Brown Line monorail, expressway take shape
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Brown Line monorail, expressway take shape

Likely to go before traffic office in July

Feasibility studies for a 22km Brown Line monorail from Khae Rai to Lam Sali with an accompanying expressway will be complete by June, according to Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP).

The study will then be forwarded to Office of the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic (OCMLT), the government’s main transport supervisory agency in July, Chaiwat Thongkamkoon, OTP’s chief, told a public hearing Monday.

After both the monorail and expressway are approved by the OCMLT, the projects will go before cabinet.

After cabinet okays them, the monorail scheme will be sent to the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) for design work. Expressway plans will be designed by the Expressway Authority of Thailand (Exat). The monorail will cost around 50 billion baht, and the expressway 25 billion baht.

The government has ordered the OTP to study the Brown Line monorail and the accompanying expressway. The monorail was not originally part of the master plan for 10 electric train lines in Bangkok and surrounding metropolitan areas. It will be the first monorail for the Prasert Manukich area, a growing residential zone with few bus routes. “Because of this, we can expect this route to take more time than the others to complete,” said Mr Chaiwat. “We are trying to push for the Brown Line to be placed in the first master plan, which will require a 2010-2029 completion date.”

The Brown Line monorail, he said, will have 18 stations. Starting at the Khae Rai intersection, the route will head east along Ngam Wong Wan Road towards Bang Khen and Kasetsart intersection. Continuing along Prasert Manoonkij road, the route will take a southbound right turn, at Nawamin Intersection, towards Bang Kapi. The route is set to terminate service at Lam Sali intersection.

Six of the 18 stations will be connected with the other six train lines, he said. They are the MRT Purple Line (Tao Poon-Khlong Bang Phai), the SRT Red Line (Bang SueRangsit), the Green Line extensions (Mo Chit-Khu Khot), the MRT Orange Line (Thailand Cultural Centre-Min Buri) and MRT Yellow Line monorail (Lat Phrao-Samrong) and Grey Line monorail (Watcharapol-Tha Phra).

“The Brown Line will most likely use a monorail or a light rail system, to save space along large roads,” Mr Chaiwat said. “Like the Pink and Yellow Line monorails, the route will also act as a feeder system for the larger main routes.”

OTP is set to have the accompanying expressway built before the actual Brown Line. The expressway will make use of abandoned pillars along Prasert Manoonkij road. The construction of the expressway will be divided in two phases.

The first 12.2km phase will run from the Bangkok’s third phase expressway’s northern section from the Kasetsart University intersection to Nawamin Road, linking to the Outer Ring Road. The second phase will be 7km in length, from Khlong Bang Bua and Khlong Bang Khen, paralleling Don Muang tollway.

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