Hua Lamphong’s Train Services Reduced, Soon To Cease

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob insisted that all train services to and from Hua Lamphong Railway Terminal should cease, announcing that daily services to the station would be first reduced from 118, to 22, to ease traffic congestion caused by periodic road closures.

Many travelers have criticized the cut in train services to the station, saying it would cause an increase in their expenses. They argued that the move would force them to commute daily to work in town from Bang Sue grand station by bus rather than directly from Hua Lamphong Station, located in the city center.

However, the minister said Monday that he would discuss the city bus services’ operation with Bangkok’s Mass Transit Authority, hoping to arrange an alternative feeder bus service that transports commuters from Bang Sue to the inner capital.

In addition, Mr. Saksayam plans to negotiate with BTS Skytrain and Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) to offer special discounted tickets for travelers disembarking at Bang Sue Grand Station.

He also spoke about Hua Lamphong’s terminal, which was set up in the spacious prime real estate, explaining that the State Railways of Thailand had created SRT Asset Company Limited (SRTA) to manage its assets for commercial purposes and reduce its 600-billion-baht debts from accumulated operations.

SRT’s assets in Bangkok include several land prime plots such as Hua Lamphong, the Mae Nam railway station, and the Royal City Avenue land.

According to SRTA projections, the company could earn a 5-billion-baht revenue from its assets’ development during the first year, increasing to 10 billion baht in the fifth year and up to 800 billion baht in 30 years.

Minister Saksayam said a proposal suggests preserving the Hua Lamphong terminal as a museum rather than developing it into a shopping complex. In either case, the situation might not please some people because his priority is to address the SRT’s mountain of debt, he added.

The government has not confirmed when all train services at the station will cease definitely, but it could be on December 23 if they follow an initial proposal.