While Thailand may be in the midst of a nationwide railroad revival, nothing illustrates the rebirth of rail more than Bang Sue Central Station, a “mega-station” set to open in January and eventually replace historic Hua Lamphong Station as Bangkok’s main train depot.
“Once completed, Bang Sue Central will be the largest railway station in Southeast Asia. Diesel-train services that currently terminate at Hua Lamphong eventually be moved to Bang Sue, which also will be the hub of the Red Line transit line.
The 15-billion-baht project covering 2,325 rai will host diesel, electric and high-speed trains of all distances on its 26 platforms, including rail links to Bangkok’s two international airports and U-Tapao-Rayong Pattaya Airport. A walkway will connect to the new Mo Chit Bus Terminal. More than 1,600 cars will be able to park there.
Ticketing windows, retail shops and restaurants will be located on the ground floor, along with the connector to the MRT Blue Line.
The mezzanine will have more shops plus rail control rooms. Four platforms for the State Railway of Thailand’s Red Line suburban trains and eight platforms for diesel trains will be located on the second floor.
The third floor will host 10 platforms for regional, high-speed services and two platforms for the high-speed airport rail link.
The new mega-statin will relieve the current bottleneck at Hua Lamphong and speed train trips by avoiding the turns required to get in and out of the 100-year-old station.
In an interview with industry publication Rail Professional, SRT Chairman Chirute Visalachitra said trains from the North, Northeast and South will be moved to Bang Sue first with all long-distance trains from those regions transferred from Hua Lamphong.
Eastern running trains between Hua Mak-Makkasan-Bangkok will continue to use Hua Lamphong station as their destination station until after the Red Line is completed, he said.
Hua Lamphong, called the Bangkok Railway Station, will be preserved and turned into a museum and tourist attraction, he said.