Airport Express to Open August 12

You can take this with a grain of salt, but the local papers are reporting that the Airport Express rail line – which will link downtown Bangkok with the new (well, three years ago) Suvarnabhumi Airport – is scheduled to open on the Queen’s birthday, August 12.

There may be some truth to this as a test run was completed from the Makkasan station (main in-town terminal) and the airport, conducted at normal speed.  The test was successful and the train made it the length of the route in just fifteen minutes, as planned.

Curious, I headed over to the Phayathai Skytrain station, which is where the Red Line, as the airport line is known, will connect with the Skytrain.  That section of the track was not tested last week, but it does look like a lot of progress is being made, below.

P1130904

The real question, of course, is why the project is so delayed in the first place.  After all, the plans for the airport were on the shelf for decades, the actual construction took over five years, so it wasn’t as if the airport suddenly opened up and surprised everybody.  Oh, look!  An airport!  We weren’t expecting that.

While at the Phayathai Station, I spotted what I think may be the root cause of the delay, below.

P1130895

Yes, the construction workers look a little pampered, in my opinion.  Three people catering to their every need, a comfy recliner to sit in.  Just how much construction actually gets done each day?

In all seriousness, though, if this line is anything like has been promised – the ability to check in for your flight (and to check your bags, too) at the in-city terminal – then we’ll have a major advance for our visitors as well as traveling locals.

 

18 thoughts on “Airport Express to Open August 12

  1. hm……if it;s really goingt to open in Aug…then it’s not THAT late…….anyway the Airprot express is really something to look forward to….

  2. You know, things are much better with Thailand when compared to India. Things can be painfully slow here. The only exception is the DMRC which is the body in charge for Delhi Metro- they have completed work always ahead of schedule. By the end of 2009 and mid 2010 a lot more lines are set to open and by the end of the Delhi Metro project, it will be the largest metro network in the world (overtaking London Underground).

  3. A government project delayed? Are you joking…? Hahaha… In all seriousness at least yours is almost commpleted. The Toronto city council is always bickering about different lines and none of them ever get built. They are proposing one to the airport too which would be so useful but I’m not holding my breath…

  4. Finally. I hate getting taxed 50 baht for the taxi stand fee and 250-400 baht every time I get into BKK. If it’s priced competitively, I might take it. However, if still traveling with friends will take a taxi. I still find it amazing that things just appear in Thailand. When they’re motivated, you see like hundreds of people doing construction. When they’re not, they’re all sitting around.I hope it goes built fast and has luggage racks. (Like BART)

  5. Haha. Construction is ALWAYS delayed. :o) I don’t think I saw a project completed on time…not in awhile, anyway. I just focus on getting my drawings permitted, and the contractor better do his job in his allocated timeframe…without the use of recliners on site!!! :o)

  6. @brooklyn2028 – Yeah, that Toronto project is an interesting one.  It seems so obvious, what with the heavy traffic in Toronto, that you’d want the already good train lines to extend to the airport.  The back and forth about it is silly.  The government just needs to get it built.

  7. @curry69curry – Actually, I rode across Saphan Taksin yesterday and they are still some distance away from actually opening the Skytrain extension.  The new governor actually visited one of the stations last week but no word when they’ll get around to opening it.  Such a shame.  The good news is, the Japanese gov’t agreed to make a loan to help with the extension of the subway, so those lines may actually proceed.

  8. @TheCheshireGrins – Yes, there are several places in the world you can do this.  Hong Kong is the one I’m familiar with.  It is super convenient because, at least there, you can check in up to 24 hours beforehand so even if you have to leave your hotel and don’t fly out until many hours later, you don’t have to worry about your baggage.  Not sure how similar it will be here, but still very convenient.

  9. @LostSock21 – Well, the taxis are priced competitively when compared to the airport limo or the taxis at, say, New York JFK…
    My understanding is that the trains that operate the express portion of the line (as opposed to the local service which operates on the same track) is that they will be outfitted like the Hong Kong Airport Express, with luggage racks, etc.

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