MRT Blue Line extension
The long-awaited MRT Blue Line extension from Hua Lamphong to Bang Khae is now open to the public, stretching from the previous terminus at MRT Hua Lamphong to western suburbs in Bang Khae district with five new stations along the metro extension. Free test rides will operate daily from Wat Mangkon, Sam Yot, Sanam Chai and Itsaraphap to Tha Phra station between 10am to 4pm until September 28. Serving these stations will be a new fleet of trains from the German manufacturer Siemens. Pakapong Sirikantaramas, governor of the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand, said a total of 35 of these new train sets have been ordered. He hopes the new fleet will ease congestion and shorten waiting times.The line will stop at Wat Mangkon, Sam Yot, Sanam Chai, before running under the Chao Phraya River to Itsaraphap and then terminating at Tha Phra.
MRTA has announced that four underground stations have been designed to reflect local history and blend in with the surroundings.
MRT Sanam Chai, located in front of Museum Siam has been designed to resemble a Rattanakosin-style stateroom, while MRT Wat Mangkon in Chinatown blends a mix of Chinese and European architecture with a dragon motif. In fact Wat Mangkon station takes its name from Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (meaning “Dragon Lotus Temple”), the largest Chinese Buddhist temple in Bangkok. The station features a staircase leading down to the underground that resembles the underbelly of a dragon
After the test runs the full service along the 80 billion baht extension is expected to commence on September 29 with the line being able to accommodate up to 500,000 passengers when all stations are operational.The MRTA will then begin collecting fares of between B16-42 per ride Another extension, which heads north towards Bang Sue, will not open until Mar 2020. The new 13-kilometer elevated line will cover eight stations and connect at MRT Tha Phra, where passengers can also change to the Tao Poon-bound elevated purple line.