The first of 21 three-car metro trainsets for Bangkok’s Purple Line was shipped on September 7.

THAILAND: The first of 21 three-car metro trainsets being built by East Japan Railway’s J-TREC business for Bangkok’s Purple Line was shipped from Yokohama on September 7.

The entire fleet is scheduled to arrive in Thailand by January, and revenue services on the 23 km Purple Line running from Bang Yai to Bang Sue with 16 stations are now expected to begin in August 2016.

The line is being developed by Bangkok Metro Public Co under a 30-year public-private partnership contract awarded by Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand in 2012. The project is being financed through an official development assistance loan from Japan.

In November 2013 BMCL’s construction contractor CH Karnchang awarded a joint venture of Marubeni and Toshiba a contract to provide the rolling stock and power, signalling, control, telecom and other railway systems for the line, along with 10 years of maintenance.

This is the first export order for J-TREC’s Sustina design, which features laser-welded lightweight stainless steel car bodies with interior roll-bars at ceiling height to provide strength within the car body should a collision occur from the side.