New Bangkok Skytrains Coming in 2010

Skytrain Entering Nana StationThis article in the Bangkok Post (Thailand’s major English-language newspaper) has two interesting snippets of information:

  1. 1. “BTS has ordered 48 new Chinese-made trains worth US$70 million. The new carriages will enter service in June.” That’s ambiguous. I think it means 16 new trains of three carriages each. The words aren’t synonymous. There are currently 35 three carriage trains in service – 105 carriages. They’re the original stock manufactured by Siemens. They have been in service for ten years but look well-maintained.
  2. “BTS and Bangkok Metro Plc, which operates the subway in the capital, also expect their single ticketing system will be ready to serve Bangkok commuters early next year. The electronic cards will be available at convenience stores and hypermarkets in the future.” I wonder if that has any connection with the Subway withdrawing the 30-Day Pass. Perhaps it is incompatible with their new system. Whatever … it is still a pain and very badly handled by the Subway management team.

Two Students Waiting for the Subway
More trains will mean more advertising opportunities for the system. From the same article:

BTS chief operating officer Surapong Laoha-Unya said that of the total 2010 revenue, 3.7 billion baht would come from ticket fares and the remaining 100 million baht from advertisements.

The subway is all underground and al the stations have platform doors. So they don’t have the same external advertising opportunities that benefits the Skytrain system. The trains are a symbol of modern Bangkok.


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