Crossing Asoke

The airport link rail line, which will connect Suvarnabhumi International Airport (which opened almost exactly two years ago) to the center of the city, is taking shape.  Even though it still has at least another year to go – probably more like two – it is exciting to see some progress being made.

After my return from the United States, I noticed that the construction of the tracks crossing Asoke Road was finally taking place.  The viaducts on either side were completed first and finally the construction workers inched forward to build this connecting span.

Last week I stopped by the intersection early on a wet morning to take a look.

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The first thing I saw was this monk, waiting halfway across the street, standing on the State Railway of Thailand tracks, for a break in the oncoming traffic.  A minute later, there was a break and he continued across the street.

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Above: This is the bridge itself or, more accurately, the three bridges.  The new in-city airport terminal (where you can check in for your flights before taking the train to the airport) is just out of the frame to the left of the picture.  We are looking here from the southeast corner of the intersection of Asoke and the frontage road that runs along the railway track, towards the northwest.

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Above: The bridges are very high and I was amazed to see this worker standing there without any safety harness.

I walked a little further up Asoke to peer over the construction site fence and see how the terminal itself is progressing, below.

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It looks like the terminal walls have been completed, but the structure over the tracks is still being done.  Also, ramps and much of the other infrastructure remains to be done.  My understanding is the large lot around the building will be developed with car parks underneath and office, retail and other commercial space nearby. 

In the distance you can see Baiyoke II Tower, the tallest building in Thailand and the tallest structure between Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

 

18 thoughts on “Crossing Asoke

  1. I was on top of our roof today at work and was about to pass out due to my fear of heights. Of course, I couldn’t tell my boss this so I wouldn’t be such a pansy, but voila. I could’ve pee’d my pants right there in front of him. Never again!

  2. Looks very cool, although I must admit, nothing could have beaten my commute btwn Bangkok and the airport (both ways), when I was in Thailand last year :)How was your weekend?? 🙂

  3. @whonose – @Dezinerdreams – Yeah, the amount of construction throughout Asia is amazing.  As for the time frame, this project is significantly delayed after the opening of the new airport two years ago, which was itselft forty years in the making and at least three years delayed.

  4. @agmhkg – Well, at one point they were saying the end of 2008 but that clearly is not a possibility.  I suspect that they will be testing the trains by the later half of 2009 and if we are lucky, they might be running for passenger service by the end of 2009.  More likely, though, early 2010.

  5. @Renatojr3 – Actually, some of the traffic on the Rama IX expressway should improve, as that’s the route the train parallels.  Plus, there is a local service on the route, too, so it isn’t just for people going to/from the airport.
    As for the lack of a street crossing, that’s because the monk was making an impromptu crossing.  As you can see, he’s on the train tracks, so that isn’t an official crossing point for pedestrians.  Had he walked about sixty seconds to the south, he could have taken the pedestrian undercrossing that is part of the subway system.

  6. My boss was showing me what our roof equipment looked like and how our project was going to look like. I hadn’t a camera, thankfully, because I was already nervous as I was. I got to look at roof equipment, isolators, and equipment pads. How fabulous. :o)

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