111 Billion Baht Skytrain Orange Line Approved

A map of Bangkok's future rapid transit plans. Photo: Oran Viriyincy / Flickr

BANGKOK — A 21-kilometer light rail extension to the eastern outskirts of the capital city was approved yesterday by the junta cabinet with a budget of 111 billion baht.

The Orange Line extension from the Thailand Cultural Centre in Huai Khwang district to Min Buri was approved Tuesday for planned completion by the end of 2022, with a specific request from the junta chairman that the project use at least 30 percent domestic materials in its construction.

“The cabinet meeting urged that bidding should take place within six months, which would be by May 2016,” Transportation Minister Akom Termpittayapisit said.

Akom said 85 billion would be financed through borrowing while the remainder would be taken from revenues of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand and other sources.

The budget covers seven elevated stations and 10 underground stations expected to accommodate 500,000 passengers daily.

Starting from the Thailand Cultural Centre off Ratchadapisek Road, the Orange line will continue to Rama IX Road, then go along Ramkhamhaeng Road to eventually end at in intersection between Ramkhamhaeng and Suwinthawong roads.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha insisted that future light rail projects must use domestically sourced materials to support the economy. He said 30 percent of construction materials must come from Thailand.