Bang Sue Central Station, which is set to replace Hua Lamphong as the capital's main rail transport hub, will be operational by January 2021, says Worawut Mala, acting governor of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT).
He said construction of the station was expected to be completed by November of next year and the installation of the signal system should be wrapped up by mid-2020, followed by test runs in June.
Even after the new station enters service, he said, Hua Lamphong terminal would not be abandoned as it can still function as a railway station for the Red Line electric train project's extension linking Phaya Thai, Makkasan, Hua Mak and Hua Lamphong.
The Red Line project is divided into three contracts. The first, which is 77% complete, covers the construction of Bang Sue Central Station, Chatuchak terminal, a maintenance facility, and roads by the side of rail tracks and rail crossings.
The second contract, which is 99% complete, includes the laying of rail tracks between Bang Sue and Rangsit as well as bridges across the railways and a water drainage system. The third contract, which is 38% complete, deals with the installation of electrical and mechanical systems along the railway between Bang Sue and Rangsit.
Workmen labour on the shaped roof of the entrance to the Bang Sue mega-station. It will be a main hub of the city's Red Line railway, also due to open in January, 2021. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Mr Worawut said the "Transit Oriented Development" concept would be applied to Bang Sue Central Station.
The subterranean floor of the station will be set aside as parking space that can accommodate 1,700 vehicles, he said. The ground floor will be used for ticket sales and reservations, contain a lounge for passengers as well as have commercial areas.
The first floor will consist of four platforms for Red Line trains as well as another eight platforms for long-distance train services. The second floor will accommodate 10 platforms for regional services while another two platforms could also be used to serve high-speed trains and airport rail link services in the future.
Mr Worawut said the station would also have a walkway linking the Bang Sue Red Line station with the Blue Line train service.
Construction of Bang Sue Central Station is now 60% complete, Mr Worawut noted.
The SRT is also seeking Transport Ministry approval for three Red Line extension projects, he said.
They consist of an 8.84-kilometre section between Rangsit and Thammasat University at a cost of 6.5 billion baht, a 14.8-km section between Taling Chan and Salaya at a cost of one billion baht as well as an 8.7-km section between Taling Chan and Siriraj Hospital at a cost of around 7.5 billion baht.
The ministry is expected to forward the projects to the cabinet for consideration in January.