Orange Line rejigged to save B3.6bn

Construction News

The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) has agreed to construct the Orange Line along Rama IX Road and combine Rang Nam and Ratchaprarop stations into one station to minimise the effect of land expropriation and save more than 3.6 billion baht in additional costs.

Speaking after the MRTA board meeting Friday, chairman Gen Yodyuth Boonyatikarn revealed the Orange Line (South), Taling Chan-Thailand Cultural Centre, will be constructed along Rama IX Road instead of Pracha Songkhro Road, saving up to 500 million baht in rerouting costs.

The bulk of the savings, more than 3.1 billion baht, would come from averting conflicts with residents over the construction of Rang Nam and Ratchaprarop stations. Now, only the Ratchaprarop station will be built, and the line will veer more toward Makkasan Road.

The new plan avoids the demolition of more than 50 row houses, for which residents demanded compensation of 50 million baht each from the state. The station will be situated near the Airport Rail Link’s Makkasan station. While the plan saves money, with one fewer station it forces passengers to walk farther to reach the nearest platform.

The decision to construct the Orange Line along Rama IX was made after the MRTA learned about 1,000 households will have to be expropriated if it was to be constructed along Pracha Songkhro Road.

“The connection at the Thailand Cultural Centre station will not go ahead because the new route is planned along Rama IX Road. The main reason the MRTA chose this plan is because there will be less opposition from residents. The new plan also results in a shorter route. It will be offered for approval to the transport minister and the cabinet,” Gen Yodyuth said.

The MRTA chairman said the re-route should serve as a lesson to the MRTA that it needs to carefully study project details next time. Previously, the Orange Line was to stretch from Rang Nam station, to Ratchaprarop Road, to Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, to the Bangkok km 2 Road-Pracha Songkhro Road to Ratchadaphisek Road (in front of the Esplanade) and connect with the Blue Line at the Thailand Cultural Centre station.

The new route will start from Rang Nam station-Ratchaprarop Road-Din Daeng Road and connect with the Blue Line’s Rama IX station instead.