Free Rides On MRT Line To Tourist Hell Begin In April

Published on 27th February 2019 by Stickboy BKK

Free Rides On MRT Line To Tourist Hell Begin In April

Besieged MRT riders brace yourselves for even larger crowds as the Blue Line’s extension to Chinatown and across the Chao Phraya to Bangkok’s biggest tourist sites begins free test runs in April.

Running both above and below ground, the new line connects Hua Lamphong Station to Bang Khae District in the western suburbs. It also brings train access to not only Chinatown, but the tourist hoards heading to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.

Riders who laughed at the 100-deep queues for trains bound for Bang Sue and Tao Poon will soon find the joke is on them: The MRT is adding just three trains to handle all the additional passengers, bringing the system’s total to 35 sardine cans on wheels.

Construction of the full MRT system is now 71 percent complete. The western extension will cover 14 stations, all of which are said to be more stylish than the current stations, which have all the charm of a morgue.

The line will stop at Wat Mangkon, Sam Yot, Sanam Chai, Itsaraphap, Tha Phra, Bang Phai, Bang Wa, Phet Kasem 48, Phasi Charoen and Bang Khae before terminating at Lak Song.

Commuters will have another way to get to Tao Poon, however, going the opposite direction and catching the elevated train line at Tha Phra – but not until at least March 2020. Riders can also jump to the BTS at MRT Bang Wa.

The final leg of the extension will link MRT Lak Song and Thawi Wattana District, though if it’s finished by the March 2020 target date it will be a miracle.

new bts station

Meanwhile, the government’s love affair with mass-transit trains continued Tuesday as the Cabinet approved 17 billion baht for two more commuter lines.

The State Railway of Thailand will extend the Light Red Line in western Bangkok 15 kilometers to Salaya, while the Dark Red Line will be stretched another nine kilometers to Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus.

Construction of both lines will start late this year and with opening eyed for 2022.

The Dark Red line connects Bang Sue and Rangsit while the Light Red goes from Bang Sue to Taling Chan. Test runs for both could begin in November 2020 with full operations commencing in January 2021.

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