Thursday, July 10, 2008

BTS Bangkok Skytrain expansion

Amidst some of the older and un-maintained buildings of Bangkok ...

... is the future! The BTS network keeps increasing :-) Malaysia has much to learn from the improved public transport network of our neighbouring country!

Wikipedia shed some light on the past ...
Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) or Skytrain (Thai: รถไฟฟ้า) is the elevated metro system in Bangkok, Thailand, operated by Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited (BTSC) under a concession granted by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).
With 23 stations along 2 lines, it was opened on December 5, 1999 by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
The Sukhumvit line runs northwards and eastwards, terminating at Mo Chit and On Nut respectively; the Silom line plies Silom and Sathon, the Central Business District of Bangkok, terminating at the National Stadium and Saphan Taksin (Taksin Bridge).
The lines interchange at Siam station and have a combined route distance of 23 km.
The Skytrain is formally known as the Elevated Train in Commemoration of HM the King's 6th Cycle Birthday (รถไฟฟ้าเฉลิมพระเกียรติ 6 รอบ พระชนมพรรษา) because it was opened to the public on HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 72nd birthday.
Bangkok also has an underground railway system called the MRT or unofficially the Metro.

The MRT system was initially referred to as the Lavalin Skytrain because it was to be designed using the Vancouver SkyTrain as a model adopting the technology developed by SNC Lavalin. Due to political interference, the concession with Lavalin was cancelled in 1992, in spite of Bangkok's chronic traffic congestion.
The Thai Government focused on increasing road and expressway infrastructure in an attempt to combat congestion. However, this had less than the desired impact as the number of cars on the road increased dramatically. The lines considered under the skytrain project became later the basis for the Bangkok Metro system and interesting enough are mainly underground.

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