Push on for rail 'missing link'
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Push on for rail 'missing link'

Green, Yellow line connect 'aids travel'

A Yellow Line train is tested.
A Yellow Line train is tested.

Pressure is mounting on the operators of Bangkok's Green and Yellow lines to construct a 2.6-kilometre missing link between the two electric train systems to make it easier for commuters to change lines at Ratchayothin and Lat Phrao stations.

The Yellow Line monorail, which will provide a mass-transit link for commuters in Bangkok's north and eastern suburbs, is slated to begin operations later this year.

Without the missing link, commuters wishing to switch from the Green Line to the Yellow will have to re-route their journey through the Blue Line, which will add to the cost of their travel.

A source familiar with the matter said a proposal to construct the missing link between the two lines had already passed an environmental impact assessment (EIA) six years ago.

The missing link, which will run along Ratchadaphisek Road, will have two stations, connecting Lat Phrao Station along the Yellow Line with Phahonyothin 24 and Ratchayothin stations on the Green Line, according to the proposal.

The extension will pass through a number of important locations, including the Criminal Court and Chandrakasem Rajabhat University, the source said.

The source noted that the project hasn't progressed anywhere as the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA), the operator of the Blue Line, is opposed to the project.

According to a feasibility study on the missing link, the Blue Line stands to lose 4,800 passengers per day in the first year of the extension opening. This is roughly equal to about 2.7 billion baht throughout the 30-year concession, said the source.

The MRTA is still pondering whether to approve the proposal to build this missing link, said the source.

The MRTA couldn't be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Deputy Democrat Party leader Samart Ratchapolsitte on Tuesday called all stakeholders to conclude the negotiations on the link before the Yellow Line commences services for the sake of passengers.

The exact same problem occurred when the Purple Line opened its Bang Yai-Tao Poon route without connecting to the Blue Line, he said.

At that time, passengers had to take a bus to connect between the Purple Line and the Blue Line until the link was built.

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