On the move: Bangkok

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On the move: Bangkok

First time I visited Bangkok was in November 2011, when the Bangkok Airport Rail Link was in operation for more than a year.

That time I took the Express Line – the non-stop dedicated airport link, connecting Suvarnabhumi Airport and the Makkasan City Terminal in 17 minutes.

In April 2013 SRT Electrified Train Co, which runs the service for the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), suspended the Suvarnabhumi-Makkasan Express Line for major maintenance work as some of the four year old trains have reached their maximum mileage of 1.2 million kilometres.

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In September 2014, all Express services have been suspended until further notice due to rolling stock shortage.

Therefore when I have arrived to Bangkok in December 2014, the only rail option to travel from Suvarnabhumi Airport was the stopping City Line.

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Confusingly, there was no information that the Express Line is not operating. While queuing for the ticket machine, the airport station employee asked me where I want to go, to which I replied that I want to purchase the Express Line ticket (20 hours of travelling tampered with my memory). The employee directed me to the ticket counter where I was given the token to Makkasan Station. No explanation was given that the ticket is in fact for the City Line and that the Express Line is suspended.

The whole thing was quite confusing, only after I was desperately trying to find a way to Express Line, asked the security guard from which platform it is departing and received an answer of vigorous head-shake, I vaguely remembered that the Express Line is not running.

Oh well.

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The Airport City Line trains are not exactly built for airport passenger in mind. The metro style seat configuration does not allow for much luggage space and it gets really busy during the intermediate stops.

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Makkasan Airport City Terminal is connected to BTS Skytrain Phetchaburi station via covered walkway, allowing you to appreciate the famous Bangkok traffic you just avoided.

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