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Bangkok Metro (MRT)

 

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The construction of the first Bangkok Metro line, officially known as Chaloem Ratchamongkhon – "Celebration of Royal Auspice" – or informally as the "Blue Line", began on 19 November 1996. The project suffered multiple delays not only because of the 1997 economic crisis, but also due to challenging civil engineering works of constructing massive underground structures deep in the water-logged soil upon which the city is built.

The 21-kilometer, 18-station Blue line presently runs from Bang Sue to Hua Lamphong via Phra Ram 9 and has a carrying capacity of 40,000 people in each direction per hour. Similar to the Skytrain, the Metro uses trains supplied by Siemens which travel up to 80 km/h. Passengers can conveniently connect to the Skytrain at Si Lom, Sukhumvit and Chatuchak Park stations. The metro has a large depot in Huai Khwang district, which is located between Phra Ram 9 and Thailand Cultural Centre stations. Considering that Bangkok is a low-lying plain which is prone to flooding, all of the Metro's station entrances are raised about one metre above the ground level and are equipped with built-in floodgates in order to avoid water inundating the system. Lifts and ramps are found at all stations, providing easy access for passengers in wheelchairs. Stations have multiple passage ways (generally four) which allow passengers to connect to any corner of the adjacent surface intersection. Maps depicting the local area and exit points are posted on the walls on the way out. Due to safety considerations, platform screen doors are installed. Uniformed security personnel and security cameras are present at each and every platform.

The ticketing system uses RFID contactless technology with round black tokens issued for single trips and contactless stored value cards for frequent travellers. In the near future, a joint ticketing system will be set up so that passengers can use a single ticket on the Metro as well as on the Skytrain. Multi-storey park & ride facilities are provided at Lat Phrao and Thailand Cultural Centre. Motorists who park their cars at these premises will be issued with additional contactless smartcards and they need to have them electronically stamped at their destination station.

19 three-car metro trains, of the Siemens Modular Metro type, are used. Each metro train consists of two motor cars and a centre trailer car.

The route runs from Hua Lamphong (Bangkok Railway Station) to Bang Sue with a total of 18 stations along the over 20 km distance. It connects with the Skytrain at Silom, Sukhumwit and Chatuchak stations. A train leaves the terminal every 5 minutes during peak hours: 06.00 – 09.00 hrs and 16.30 – 19.30 hrs. And it leaves every 7 minute during the off-peak hours.
The fares range from 16 baht to 41 baht.
MRT 18 stations are as follows:
Hua Lamphong – Sam Yan – Silom – Lumpini – Khlong Toei – Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre – Sukhumvit – Phetchaburi – Phra Ram 9 – Thailand Cultural Centre – Huai Khwang – Sutthisan – Ratchadaphisek – Lat Phrao – Phahon Yothin – Chatuchak Park – Kamphaeng Phet – Bang Sue

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