BTS halts service, reopens

BTS halts service, reopens

A control system problem temporarily knocked Bangkok's crowded BTS system out of operation, but as of 11:00am it has reopened operations, shut again, and resumed again.

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The BTS Skytrain was not running this morning at the new Bang Wa stationnor at any other station as problems with a control system halted service temporarily. Reports say that as of 11am, it is now back in operation. PORNPROM SATRABHAYA


Here's the latest on the BTS shutdown earlier today from our online team:

The scene at Asok station this afternoon after BTS trains were running again PORNPROM SATRABHAYA

The testing of a new platform screen door caused an eight-hour failure of the BTS skytrain system that caused commuter chaos in Bangkok on Tuesday morning.

The test triggered a malfunction of the signals communication system, which controls the trains, leading to a total shutdown.

Anat Arbhabhirama, adviser to the board of director of Bangkok Mass Transit System which operates the BTS skytrain, told a press conference Tuesday afternoon that the testing of platform screen doors at stations early Tuesday early morning had caused the signal problem.

The company is spending around 600 million baht installing platform doors to improve safety for passengers. Similar doors already operate on the MRT train system.

Mr Anat said tests on Silom line were completed. The company began testing the screen door system on the Sukhumvit line when the problem arose about 3am.

The problem caused the cancellation of all services from 6am, when trains normally begin running.

Bombardier Transportation Singals (Thailand) Co, which handles the service, was called into the fix the problem and full services resumed five hours late at 11am, he said.

However, there was another signals interruption between Chidlom and On Nut station about 1pm, causing the service between these two stations to be halted for about half an hour.

Mr Anat said Bombardier will check the signal system again after its daily service ends at midnight. All problems were expected to be ironed out before normal operations start at 6am Wednesday.

He said the company had lost about eight million baht in revenue because of the failure.


Oops. Another shut down, this one a short one and confined to the Sukhumvit line. Reports say BTS is now operating again.


Surprise! Social media users report the BTS is back in operation.


Social media users reporting seeing trains in motion on the Skytrain line although service has not yet begun. Spring News TV has just reported that the BTS has confirmed an afternoon restart.

"We are very sorry, but BTS service has been temporarily halted. Please use alternative means of transportation." (Latest reports say the system has reopened.) PATTARAPONG CHATPATTARASILL

BTS halts service, leaving commuters stranded

Currently both lines of Bangkok's BTS system are not in operation and passengers are being told to find alternative means of getting to their destinations. The problem, it appears, is in the control system. The company has apologised for the inconvenience and says urgent repairs are underway. The company is using all possible communication channels to notify customers of the problem, it said on its website.

As you would expect, there are already reports of heavy traffic on the roads and there are (false) rumours going around that the shutdown was caused by protesters trying to cause gridlock. Well-known Bangkok blogger Richard Barrow reported, however, that an BTS executive said the problem was caused by a radio transmitter failure in the signalling system. Barrow reports that the company is hoping for a noon reopening.

A BTS official has just told Thai PBS TV (9am) that the problem actually began at 3am this morning, during the testing of a new system. He said both BTS and foreign technical staff are working on the problem, but he could not say with certainty when the system would be up and running again. He hoped it would be this morning.

Bangkok's subway system is still operating, but some stations are very congested. The crowding at Chatuchak station is especially severe. The Transport Minister has requested additional trains be put in service as well as more buses. Interestingly, the MRT, Bangkok's subway service, had just reported an increase of 60 percent in passengers for the first 10 months of this year. Today, might be a record-breaker.

This was the first major breakdown in the system in 14 years.

Twitter announcement from BTS on the temporary suspension of service.

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  • alternative: another choice - ทางเลือก, ตัวเลือก
  • apologise: to say you are sorry for doing something wrong or for causing a problem - ขอโทษ
  • appear: to seem - ดูเหมือนจะ, ดูเหมือนว่า
  • certainty: a thing that is certain or sure - สิ่งที่แน่นอน, ความแน่นอน
  • channel: a way of communicating with people or getting something done - ช่องทาง
  • chaos: a situation in which everything is confused and in a mess - การจราจล
  • commuter: a person who regularly travels between work and home - คนเดินทางระหว่างบ้านและที่ทำงาน
  • confined: limited - จำกัด
  • congested: too blocked or crowded and causing difficulties - แน่นขนัด
  • currently: at this time; now - ในปัจจุบัน
  • destination: the place where someone or something is going - จุดหมายปลายทาง
  • executive: a senior manager in a business or other organisation - ผู้บริหาร
  • gridlock: a situation in which it is impossible to make progress - ติดขัด, แออัด, รถติด
  • in operation (adj.): currently operating or working to do some job - ปฏิบัติ, ปฏิบัติงาน, ปฏิบัติการ, ทำงาน
  • inconvenienced: caused to have difficulties - ได้รับความไม่สะดวก
  • interruption: something that temporarily stops an activity or a situation; a time when an activity is stopped - การขัดจังหวะ, การหยุดชะงัก
  • iron out: to get rid of any problems or difficulties that are affecting something - แก้ปัญหา
  • malfunction: a failure to work or operate correctly   - ทำงานผิดปกติ
  • mass transit: the system of moving large numbers of people around in a city, including buses, trains, subways, etc. - การขนส่งมวลชน
  • means: methods; ways - วิธี, วิธีการ
  • motion: movement - การเคลื่อนไหว
  • normally: usually; in normal circumstances - โดยปกติ, ตามปกติ
  • notify: to tell someone officially about something - แจ้ง
  • platform: an area next to a railway track, bus station, etc. where passengers get onto and off trains, buses, etc. - ชานชาลา
  • press conference: an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it - การแถลงข่าว
  • repair: to fix something that is broken or damaged - ซ่อมบำรุง
  • resume: to begin again after stopping for a period of time - เริ่มอีกครั้ง, กลับมาอีกครั้ง
  • revenue: income from taxes or business activities - รายได้
  • rumour: a piece of information, or a story, that people talk about, but that may not be true - ข่าวลือ
  • severe: very serious and unpleasant - รุนแรง
  • social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์
  • stranded: left somewhere with no way of going anywhere else - ปล่อยเกาะ ถูกทิ้งไว้
  • temporarily: for a limited period of time - ชั่วคราว
  • transmitter (noun): a piece of equipment used for sending electronic signals, especially radio or television signals - เครื่องส่ง
  • trigger: to cause - ก่อให้เกิด กระตุ้น
  • underway: happening - กำลังเกิดขึ้น
  • urgent: of something you need to deal with immediately - เร่งด่วน

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