Yellow Line gets green light for trial run in mid-May
The Yellow Line, Thailand’s first monorail mass-transit system, will start its free trial run in mid-May before providing full commercial service in June, according to its operator.
Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC) plans to carry out a trial run of the Yellow Line free of charge for two weeks starting in the middle of May, said Surapong Laoha-Unya, its CEO.
The 30.4-km-long monorail mass-transit system connects Bangkok’s Lat Phrao district with Samut Prakan’s Samrong neighbourhood.
“We expect to start opening commercial service of the Yellow Line in June, which is earlier than planned,” Surapong said.
He said independent engineering consultants will examine the trains’ safety system so that the Yellow Line can be certified for commercial service.
The Ministry of Transport has requested that the free trial run be expanded to one month. Surapong said this is being negotiated.
Meanwhile, the Pink Line, another monorail mass-transit system under construction, is expected to have its trial run in July before partial commercial service of certain sections in August, Surapong said.
The 34.5 km-long Pink Line connects Bangkok’s Min Buri district and Nonthaburi’s Khae Rai neighbourhood north of the capital city. Construction of some Pink Line stations has been delayed, but it is expected to be completed towards the end of this year.
BTSC operates the Yellow Line and the Pink Line through its subsidiaries Eastern Bangkok Monorail and Northern Bangkok Monorail, respectively, which won concessions to build and operate both systems.
BTSC, which also operates the Skytrain in Bangkok, expects to earn 2 billion baht a year from both the Yellow Line and Pink Line, Surapong said.
The companies that run the lines will obtain a combined 4.7 billion baht in government subsidies per year for 10 years for the construction cost.
Under the concession terms, the government will pay 19.9 billion baht to cover construction costs for the Pink Line and 22.2 billion for the Yellow Line, Surapong said.