BANGKOK — A new train has been delivered in time for the much-awaited extension of the capital’s MRT rail network into Chinatown, which will open in five months.
Officials unveiled the train that was delivered Wednesday at Chonburi’s Laem Chabang Port – the first of 35 new trains recently purchased to support the 21-kilometer long Blue Line and its soon-to-open 27-kilometer extensions into western and northern Bangkok.
The MRT operator said the new trains, bought from German manufacturer Siemens, can be in operation for more than 30 years. The MRT representative however declined to specify the cost of the trains by publication time.
According to the operator, all additional trains will be delivered by February next year, contributing to a total of 54 trains servicing the entire route.
The transport minister has said private test runs for the extension running from Hua Lamphong to Lak Song, consisting of 12 additional stations, would be conducted earlier this month. The public will be able to enjoy free test rides of the route from July. The service will be fully open in September.
Fares across the Blue Line will range from 16 to 42 baht. When in March 2020 another extension – running from Tha Phra to Bang Sue – opens and connects the Blue Line to the Purple Line, the maximum fare of the whole network will be capped at 70 baht, according to transport officials.
The Blue Line extensions have been under construction since 2011. The estimated cost of the new routes is said to be more than 80 billion baht.