant difference from the UK units is a much larger air-conditioning pod on the roof, providing extra power to cope with the Thai climate. City services is operated by five three-car trains, and the Express services by four trainsets with a fourth car for check-in baggage. The first trains left Germany in September 2007, and testing in Bangkok began in March 2008. On 15 May 2012 the Thai Cabinet approved a budget of 5.2 billion baht for the SRT to order 7 new, 4 car sets of Siemens Desiro rolling stock to be delivered by 2014. However, as of June 2013 no order for new rolling stock had yet been placed. The Ministry of Transport was considering purchasing cheaper Chinese (CNR) or Spanish (CAF) rolling stock which would require changing the Siemens closed signalling system to an open system.
Most existing State Railway of Thailand lines use metre gauge, although standard gauge is used of rapid transit lines. As of 2013, approximately 4,346 km (2,700 mi) of track was in use throughout Thailand:
- 4,346 km (2,700 mi) metre gauge (1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in));
- 80.55 km (50.05 mi) standard gauge (1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)); and
About 450 stations.
About 1,000 bridges.
There are 7 railway tunnels in Thailand, amounting to a total length of 3.63 km (2.26 mi).
Mass transit routes in Bangkok is also set to be expanded. Excluding the already under construction extensions to the Skytrain, the Bangkok Metropolitan Government is planning a northern as well as western expansion of the Skytrain. The Central Government, through the State Railway of Thailand and Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand are also planning to build several new metro routes, three of which will begin construction by year end.
The Thai Government also has double tracking projects including a double tracking project in the works between Laem Chabang deep sea port and the Lad Krabang ICD. Also, in line with the Government's policy of reducing overall logistics costs in Thailand, there are plans to completely double track all the main lines in the country as well as upgrade track quality. The Government is also mulling a restructuring of the State Railway of Thailand and granting operating concessions to private freight operators. An international rail link has being constructed to Vientiane in Laos via Nong Khai and the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge.
In October 2010, the Thai parliament approved initial proposals for a high speed rail network; 5 lines capable of 250 km/h would radiate from Bangkok.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rail transport in Thailand.|
- State Railway of Thailand
- Bangkok Skytrain
- Bangkok Subway
- Transport in Thailand
- Burma Railway also known as Death Railway, Thailand–Burma Railway
- Rapid transit in Thailand
- Chantanusornsiri, Wichit (23 January 2012). "State railway to finally account for assets and liabilities". Bangkok Post.
- Mahitthirook, Amornrat; Marukatat, Saritdet (22 December 2010). "Getting on track needs strong political will". Bangkok Post.
- Bowring, Philip (23 October 2009). "Thailand's Railways: Wrong Track". Asia Sentinel. Asia Sentinel. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Neighbours to the west get closer | Bangkok Post: news". Bangkok Post. 2012-02-28. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- Rujopakarn, Wiroj (October 2003). "Bangkok transport system development: what went wrong?". Journal of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies 5: 3302–15.
- "Developer puts Bangkok on track for nation's first monorail". Bangkok Post. March 7, 2010. Retrieved December 25, 2011.[dead link]
- "โมโนเรลแกรนด์คาแนลส่อวืด". Thansettakij (in Thai) (2628). 21–23 April 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
- "Bangkok's first underground metro open". International Railway Journal. July, 2004. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- "Bangkok Desiro deliveries begin". Railway Gazette International. September 10, 2007.
-  แอร์พอร์ตลิงก์ชงบอร์ดซื้อรถใหม่ 7 ขบวน 4.2พันล้าน เตรียมเข็นล็อตแรกปี57, Pracha News, 16 May 2012
-  แพงเว่อร์คมนาคมรื้อ"ซีเมนส์"ดึง"จีน-ยุโรป"เสียบแอร์พอร์ตลิงก์, Pracha News, 18 June 2013
- Railway stations in Thailand
- "Railway bridges in Thailand records (Thai)".
- "Thailand to negotiate with China on high-speed proposal - International Railway Journal". 2010-10-30. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
|Wikiversity has learning materials about Rail transport in Thailand|