By The Nation
Guests of honour were Pol General Assavin Kwanmeung, Bangkok governor; Keeree Kanjanapas, chairman of Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC); Surapong Laoha-Unya, BTSC chief executive officer; management figures from Siemens, Bozankaya and Krungthep Thanakom, which is BTSC’s maintenance partner; members of the press from both Thailand and Turkey; and VIPs from the Turkish government.
The roll-out of the first of 22 trains to be supplied by Siemens is part of a broader deal for a total of 46 new four-car trains, with the other 24 to be supplied by China’s Changchun Railway Vehicles.
The Bt11-billion order will support the increasing ridership of the BTS Skytrain system on the Silom and Sukhumvit Lines, and extension of the network.
The 22 new trains will feature the latest available technology, specially designed by Siemens in Germany and Austria.
Major components are sourced from Turkish manufacturer Bozankaya, the project partner of Siemens.
The German engineering giant is recognised for developing and manufacturing environmentally friendly systems in Europe.
Furthermore, the Siemens train will enable BTS to transport more passengers, and includes energy-saving facilities in accordance with the Siemens standard.
Following delivery and final commissioning, all new trains will be put into passenger service on the existing Sukhumvit and Silom Lines and on the 13-kilometre extension from Bearing to Samut Prakan, which is scheduled to open this December.
The extension of the Green Line consists of nine stations that opened for public service from Bearing to Samrong last December, and a further eight – Pu Chao, Chang Erawan, Royal Thai Navy, Pak Nam, Srinagarindra, Phraek Sa, Sai Luat and Keha – that are scheduled to open at the end of this year.