Thailand: Plans for monorail Yellow Line progresses

Plans for monorail Yellow Line progresses : Confident with public acceptance after the switch to a monorail system, the Mass Rapid Transit Authority is proceeding with its Bt48-billion Yellow Line (Lat Phrao-Samrong) project, which involves less land expropriation than the original plan would have. According to MRTA governor Yongsit Rojsrivichaikul, tendering for the 30.4-kilometre, 23-station project could begin in the middle of next year. This Bt48-billion project consists of Bt20 billion worth of civil work, Bt18 billion for the electric train system and Bt9 billion for land expropriations.

The monorail system will be built along the center of Lat Phrao Road to Bang Kapi Intersection, turn right, then go down Srinakarin Road to connect with the Orange Line at the Taling Chan-Min Buri section at Lam Salee, then past the elevated junction of Rama IX along Srinakarin until turning west along Theparak Road and ending at Poo Jao Saming Prai Road.

The project’s operational study will be completed by November, with bidding expected to begin by mid-2014. Construction will take three years and operations commence in late 2018. Passenger capacity is 10,000-40,000 per hour at 80km/h maximum speed.

Initially, MRTA will operate the Pink and Yellow lines itself, as Thailand has not had a monorail operator before. The authority will ask the government to establish standards to ensure that future monorail systems are compatible and to facilitate big-lot purchases of monorail rolling stock to reduce costs.

The Pink Line (Government Centre-Min Buri) and the Yellow Line will utilise 291 train carriages. Initially, the public opposed the mid-road elevated train system, prompting the MRTA to switch to a light-monorail system, which is less obtrusive, has a tighter turning radius and lower construction costs, and requires less land expropriation, Yongsit said.

The Yellow Line project should be able to proceed quickly if the Bt2-trillion infrastructure programme is approved. One representative of the public said he was one of those who initially opposed an elevated train along the middle of Lat Phrao Road even though the public had hoped to see the subway system come this way for four or five years.

Now that the government has switched to a light-monorail system, there should be less opposition to the project, especially if the electrical poles can be replaced with underground power cables to improve the scenery.

Plans for monorail Yellow Line progresses

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