The Thai government has approved the development of a high-speed elevated train system linking central Bangkok with the new Suvarnabhumi airport.
Costing around 30 billion baht (US$781 million) the project would take three years to complete, covering approximately 28km from Phya Thai Road via Makkasan to Asoke, then on to Suvarnabhumi airport.
Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said the train link would be elevated all the way and comprise “city line” trains and “airport express” trains. Fares for the express service would range from 150 to 200 baht with no stops.
City line trains would make eight stops along the route at Phya Thai, Ratchaprarop, Makkasan, Ramkhamhaeng, Hua Mark, Thab Chang, Lat Krabang and Suvarnabhumi. Fares on this slower service would be the same as Bangkok’s BTS skytrain, said Suriya, adding that travellers would be able to check-in and load their luggage at the Makkasan terminal.
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) said bidding for the project would begin after July 10 when the design is expected to be 95 percent complete. The design would be finished by October and the contract would be awarded in November.
According to SRT governor Chitsanti Dhanasobhon, contractors from Japan, Germany, China and Canada have expressed interest in the project.
Suvarnabhumi international airport is due to open in September next year.
Once completed, Suvarnabhumi will replace Don Muang as Bangkok’s international airport, relegating the latter to domestic-only status.
Don Muang currently handles about 30 million passengers per annum. Suvarnabhumi eventually will be able to cope with 100 million passengers per year and will have four runways.