Bangkok's skytrain seeks permission to buy 12 new trains

dpa German Press Agency
Published: Monday November 6, 2006

Bangkok- Bangkok's skytrain system has sought permission from the Central Bankruptcy Court to purchase 12 new trains to meet growing passenger demand, media reports said on Tuesday. Bangkok Mass Transit System (BMTS), the private operator of the capital's overhead mass transit system, currently has 32 trains supplied by Siemens of Germany.

The skytrain opened in December 1999, and is finally reaching full capacity, according to BMTS advisor Anat Abhabirama.

"Our train capacity is reaching about 80 per cent. Full capacity is anticipated over the next 18 months or two years," Anat told the Bangkok Post newspaper.

The skytrain is now used by 440,000 passengers per day, but usage is expected to grow 10 per cent next year after an extension of the system over the Thaksin Bridge to Thon Buri, Bangkok's sister city on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River.

BMTS, which has never made a profit from the train system, will require permission from the Central Bankruptcy Court to purchase new trains as the company is still subject to a restructuring plan of its 40 billion baht (1.1 billion dollar) debt.

Major creditors include Deutsche Bank AG London, Thailand Asset Management Corporation, Siemens and the Siam Commercial Bank.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency