TRAVEL-TRANSPORT: BANGKOK – Airport Link overloaded as schools reopen

Lines of commuters seeking to ride the Airport Link train snake outside the Lat Krabang station. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)



All seven Airport Rail Link (ARL) trains are operating at full capacity to cope with increased passenger demand caused by the back-to-school season in Bangkok, Deputy Transport Minister Pailin Chuchottaworn said Wednesday.

More train services would help reduce passenger congestion at ARL’s station platforms, Mr Pailin said after an inspection of the Airport Link’s services. “We have received reports that after adding more trains, there is less passenger congestion during rush hour. We have also ordered these trains to arrive every 10 minutes instead of the usual 12 to 13 minutes per train,” Mr Pailin said.

ARL has been facing operational problems. Run at financial loss, the authority cannot import additional trains. Currently, seven out of nine trains are functional. The other two are currently stranded as the ARL cannot afford to import spare parts from Germany. ARL repairmen need to dismantle spare parts from the two decommissioned trains to use on the operational seven.


Nuttachai Waiyasutra, a 29-year-old government office employee who boarded at Hua Mak, said the diesel train service is far less congested than the ARL’s.

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