BANGKOK — The BTS Skytrain over Saphan Taksin, the only single-track stretch in the system, will be expanded with a second line, officials said Wednesday.
After years of threatening demolition and wacky plans including a kilometer-long moving walkway, transport officials have chosen to add a second set of tracks over the Chao Phraya River. That will require expanding the station platform, but officials gave no timeframe for the construction to begin or end.
“There’s no date for completion yet. The BTS said they want to make double tracks, because right now the trains have to park and switch tracks …,” police traffic official Maj. Gen. Jirapat Phumijak said.
The station located on the east end of Taksin Bridge, above the Sathon Pier, has long been a point of contention. Because only one train can pass over the bridge at a time, commuters suffer delays which affect the entire Silom Line.
When it opened in 1999, BTS Saphan Taksin was intended to be temporary and demolition was set for 2012. But it proved popular with commuters as it sits above a busy pier on the river, making for convenient transfer to its boats and ferries.
The single-track span is blamed for a 4.5 minute delay to every train trip along the Silom Line.
Due to the expense of adding another set of rails to the bridge, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration nearly two years ago considered adding a moving, elevated walkway between BTS Surasak and the riverside.