State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has pushed back the opening of the Red Line, the transit system which will include the much-anticipated Bang Sue Grand Station, to January 2021 instead of its original launch date which had been set for October 2020.
SRT Acting Governor Voravuth Mala told reporters on Tuesday that the timeline was adjusted due to difficulties in executing contracts for the Red Line project, which include electrical and mechanical systems as well as carriage acquisition.
“We need to adjust parts of the design so they best fit current conditions,” Voravuth told PPTV.
The Red Line is part of the government’s Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan or “M-Map” to develop an urban transit network that will improve the public transport network across the greater Bangkok metropolitan region.
The portion of the Red Line that’s being constructed consists of two main routes leaving from Bang Sue Grand Station: one runs north to Rangsit and the other heads east to Taling Chan.
Bang Sue Grand Station is meant to ease the traffic around Hua Lamphong, the city’s current transport hub. When opened, Bang Sue Grand will become Southeast Asia’s largest railway station, according to China’s Xinhua News.
Bang Sue Grand Station will sprawl over 300,000 sqm. and eventually serve as a connecting point for the Airport Rail Link, the Red and Blue train lines, as well as diesel trains and high-speed trains that travel outside of the capital.
Plans for the central station were submitted to the cabinet for approval in 2017 and construction began this year.
The area around the station will, reportedly, be developed as a business and commercial hub due to its “great potential future growth.”