Bang Sue Grand Station is the future central station of Bangkok, replacing Hua Lamphong as Thailand’s railway hub. If you’ve caught a train to or from Bangkok recently you might have noticed this as you passed through Bang Sue station. Indeed, it’s hard not to miss as it’s the biggest construction site in Thailand. The station looks more like a giant airport than a railway station.
While attending the Rail Asia Expo in Bangkok I got to visit the construction site as part of a conference tour. The conference was at Makkasan Station, and from there we got a bus to Bang Sue. Eventually, there will be a new rail link that will connect Don Muang Airport to Suvarnabhumi Airport and U-Tapao Airport, via Bang Sue and Makkasan.
The new station will be home to the current state railway services, the new Dark Red and Light Red commuter lines, the Airport Rail Link, and future high-speed railway services.
The subterranean floor is parking space, while the ground floor will be for ticketing and reservations, and contain a retail area. There will also be access to the MRT Blue Line on the Bangkok mass transit system. It is not known though there is a paid area transfers for MRT and SRT lines yet.
The next two levels are for the trains, with 24 platforms in total. It will be by far the biggest train station in Southeast Asia, and with Bangkok’s location being a central hub in mainland Southeast Asia, it’s a title that’s unlikely to be challenged. When you see the map of current and proposed railways in Southeast Asia, it appears that all rails lead to Bangkok.
What has been built so far reminded me of some of the mega stations in China. With 24 platforms it would just scrape into the Top 10 list of biggest train stations in China (the same amount as Beijing South Railway Station).
The platforms are 600 metres long, so they will be big enough to handle the longest high-speed trains. There are no high–speed trains operating in Thailand yet, but it’s a refreshing change to have infrastructure planned in advance.
Taking a leaf out of a politicians playbook, I couldn’t pass up a photo opportunity in my hard hat and hi-vis jacket.
We were on the top floor in an area where we wouldn’t be in the way of construction. Afterwards we drove by the main entrance, which features an enormous arched entrance (bigger than the new Hong Kong West Kowloon station).
This photo through the bus window shows what 24 lines converging on one train station looks like.
The station is due to open in 2020, and when completed it should look something like this:
[Image via unique.co.th.]
All of the current services that operate from Hua Lamphong will operate from here, and in the future there will be more international services. Within the next five years if you look at the departure board you may be able to see Phnom Penh, Vientiane, and Kunming as destinations.
Around the station, there are designated plots of land for redevelopment, and there will be a new commercial area around the station. It may become a new business hub of Bangkok, possibly shifting the commercial centre of gravity of Bangkok towards Bang Sue.
I’ll be checking it out once it opens to do a full review, most likely by booking a trip somewhere. It looks like such an interesting building though that I would go there just to sit in a cafe and people watch.
For more rail guides visit the complete guide to train travel in Southeast Asia.