Train services from Hua Lamphong station to be cut
The test run for Bangkok’s Red Line will be postponed from March 26 to July 28. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
The test run of Bangkok’s Red Line rail service has been postponed until July, while the number of the trains using Hua Lamphong station is to be reduced to 22 trips per day, focusing on the rush hours only.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said on Wednesday that when the State Railway of Thailand celebrates its anniversary on March 26, it would only inspect the Red Line Bang Sue-Rangsit and Bang Sue-Taling Chan railway line and facilities, instead of launching the test run as earlier planned.
The Red Line will cover the greater Bangkok area, running from Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus to Bang Sue and Taling Chan.
Meanwhile, the “soft” launch of the new service — trains without fares — would be postponed from March 26 to July 28 — His Majesty the King’s birthday — and the full service until November, said Mr Saksayam.
The Red Line will collect distance-based fares ranging from 15-42 baht.
Since Bangkok’s central station will later be moved from Hua Lamphong to Bang Sue Grand Station, train services from Hua Lamphong will be cut to 22 rush-hour trips per day in the morning and the evening.
This is being done to ease congestion at the new station, according to the Transport Ministry.
Mr Saksayam said he expected the changes to be implemented in July.
The ministry is planning to coordinate with the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand to provide shuttle buses connected with the Red Line railway project and thus mitigate travel issues affected by the revision of Hua Lamphong’s routes.
The minister is leaning towards having shuttle buses running on expressways to minimise commuters’ journey times and traffic jams.
Toll fees currently integrated with the EXAT might be waived, he added.
Hua Lamphong station opened on June 25, 1916, meaning that it will have its 105th birthday this year.
Before the arrival of Covid-19, it was the terminal for about 200 train trips a day.