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Bangkok Monorail’s Unexpected Twist: Wheel Detaches and Hits Taxi in Thrilling Urban Tale

Imagine cruising along Thepharak Road in the bustling province of Samut Prakan, when suddenly an event unfolds that’s straight out of a Hollywood action flick—a wheel spirals down from the sky like a meteor in slow-motion. But this isn’t cinema; it’s the curious case of a monorail mishap that occurred one fateful Tuesday evening.

It was around 6:30 PM, the golden hour when day gives way to night, that a Yellow Line monorail train decided to give its wheel a tour of the town—without the rest of the train in tow. The rubber wheel, embarking on an unexpected solo voyage, made a dramatic entrance onto the outbound lane and performed a gymnastic bounce onto a taxi’s bonnet, starring a green-yellow cab and bewildered onlookers.

The taxi’s front end, now suddenly accessorized with monorail paraphernalia, was driven by the seasoned Wirat Khumsap. Age 73 and not a stranger to extraordinary events, Wirat recounted the thunderous clatter the wheel made upon contact—a sound burst for the records. Inside the taxi, a surprised passenger decided their ride was over sooner than expected, vacating the taxi quicker than a cat in a cucumber patch.

The local constabulary, versed in incidents of the kinetic kind, identified the airborne wheel as a stabilizer—typically a steadfast companion to the concrete beam of the monorail but on that day, it had other plans. As unsettling as the scene was, the Yellow Line’s diligent service didn’t skip a beat; meanwhile, the adventurous train was ushered back to its lair for a stern talking-to (and some repairs).

The Yellow Line, in its sleek, durable carriages hailing from the esteemed CRRC Puzhen Bombardier Transportation Systems, boasts a dance card of 23 stops along the bustling corridors of Lat Phrao and Srinakarin Road. It’s a relative newcomer to the scene, having commenced its sashay through Bangkok and Samut Prakan in July—just last year.

You might call this unscheduled wheel detachment a “faux pas” on the thoroughfare, yet it’s not the Yellow Line’s first waltz with surprise. Just over a week earlier, the Pink Line boldly declared its presence with a conductor rail taking a leap of fancy along Tiwanon Road. And much like a cat burglar’s quiet midnight escape, this incident, thankfully, coincided with the hours when trains were tucked away in their beds.

It’s a curious time for the Eastern Bangkok Monorail and Northern Bangkok Monorail companies – managing these high-flying trains under the vigilant eyes of the BSR JV Consortium. A triad of economic titans is at the controls here: Bangkok Mass Transit System Group Holding steering with a 75% share, partnered with the formidable Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction and the electrifying Ratch Group.

As for the Pink Line, she’s not one to be derailed by a conductor rail playing hooky. Her carriages continue to glide gracefully along available tracks, offering free-spirited rides—fondly termed “free trial services”—until the witching hour of January 6th beckons a return to full operation.

It’s the ebb and flow of city life, where even on the road less travelled—or more accurately, the road above—the unexpected becomes a travelling tale. And so, we tip our hats to the resilience of the Yellow Line, taxi drivers with nerves of steel, and the effortless continuity of a city that thrives on keeping the wheels turning—usually attached to their respective vehicles.

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