Bangkok Airport Rail-Link Sets Soft Launch For December 5
BANGKOK, Sept 5 (TNA) - The long-delayed Airport Rail Link project, providing direct rail service to and from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, will start providing free service to the public from this December 5 which coincides with the birthday celebrations of King Bhumibhol Adulyadej, said State Railway of Thailand (SRT) Governor Yuthana Tupcharoen. People interested in free rides on December 5 may apply for tickets beginning October 1 at either the Airport Rail Link office or at SRT headquarters, he said.
Test runs of the system have been conducted since February by Siemens, the manufacturer and installer of the rail system, and no problems have been found. However, independent engineers will inspect the safety system for the next three months and if no problems are found, the system will be ready for operation. The SRT board has also hired Deutsche Bahn International of Germany for Bt85 million to train Airport Rail Link staff. The board exports to launch the system on December 5.
The 28-km rail link connects Suvarnabhumi International Airport and the City Air Terminal in downtown Bangkok. According to a preliminary study, the fare for an express trip will be Bt150 per person, while fares for the City Line commuter trips, will vary from Bt30-50 per passenger. Transport for airport express riders and local commuters will run on the same track with the same equipment, but with a staggered schedule. Premium-fare express services will run on the hour between Suvarnabhumi Airport and City Air Terminal, while the City Line service will stop at six local stations along the route.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet has approved an increased budget of 28.58 million baht for the expansion of Suvarnabhumi Airport. This is in addition to the original budget of 4.082 billion baht to make 4.111 billion baht. The construction includes building, station and tunnel under the passenger building in the Airport Link Project. The Cabinet has also approved a loan of 4.7 billion baht for the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to compensate the construction expenditure to the Airports of Thailand.