Bang Sue megastation project reaches halfway mark

Bang Sue megastation project reaches halfway mark

The outside structure of Bang Sue Central Station, a new rail transport hub in Bangkok, is taking shape. It is expected to be the largest railway station in Southeast Asia.
The outside structure of Bang Sue Central Station, a new rail transport hub in Bangkok, is taking shape. It is expected to be the largest railway station in Southeast Asia.

Construction for the Bang Sue Central Station, set to replace Hua Lamphong as the capital's main rail transport hub, is now almost 50% complete, SRT Red electric train line project director Kumpol Boonchom says.

He made the comments during a press visit to the station's construction site. Upon its scheduled completion next November, it will act as the Bang Sue-Rangsit Red Line's terminus.

According to Mr Kumpol, the megastation, spanning more than 240,000 sq m, and located near the Bang Sue junction on Thoet Damri road, will be a hub for high-speed rail links in addition to standard electric train lines and diesel trains.

This includes the planned Thai-Chinese high-speed railway from Bangkok to Nong Khai, the Eastern Economic Corridor high-speed railway connecting Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-tapao airports and the Thai-Japanese high-speed railway from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

"We have planned the station to take in all these high-speed railways. They will be located on a different platform floor to the Red Line's trains," he said.

"The station can only be fully opened once all these projects finish, but the section to service the Red Line will open when the route launches in October 2020."

Mr Kumpol said Bang Sue Central Station will have four floors, three of which will be located above ground. The underground floor will be reserved for the station's 1,624-vehicle parking lot.

The first floor will act as the station's concourse, with ticket vending machines for all railway routes using it as a terminus as well as leisure areas for passengers, Mr Kumpol said. This floor will be the only air-conditioned one, he added.

The second floor will be a large platform area comprising 12 tracks, he said. Eight of the tracks will be for long-distance routes operated by diesel trains, while the remaining four will belong to the SRT Red Line's electric commuter rail network. A platform for high-speed railways will be located on the station's topmost third floor.

Further studies for Bang Sue are currently being conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) to develop land surrounding the station. Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said plans also involve integrating public bus systems into the station areas, to ensure no missing links among modes of transport.

Construction for the station is being overseen by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), a state enterprise under the Transport Ministry which owns most of the land on and around the country's railways.

Valued at around 30 billion baht, the station is part of the Red Line's 80-billion-baht network.

SRT officials earlier said most of the routes departing and arriving at Hua Lamphong station -- also known as Bangkok station -- will gradually be transferred to Bang Sue while the former station will still remain operational.

Plans to turn part of Hua Lamphong into a railway museum once the transfer is complete have also been floated by railway authorities.

building up: Workers walk up a ramp to resume their jobs on the top level of Bang Sue Central Station, a new rail transport hub in Bangkok. Construction is almost 50% complete.

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