Krung Thep Aphiwat: All aboard the 'smart' future of Thai rail travel
Bangkok’s Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal was touted as the “smart” future of rail travel in Thailand on Tuesday, days after it took over as the national hub from the century-old Hua Lamphong station.
Krung Thep Aphiwat “is considered the first smart railway station in Asean, with facilities, such as robots called SRT Bots, smart wheelchairs and smart closed-circuit television cameras," government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said.
It also connects with Bangkok’s urban train and bus system to provide seamless travel links to the rest of the city, he added.
Last Thursday, the new 34-billion-baht Bangkok terminus in Chatuchak district became the hub for all long-distance trains running North, Northeast and South. Only 14 long-distance services heading East are still using Hua Lamphong.
Anucha noted that a free shuttle bus service is running between Krung Thep Aphiwat and Hua Lamphong to aid passengers during the transition period.
He said the government is confident that Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal will be a worthy successor to the 107-year-old Hua Lamphong station, which holds a special place in the hearts of Thai travellers.
The State Railway of Thailand insists it has no intention to shut Hua Lamphong, whose neo-renaissance arched wooden roof and stained-glass windows have stood as a landmark in Pathum Wan district since 1916.
Instead, the Transport Ministry has announced plans to open it as a museum as part of redevelopment of the Hua Lamphong area.