The BTS Sukhumvit Line or Green Line is one of the main mass transit systems through the centre of Bangkok. This elevated train route was first opened in 1999 and since then has undergone a number of renovations and expansions. Starting at Mo Chit in Chatuchak District and ending at the Bearing station in the district of Bang Na, the Green Line currently has 23 stations and passes through some important areas such as Sukhumvit Road and Siam Station at the BTS interchange.
Throughout its history, the BTS line has made orders of additional trains to help congestion and it is reported that 22 new trains are set to land in the country to further bolster the transporting capabilities of the line. This article looks at what this could mean for the line, and how it could affect the surrounding local areas.
Siemens Ship in 22 New Trains From Turkey
German manufacturers Siemens are actually responsible for creating the trains that operate on the BTS skyline. To coincide with the completion of the latest Green Line expansion, Siemens has recently announced that they are shipping 22 new trains from their manufacturing factory in Turkey to Bangkok in August.
The carriages will feature improved technology and a reduced carbon footprint
The German manufacturers have stated that the trains will have the latest technology and will have a superior and improved design to older iterations of the Sky Train carriages. Aside from the improved technology, the carriages will also feature four doors on both sides of the frame – this should allow a steady flow of passengers to enter and leave the trains when arriving at stations. Finally, the cars will have a reduced carbon footprint and will be more environmentally friendly.
Sukhumvit Green Line Improvements
This is obviously welcomed news for the residents of Bangkok who use the Green Line as a means of commuting or daily transport around the city. Aside from the trains supplied by Siemens, it is also reported that Changchun Railway will also supply a further 24 new vehicles too in the immediate future which should further contribute to the expansion of the Sukhumvit Line. So what does this actually mean for the line and surrounding areas?
Ease the congestion of rush hour commuting traffic
The obvious main effect these trains will have is to ease congestion and rush hour traffic on the extremely busy Green Line. Although the Sukhumvit Line has a great number of stations and carriages, it still has to deal with a staggering amount of passengers per day numbering into the hundreds of thousands (The BTS Skytrain has an average of 650,000 passengers per day in total).
Furthermore, aside from the number of passengers, the Green Line has had numerous expansions over the last few years but the number of carriages on the lines has not increased to cope. These new carriages should help steady the flow of passengers, and reduce bottlenecks at the more popular stations. Some people say this is not enough however as the Green Line is currently undergoing further expansions, therefore, passenger numbers will increase again. In the next 15 years, the Green Line is set to double in length through various expansions, therefore, these 22 new trains could be seen as a mere stop-gap.
Improve real estate prospects and promote the development
Aside from the ease in congestion for commuters, the 22 new trains should promote the areas surrounding the green line and invite investment and construction. Areas such as Sukhumvit Road and Ekamai will remain popular hubs within the centre of Bangkok, but areas at the extremities of the line should prosper. We have already seen investment in the district of Bang Na for example with the construction of the impressive Bitec Bang Na, and the Bangkok Mall is also scheduled to open here too.
As the line continues to expand, we can expect other areas to prosper and open up as transport links improve for commuters into the centre of Bangkok. The expansion from Bearing to Samut Prakarn, for example, could provide benefits for this southern part of Bangkok. Alternatively, the in-progress expansion from Mo Chit to Don Mueang is already opening up possibilities for this area, especially surrounding the international airport.
It is clear that these new trains from Siemens will certainly make a difference, and improve transport along the Sukhumvit Line – this is only a short-term measure however and most must be done as the BTS Sky Train continues to expand in the future.
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