Almost four years after the new Bangkok Airport at Suvarnabhumi opened, the news is that the rail link to the airport is almost ready to go into full service at last. Test runs have already begun on the new line, which is now in its soft launch phase and open to public use from 0700-1000 and from 1600-1900 every day.
As well as the express service direct between Suvarnabhumi and the City Air Terminal at Makkasan (which links direct to the mass transit network via the Phetchaburi metro station), passengers will also be able to make use of a commuter service with eight stops in the city. The express route is expected to take 15 minutes to make the 28 km (17 mile) journey, at speeds of up to 160 km/h (99 mph); the commuter service is likely to take half an hour.
A friend of ours who lives in Thailand and has travelled on the commuter service described it as “smooth and fast” and added that the new link would really put a crimp in the taxi hawkers’ business, especially for those travelling with hand luggage to or from points near to the BTS or MRT network. Typically taxis charge 250 baht for the journey door-to-door; the express service will cost 150 baht, the commuter service between 15 and 45 baht depending on length of journey.
The service is expected to become fully operational in August 2010.