Airport rail link service to commence on Aug 12

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The 30-billion-baht rail link between Suvarnabhumi Airport and the main terminal in Bangkok is expected to put into use on August 12, commemorating the birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.

Transport Minister Sopon Zarum on Friday told reporters that both the infrastructure and operating system of the Airport Rail Link (ARL) project has been completed by 98 percent and will be ready to offer services in mid-August as planned.

After observing a test-run of a train from Ramkhamhaeng Station to Suvarnabhumi Station, the minister said the service between Suvarnabhumi Airport to the City Air Terminal in the Makkasan area can be fully operational on the schedule but the baggage check-in system at the City Air Terminal may not be completed in time.

In that case, he said, the service would then be for passengers only  while the baggage check-in service would then be provided once the check-in facilities are available.

Since the ARL line will be owned and operated by State Railway of Thailand (SRT), Sopon said he had instructed the SRT to speed up the plan to set up a subsidiary company to manage the overall operations in order to be prepared in time for the schedule.

According to the ARL project, the rail link will be 28.6 km long and elevated for most of its length, with the services of non-stop Express trains and ordinary City Line commuter trains, which will make six stops between downtown Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi Airport from Phaya Thai to Ratchaprarop, Makkasan, Ramkhamhaeng, Hua Mak, Thap Chang and Lat Krabang stations.

In a preliminary study, the Express train, which will serve only from the City Air Terminal, or Makkasan, to Suvarnabhumi Airport and take about 15 minutes for the journey, is expected to cost the passengers about 150 baht per person while the Commuter trip, about 27 minutes for the entire route, would cost about 30-50 baht.

The exact fares are to be considered by the SRT and the Ministry of Transport.

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