MRT Purple Line

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Purple Line
MRT (Bangkok) Purple Logo.svg
MRT Purple Line Train T013 20160806.jpg
J-TREC Sustina trainset
Native nameสายฉลองรัชธรรม
TypeHeavy Rail
LocaleNonthaburi Province and Bangkok
TerminiKhlong Bang Phai
Tao Poon
Opened6 August 2016
OwnerMass Rapid Transit Authority
Operator(s)Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company Limited
Depot(s)Khlong Bang Phai
Line length23 km (14 mi)
Number of tracks2
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
ElectrificationThird rail
Operating speed80 km/h (50 mph)
Route map

Khlong Bang Phai
To Main Depot Right arrow
Talat Bang Yai
Sam Yaek Bang Yai
Bang Phlu
Bang Rak Yai
Bang Rak Noi - Tha It
Sai Ma
Chao Phraya River
Phra Nangklao Bridge
Yaek Nonthaburi 1
Bang Kraso
 MRL  Pink Line:
Min Buri Right arrow
Nonthaburi Civic Center
BSicon exTRAM.svg
Ministry of Public Health
Yaek Tiwanon
Wong Sawang
 SRT  Light Red Line:
Left arrow Taling Chan – Bang Sue Right arrow
Bang Son
BSicon exTRAM.svg
Tao Poon
 MRT  Blue Line:
Left arrow Tha Phra – Bang Sue Right arrow
Future Extension
Si Yan
Sam Sen
BSicon exTRAM.svg
National Library
Bang Khun Phrom
Phan Fa
BSicon exTRAM.svg
 MRT  Orange Line:
Left arrow Taling Chan – Min Buri Right arrow
Sam Yot
BSicon exTRAM.svg
 MRT  Blue Line:
Left arrow Bang Khae – Hua Lamphong Right arrow
Chao Phraya River
Memorial Bridge
 SRT  Dark Red Line:
Left arrow Maha Chai – Hua Lamphong Right arrow
Wongwian Yai
BSicon exTRAM.svg
 BTS  Silom Line:
Left arrow Bang Wa – Siam Right arrow
Chom Thong
Dao Khanong
Bang Pakok
Phacha Uthit
Rat Burana
Phra Pra Daeng
Kru Nai

The MRT Purple line (Thai: รถไฟฟ้ามหานคร สายสีม่วง), officially the MRT Chalong Ratchadham line (Thai: รถไฟฟ้ามหานคร สายฉลองรัชธรรม), is a 23 km rapid transit line of Bangkok's Metropolitan Rapid Transit system for the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region and Nonthaburi Province. It opened for service on 6 August 2016 and is the second MRT line operated by BEM (formerly BMCL) and the city's fifth rapid transit line, following the Sukhumvit Line, Silom Line, MRT Blue Line, and Airport Rail Link. Daily ridership is 70,000.[1]

A 23.6km Southern extension from Tao Poon to Rat Burana via Wong Wian Yai was approved for tender by the Thai Cabinet on 25 July 2017. The tender was due to be out in late 2017, but has been delayed until April 2020.[2] If construction commences in the second half of 2020, the extension will open in 2026.

Route Alignment[edit]

The MRT Purple Line platform at Khlong Bang Phai MRT Station
The Platform level of Bang Phlu MRT Station
MRT Purple Line Route Map, Tao Poon Station
Ticket Vending machines at Khlong Bang Phai MRT Station
Entrance to Tao Poon station, MRT Purple Line
Khlong Bang Phai MRT Station

The Purple Line serves travellers between the northwestern suburbs of Bangkok in Nonthaburi Province and connects them to the inner north of Bangkok. Eventually, it will connect to the southern area of Thonburi in Rat Burana District. This was the first Bangkok metro line which extended into an adjacent province as the northern terminus, Khlong Bang Phai Station, is in Bang Bua Thong, Nonthaburi Province. The line runs between Tao Poon and Khlong Bang Phai and has 16 stations.

The Purple line starts from the elevated Tao Poon station at Tao Poon junction, where it interchanges with the MRT Blue Line. It runs north along a viaduct along Krung Thep-Nonthaburi Road, providing transfer to the Red commuter railway at Bang Son railway station, and approaches Mueang Nonthaburi District of Nonthaburi Province. The line continues north via Tiwanon Road, passes the Ministry of Public Health, then turns west at the Khae Rai junction to Rattanathibet Road in Nonthaburi, passes the Nonthaburi Government Centre, crosses the Chao Phraya River on a bridge directly parallel to the Phra Nangklao Bridge. The line continues to a large residential area in Bang Yai District and turns to the north along Kanchanaphisek Road, passes Bang Yai market and Central Westgate before terminating at Khlong Bang Phai in Bang Bua Thong District. The total length is 23 kilometres (14 mi).


The Purple line was tendered in mid 2009 and construction began in late 2009 with an original schedule of a late 2014,[3] but the opening was delayed until August 2016.

When the Purple line did finally open, there was a 1.2 kilometre "missing link" between the Purple Line's terminus at Tao Poon and then MRT Blue line terminus at Bang Sue, leading to inter-connectivity problems for passengers. The extension of the Blue Line from Bang Sue to Tao Poon was finally opened 1 year later on 11 August 2017.[4] During this period passengers had to take shuttle buses to transfer between the two lines. The missing link was blamed for initial low ridership, with only 22,000 daily passengers compared to projected numbers of 100,000.[5]


The 16 station Purple line runs from Tao Poon and Khlong Bang Phai and has a carrying capacity of 30,000 people in each direction per hour. The line operates from 6am to midnight with last services departing at 11.40pm. Single trip fares range from 14-42 baht.

The MRTA has proposed to BEM to introduce multi-trip package fares to reduce prices[6] which follows an earlier proposal by the Department of Railways to offer 40% discounts during off peak travel.[7]


When the Purple line first opened daily ridership was only 22,000 compared to projected numbers of 100,000.[8] After the opening of the Blue Line extension to Tao Poon 1 year later in August 2017, daily average ridership increased significantly from 33,000 to 50,000.[9]

In August 2018, the MRTA Deputy Governor stated that daily ridership had increased to 60,000 each weekday.[10] By late 2019, this had increased to 70,000.[11]


In the table below, names in italics indicate that the station is under construction and not yet in operation.

MRT Purple Line EN.svg
Name Code Picture Distance
Platforms Transfers Location
Khlong Bang Phai คลองบางไผ่ PP01 Khlong Bang Phai - 2 Bang Bua Thong Nonthaburi
Talad Bang Yai ตลาดบางใหญ่ PP02 Talad Bang Yai 1.27 2
Sam Yaek Bang Yai สามแยกบางใหญ่ PP03 Sam Yaek Bang Yai 1.56 2
Bang Phlu บางพลู PP04 Bang Phlu 1.57 2
Bang Rak Yai บางรักใหญ่ PP05 Bang Rak Yai 1.20 2
Bang Rak Noi Tha It บางรักน้อย-ท่าอิฐ PP06 Bang Rak Noi Tha It 1.25 2 Mueang Nonthaburi
Sai Ma ไทรม้า PP07 Sai Ma 1.25 2
Phra Nangklao Bridge สะพานพระนั่งเกล้า PP08 1.47 2
Yaek Nonthaburi 1 แยกนนทบุรี 1 PP09 Yaek Nonthaburi 1.63 2
Bang Krasor บางกระสอ PP10 1.26 2
Nonthaburi Civic Center ศูนย์ราชการนนทบุรี PP11 Nonthaburi Civic Center 0.90 2 MRT Pink Line (under construction)
Bangkok MRT Brown line unofficial logo.png MRT Brown Line (planned)
Ministry of Public Health กระทรวงสาธารณสุข PP12 1.79 2
Yaek Tiwanon แยกติวานนท์ PP13 1.20 2
Wong Sawang วงศ์สว่าง PP14 1.72 2 Bang Sue Bangkok
Bang Son บางซ่อน PP15 Bang Son 1.29 2 SRT Light Red Line (Line not operational)
Tao Poon เตาปูน PP16 Tao Poon 1.58 4 MRT Blue Line

Rolling stock[edit]

In November 2013, BEM contracted with Marubeni Corp, Toshiba Corp, and East Japan Railway Company to install E&S systems, supply 63 cars of rolling stock, and provide maintenance for 10 years as part of a contract worth 12.6 billion baht.[12]

East Japan Railway train manufacturing subsidiary J-TREC built the 21 trains (three car sets) in Yokohama with the first sets delivered in early 2016.[13]

Construction History[edit]

Construction began in late 2009 with an original schedule of a 2014 opening. Construction was divided into three separate contracts. The first contract covered the section from Bang Sue - Tao Poon - Phra Nangklao Bridge, a distance of 12 km, with nine stations. This contract included construction of a 1.2 km extension of the Blue Line from Bang Sue to Tao Poon where the Blue Line and the Purple Line now interchange.

The second contract covered the Phra Nangklao Bridge (including a new bridge) - Bang Yai District - Khlong Bang Phai terminus section, with a length of 11 km and seven stations. The third contract was for the construction of a train depot at the Bang Yai terminus and four park and ride buildings at Khlong Bang Phai, Sam Yaek Bang Yai, Tha It, and the Yaek Nonthaburi stations.

Contract Notes Kilometre
1 Bang Sue-Tao Pun to Phra Nangklao Bridge 12
2 Phra Nangklao Bridge to Khlong Bang Phai terminus (river crossing viaduct included) 11
3 Depot at Khlong Bang Phai, four park and ride stations
4 Rolling Stock and Management - BMCL (Joint Development)
5 Signalling and Electrical - Bang Yai to Taopoon
6 Trackwork

The sixth contract, which was due to be awarded in mid-2011 for the laying of track was delayed for over one year due to internal disputes within the MRTA and uncertainty about the bidding process.[14] However, this contract was finalised in October 2012.

In September 2013, BEM (operator of the MRT Blue Line) signed an 82.6 billion baht contract with the MRTA for the procurement of rolling stock, installation of E&S systems, and operation and maintenance of the Purple Line. The concession is for a 30-year period.[15]

In October 2012, BEM, private operator of the MRT Blue line, was granted a 30-year concession to operate the Purple Line and supply rolling stock and electrical systems.[16]

As of July 2014, civil works construction was 94 percent complete[17].[18] As of October 2014, civil works were stated to be 99% complete.[19] During construction in June 2013 5 people were injured when 6 beams fell onto vehicles below Tao Poon station. [20]

Phase Two: Southern Extension (Tao Poon-Rat Burana)[edit]

The planned extension from Tao Pun - Rat Burana will run south through Bangkok's old quarter from Tao Pun junction on a viaduct. It then will go into an underground structure along Sam Sen Road, passing the new Thai parliament site, and transfers to the proposed Red inner-city shortcut commuter at Sanghi intersection. It passes the national library in Dusit District before it reaches Phra Nakhon District at Thewet Market.

The line turns east at Bang Lamphu and goes along the city moat to the south, with transfers possible to the planned MRT Orange Line at Ratchadamnoen Road near the Democracy Monument. It passes Golden Mount before possible transfers to the southern extension of the Blue Line at Wang Burapha near Yaowarat Road in Chinatown and the Phahurat textile market.

The line crosses the Chao Phraya River near the Memorial Bridge towards the Wongwian Yai roundabout in Thonburi on the west bank, with possible transfers to the Dark Red Line commuter and to Wongwian Yai BTS Station. It continues south to Chom Thong, then on an elevated structure for 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) and ends in Rat Burana District, a short distance to the nearby Phra Pradaeng suburban town in Samut Prakan Province. The total length will be about 23.6 km, including ten underground and seven elevated stations.

The Cabinet was expected to approve the Purple Line Southern extension in mid 2017 with a tender due in the 2nd half of 2017. [21] On 25 July 2017, Cabinet approved the 101 billion baht budget and tender for the extension.[22] [23] However, the tender was delayed until 2018.[24]. A further delay resulted as the TOR for the now PPP scheduled a early 2019 planned tender. [25]. However, this was done before the March 2019 national elections and has thus been further delayed until April 2020.[26] If the tender is on time and construction commences in the second half of 2020, the extension will open in 2026.

Potential Northern Extension[edit]

A 4.5 km extension from Bang Yai to Bang Bua Thong intersection - which was not part of the original Purple Line plan - has previously been requested by the Nonthaburi governor.[27]

Further southern Extension[edit]

OTP has previously indicated in 2008 that a southern cross-river connection could be built between Samrong and Rat Burana either by extending the MRT Yellow Line or by extending the Purple line. However, such an extension would only be considered after 2029 once all other planned lines are fully operational.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Khaosod ,30 September 2019
  2. ^ Member meeting with MRTA planning division on 7 August 2019 at MTRA Headquarters
  3. ^ Mahitthirook, Amornrat (26 November 2012). "Mall links to boost MRT's bottom line". Bangkok. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Fare cut boosts Purple Line riders, but still below target - Bangkok Post Property finance advice". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Discounted multi-trip packages proposed for Blue, Purple lines". Bangkok Post. 1 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Rail regulator weighs off-peak discounts". Bangkok Post. 3 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Fare cut boosts Purple Line riders, but still below target - Bangkok Post Property finance advice". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Purple Line use up 47% since 'missing link' completed". Bangkok Post. Bangkok. 8 September 2017.
  10. ^ Thansettakij, 27 August 2018
  11. ^ Khaosod ,30 September 2019
  12. ^ 'Japanese firms win Purple Line deal'. Bangkok Post, 6 November 2013
  13. ^ "First Sustina export order". International Railway Gazette. 23 September 2014.
  14. ^ "ITD closer to Purple Line contract". The Nation. Bangkok. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  15. ^ 'Purple Line deal agreed BEM signs 30-year contract with MRTA'. Bangkok Post, 5 September 2013
  16. ^ "Bangkok Purple Line contract awarded". International Railway Gazette. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "MRTA Purple line accident injures 5". Bangkok Post. 7 June 2013.
  21. ^ Bangkok Post, 26 May 2017
  22. ^
  23. ^ The Nation, 25 July 2017
  24. ^ Bangkok Post, 10 Nov 2017
  25. ^ Bangkok Post, 17 September 2018
  26. ^ Member meeting with MRTA planning division on 7 August 2019 at MTRA Headquarters
  27. ^ Bid to extend Purple Line to Sai Noi intersection. The Nation, 5 May 2011

External links[edit]