Thailand’s Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra announced on August 1 that the government had approved in principle the construction of three more metro lines in Bangkok. The Red Line will run for 40 km from Phya Thai to Rangsit and Chiang Rak Noi and the 23 km Purple Line will connect Bang Yai with the Blue Line at Bang Sue. The Blue Line will be extended at both ends, by 14 km from Hualampong to Bang Khae and by 13 km from Bang Sue to Tha Phra. On July 21 Bangkok Metropolitan Administration signed a 3·8bn baht contract with Italian-Thai Development for construction of a 5·3 km extension of the BTS Skytrain Sukhumvit Line southeast from On Nut to Soi Baring. Construction is expected to start this month for opening in 2010.

CAPTION: Delivered to Ferrovie Nord Milano on August 1 was the first TSR double-deck EMU built by AnsaldoBreda at Caserta and Pistoia. A derivative of the successful TAF design, the TSR has distributed power with motor bogies under all vehicles. This will allow the formation of sets with one, two or three intermediate cars. The use of roof-mounted high voltage equipment has released space for additional seating behind the driving cabs

Photo: Maurizio Tolini

Japan’s Land, Infrastructure & Transport Ministry announced on August 16 that it was looking to develop light rail networks in 10 cities over the next decade, using low-floor LRVs. It has requested an initial appropriation of ´300m in the 2007 financial year to undertake preliminary work. The 10 successful projects are to be announced in 2008, but are expected to include Toyama, where an initial line opened this year (RG 6.06 p310), Utsonomiya and Sakai.