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Airport Rail Link in Bangkok

September 2012
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The last time I was in Bangkok was in 2005 or 2006 and so it has been a while since that last trip that I was curious about how the city would look like after 6 years. Was there anything new? Did it change much since the last time? At the very least, I was expecting to have new experiences and it didn’t take long before I had one, trying out the express rail link between Suvarnabhumi Airport and the city. The rail link was still under construction the last time I was in Bangkok and one had no choice at the time but to take a taxi or a shuttle between the airport and the hotel.

IMG04292-20120924-1620The walk from the arrival area to the Airport Link

IMG04293-20120924-1623Ticket vending machine with English instructions upon the press of a button. We purchased tickets for the Phaya Thai Express to transfer to the BTS Skytrain

IMG04300-20120924-1646Token for the Express Rail Link trip from the airport to Phaya Thai Station – the link is operated by the State Railway of Thailand, their counterpart of our Philippine National Railways. The trip cost 90 Baht (~ 130 PhP), very cheap compared to taking a taxi.

IMG04295-20120924-1629Passengers inside the Airport Link Train

IMG04302-20120924-1650Walk from the Airport Rail Link’s Phaya Thai Station to the BTS Skytrain Station

IMG04303-20120924-1651Looking back at the Phaya Thai Station

IMG04304-20120924-1651Phaya Thai Station of the BTS Skytrain

It would be very nice to have a similar rail link between the MRT 3 or LRT 1 Lines and NAIA in Manila. In fact, how difficult would it be for the LRT1 Line to have an extension to the airport terminals of NAIA when it’s depot is just across the road from the old domestic terminal? This would probably be easier than constructing a new monorail or whatever system it is that is being planned between Bonifacio Global City and NAIA. It is definitely much easier and perhaps cheaper compared to the still-born Northrail between Caloocan and Clark. One thing for sure is that we are really behind our ASEAN neighbors when it comes to providing the infrastructure for public transport, in this case airport access.

 


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