Gold Line set for October opening

Gold Line set for October opening

Chinese-made Bombardier Innovia APM 300 automated people mover systems are seen after customs clearance on June 6. The model will be used for the Gold Line, which will begin operating in October. (Photo from Gold Line Bangkok)
Chinese-made Bombardier Innovia APM 300 automated people mover systems are seen after customs clearance on June 6. The model will be used for the Gold Line, which will begin operating in October. (Photo from Gold Line Bangkok)

Bangkok’s Gold Line electric rail route will begin operating in October as planned, despite a delay in construction caused by the coronavirus outbreak, its developer Krungthep Thanakom (KT) said on Thursday.

The assurance came on the same day the first of three trains being imported for use on the route arrived from China.

Now that the Covid-19 pandemic situation has eased significantly, the import of equipment required under the Gold Line project has resumed, said Manit Techa-apichoke, managing director of KT — the business arm of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

The overall project is 89% complete, with the construction work almost done and the train operation system about 81% complete, he said.

The first Bombardier Innovia APM 300 electric train imported from China arrived on Thursday at Laem Chabung Port in Chon Buri, while two other trains are expected to arrive in August, said Sumit Srisantithum, chief operating officer of the Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC).

BTSC was hired by KT to procure trains for the Gold Line, operate the service and handle maintenance work in a 30-year contract.

Produced in China’s Anhui province, the trains have two carriages, with each carriage capable of carrying a maximum of 138 passengers, he said.

Their maximum speed is 80km/hr.

In the first phase of operations, the Gold Line, will have three stations along a 1.8-kilometre route, he said, adding that it is expected to serve about 42,000 passengers daily

The second part of the project, running along Somdet Chao Phraya Road will add a fourth station and is expected to open in 2023.

In total, the route will be 2.8km in length and is designed to serve as a feeder line for passengers wanting to use other routes, namely the Green, Red and Purple lines, Mr Sumit said.

It is hoped the new line will help improve public transport in the Thon Buri district of Bangkok, especially in the fast-growing areas along the Chao Phraya River, he said.

The public-private investment project doesn’t require any state funding, he said.

Mr Manit had said previously that money would come from fares and revenue from advertising at the Gold Line’s stations.

Advertisement sales had created around 2 billion baht in funds for the construction of the route, maintenance and the hiring of the consultant.


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