“Our driverless INNOVIA Monorail 300 system is able to handle sharp curves and complex environments, it is well suited to the high-capacity requirements of the Thai capital.”
Bangkok’s introduction of its first-ever commuter monorail have moved one step closer following a deal with Bombardier to supply systems for the first two of four planned lines, with new rail networks planned in the city over the next 12 years. Designed to cut vehicular traffic making its way into the capital, Bombardier will supply 72, four-car INNOVIA Monorail 300 trains, comprising 288 cars equipped with the manufacturer’s CITYFLO 650 automatic train control technology that will enable driverless operation.
Serving the city’s northern and eastern areas, the trains will be fully integrated with the city’s existing network and will, according to Bombardier, improve the daily journeys of around 400,000 people.
Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company (BTSC) formulated a 20-year mass transit system in response to the growing sizes of the city with an action plan that will run from 2010-2029 for Bangkok and its outskirts, with the network initially divided into 12 inter-connecting lines.
Part of the action plan is Bangkok’s Red Line commuter line designed for passengers from the capital’s metropolitan areas that are home to more than 10 million people. When complete in 2019 it will connect the Bangkok region with north, east, south and west suburban areas, serving 131,000 commuters a day.
Speaking on Bombardier’s latest contract win, its president of rail control solutions, Richard Hunter, said the single-track trains were ideal for the city’s hard-to-manoeuvre streets. “Our driverless INNOVIA Monorail 300 system are able to handle sharp curves and complex environments, it is well suited to the high-capacity requirements of the Thai capital.”
The Bombardier Monorail 300 news comes just months after BTSC placed an order with a consortium of Siemens and the Turkish public transportation vehicle manufacturer Bozankaya for the delivery of 22 four-unit metro trains to run on Bangkok’s BTS (Skytrain) system. Signed in May, the deal will see the units enter operation in 2018.
Siemens already supplies rolling stock to BTSC, with the last deal between the two taking place in 2010 in the form of a €42m agreement to run 22 trains on Bangkok’s Skytrain. The 35-station network began operating in 2009 and was first of its kind in the capital, transporting commuters to the city around 30 metres above street level.
Further afield from the capital, work is also taking place to reduce dependency on buses, cars and bikes. Thailand’s fourth largest city, Nakhon Ratchasima, will start the construction of its first mass transit line by 2020 if it receives cabinet approval. The £325m project will have two lines, Green and Orange, with a combined length of 21km.
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