Bangkok’s new 23km passenger mass transit railway Purple Line has been officially opened.

The line was built by Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) to connect Tao Poon and Khlong Bang Phai. A joint venture (JV) of Marubeni and Toshiba provided railway systems and maintenance services as part of a contract awarded in 2013.

This contract included rolling stock, signalling, power supply and communications and the JV was also awarded a ten-year maintenance services contract, which will be executed with East Japan Railway Company (JR East).

"The Purple Line is expected to ease congestion on routes between central Bangkok and Nonthaburi Province."

Trains for the line were manufactured by Japan Transport Engineering Company (J-TREC), a subsidiary of JR East.

With 16 stations, the new line is said to be the first in the Bangkok rail network to operate Japanese rolling stock. Marubeni said in a statement it is also the first overseas project where a team including a Japanese rail system operator will deliver long-term maintenance services for a railway line.

The Purple Line is expected to ease congestion on routes between central Bangkok and Nonthaburi Province.


Image: The Purple Line is said to be the first in the Bangkok rail network to operate Japanese rolling stock. Photo: courtesy of Marubeni Corporation.