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Bangkok’s Red Line Expansion: Major Plans Unveiled for Thammasat University Route

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Red Line electric commuter trains at Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal in Bangkok.

Picture this: the sleek and shiny Red Line electric commuter trains at Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal in bustling Bangkok. It’s a scene straight out of a modern metropolitan dream, captured beautifully by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill.

Excitement is in the air as the long-awaited plan to extend the Red Line from Rangsit to the prestigious Thammasat University is poised to be presented to the cabinet. That’s right folks, according to the Ministry of Transport, we’re talking about an 8.8-kilometre route zipping through Khlong Luang district in Pathum Thani, and it’s part of three ambitious extensions in the works.

Deputy Transport Minister Surapong Piyachote couldn’t hide his enthusiasm as he shared that the Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit has already given the green light. Now, with the project in the hands of the cabinet secretariat, anticipation is building. Of course, there are a few more hoops to jump through; specifically, the Ministry of Finance, Budget Bureau, and National Economic and Social Development Council all have to give their nods of approval.

Imagine a journey comprising four brand-new stations: Khlong Neung, Bangkok University, Chiang Rak, and Thammasat Rangsit Campus. With an estimated construction cost tipping the scales at 6.47 billion baht, the bidding wars are expected to commence this year. And hold onto your hats, folks, as the construction is projected to take 35 months, with a grand opening sometime in 2028!

But wait, there’s more! Opportunities for further adventures are on the horizon. The plans for two additional Red Line extensions from Taling Chan station are racing towards cabinet review, with a target deadline of no later than August, according to Surapong.

First up, a 14.8km Taling Chan to Salaya stretch with six stations, clocking in at a whopping 10.67 billion baht. And if that’s not enough to quench your wanderlust, how about a 5.7km jaunt from Taling Chan to Siriraj Hospital, featuring three stations and a price tag of 4.61 billion baht?

The grand bidding showdown for these projects is slated for later this year, with construction kicking off next year and completing by 2028. The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is still chewing over which train technology to employ for these routes. After all, they must adhere to the government’s green and low-cost public transport policies.

Under this eco-friendly mandate, all public transportation, including buses and taxis, are destined to be electric by 2029. The beloved yet old diesel locomotives will be replaced with hybrid variants. These new machines will glide on electric power within a 200km radius of Bangkok before seamlessly switching to oil for longer journeys beyond this boundary.

The city’s ever-evolving skyline and infrastructure promise an electrifying future, quite literally. Riding the Red Line in the near future is gearing up to be more than just a commute; it’s set to be an experience worth every baht and minute as Bangkok continues to grow and innovate. Buckle up, because the journey is just beginning!


  1. JohnDoe123 July 4, 2024

    Exciting news for Bangkok! This will definitely cut down on commute times. Thammasat students must be thrilled!

    • Anna July 4, 2024

      I agree! But I wonder how this will impact the local traffic during construction?

      • JohnDoe123 July 4, 2024

        Good point, Anna. Construction always seems to make things worse before they get better.

      • urbanplanner22 July 4, 2024

        Usually these projects include traffic management plans. Ideally, it won’t be that bad if done right.

    • Liam July 4, 2024

      As a daily commuter, I’m just hoping this actually gets completed on time. The delays on the green line were infuriating.

  2. Sophie July 4, 2024

    6.47 billion baht?! That’s an insane amount of money for such a short route. Are we sure it’s worth it?

    • techguru98 July 4, 2024

      Mass transit projects are always expensive. But think of the long-term benefits: less traffic, better air quality.

    • Owen July 4, 2024

      It’s worth it if it reduces congestion and saves people time. Time is money, you know.

    • Sophie July 4, 2024

      I understand that, but the government needs to be accountable for every baht spent. No room for corruption!

  3. Tara James July 4, 2024

    I can’t wait! Bangkok really needs this. The traffic is out of control.

    • Marcus July 4, 2024

      Totally! Ride-sharing and public transit are the future. This move is long overdue.

    • Linda July 4, 2024

      Hopefully, they consider the environmental impact too. More electric trains mean less pollution.

    • Tara James July 4, 2024

      Exactly! Anything to cut down on the smog would be fantastic.

  4. TravelQueen July 4, 2024

    This sounds like a great tourist draw too. Imagine the convenience for visitors coming from the airport!

    • globetrotter July 4, 2024

      Yep, more accessible travel is always a plus. Bangkok could really become a hub with this expansion.

    • localjoe July 4, 2024

      As long as they keep it affordable for locals, I’m all for it.

  5. 25charlie July 4, 2024

    Great plans, but what about the existing infrastructure? We have roads with potholes and an outdated sewer system.

    • citywalker July 4, 2024

      True, we need a balanced approach. Upgrading existing infrastructure should go hand in hand with new projects.

    • MiaP July 4, 2024

      Upgrading public transport could reduce the wear and tear on roads, though.

  6. EcoEnthusiast July 4, 2024

    I love that everything will be electric by 2029! Finally, we’re moving towards more sustainable transit options.

  7. Kitiya July 4, 2024

    But isn’t replacing diesel completely with electric trains kind of idealistic? What about the energy demand?

    • GreenThumb July 4, 2024

      Renewable energy sources could be crucial here. Solar, wind, even hydropower could supply the needed electricity.

    • EcoEnthusiast July 4, 2024

      We have to start somewhere, Kitiya! It might be tough, but it sets a great precedent.

  8. DaviLP July 4, 2024

    What about the pricing for these new routes? Bangkok’s cost of living is rising fast!

    • commuter89 July 4, 2024

      Exactly. Affordable public transport is vital. No point in adding lines if people can’t afford to use them.

    • Jane July 4, 2024

      True, public transport should never be a financial burden. The government needs to consider subsidies.

    • DaviLP July 4, 2024

      Agreed. High fares would defeat the purpose of expanding public transit.

  9. Ethan July 4, 2024

    Thammasat University students are going to benefit so much from this. Proud of my alma mater!

  10. Pat R July 4, 2024

    Wonder how this will affect local businesses along the route. Increased foot traffic could be good.

    • MarketMan July 4, 2024

      For sure. Local shops might see a boost. But larger chains could move in and drive up rents.

    • Bobby July 4, 2024

      Gentrification is a double-edged sword. Better business but at what cost?

  11. NancyW July 4, 2024

    What’s the plan for compensating people who might lose their homes due to construction?

    • Henry July 4, 2024

      The government usually has compensation plans in place. Hopefully, this time they will be fair.

    • NancyW July 4, 2024

      I hope so. People displaced by such projects often don’t get adequate support.

  12. Mike Harris July 4, 2024

    I’m concerned about the timeline. 2028 feels pretty optimistic given past delays on other projects.

    • Sarah B July 4, 2024

      Agreed. These things have a way of dragging on and blowing past deadlines.

    • optimist99 July 4, 2024

      Let’s give them a chance. Maybe they’ve learned from past mistakes?

  13. BangkokRider July 4, 2024

    Bidding wars always make me nervous. Corruption is a real issue in such big projects.

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