Red Line test run next month

Red Line test run next month

A policeman stands near a Red Line train on Tuesday during a visit by the transport minister. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
A policeman stands near a Red Line train on Tuesday during a visit by the transport minister. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

The test run for the Red Line railway will commence on March 26.

The timeline of the test run had been decided by the SRT Committee on Monday, Nirut Maneephan, governor of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), said on Tuesday.

"March 26 happens to be the anniversary of the SRT," he said, adding that commuters would not be charged until July 28 when the Red Line is officially open and ready to collect fares.

The Red Line rail system covers the greater Bangkok area, running from Thammasat's Rangsit campus to Bang Sue and Taling Chan.

The SRT Committee also approved a plan to hire consultants to advise on how it could engage in the commercial development of the spaces inside and outside the Red Line's stations.

Commercial projects, said Mr Nirut, would dovetail carpark spaces and advertising signs. The committee has also prepared bidding documents to select sellers and commercial developers at Bang Sue Grand Station, where the Red Line will pass.

Mr Nirut quoted Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob saying the commercial development at Bang Sue Grand Central should be paired with a shopping mall, similar to that of Don Mueang airport and Suvarnabhumi airport.

For the commercial development of Bang Sue Grand Central station, the SRT will next month hire another consultancy firm to advise on the bidding for commercial spaces in May. Shops at Bang Sue are set to open in November.

"The SRT has expanded the commercial areas from the originally planned 5% to 20 and 30% to cover the costs of operating the station. Ticket selling spaces have been downsized as passengers tend to buy their tickets online anyway," he said.

He added that the SRT was also discussing the future of Hua Lamphong Railway Station with other agencies. "It will be closed but we have yet to decide on the future of the area," he said.

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