The Suvarnabhumi Airport Rail Link (SARL) is a rapid transit line that links the Suvarnabhumi Airport to Phaya Thai and six other stations in central Bangkok.
The 28.6km rail route, passing via the Makkasan city air terminal, was opened for commercial service on 23 August 2010. The project is owned by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and operated by SRT Electrified Train (SRTET), a subsidiary of SRT.
The train service caters up to 50,000 commuters daily across eight stations. It has shortened the duration of travel for outbound and inbound air travellers.
The Thailand cabinet has passed a resolution in June 2004, permitting SRT to execute the construction of SARL and the City Air Terminal. A budget of THB30bn ($9.9bn) was allocated for the construction of the rail link and a tunnel under the airport terminal.
"The SA Express stops only at Makkasan and Suvarnabhumi Airport."
The rail link project was signed in January 2005 and construction started in July 2005. The construction contract for the rapid transit line was awarded to B. Grimm International, B. Grimm MBM Hong Kong, Siemens Aktiengesellschaft and Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction.
The project encountered a number of delays before it was finally completed in August 2010.
The SARL offers a non-stop express service called the Suvarnabhumi Airport Express (SA Express) and a commuter service called Suvarnabhumi Airport City Line (SA City Line).
The SA Express stops only at Makkasan and Suvarnabhumi Airport. It takes 15 minutes to reach the airport. The SA City Line provides services parallel to SA Express, with stops at Rajprarop, Makkasan, Ramkhamhaeng, Hua Mark, Thab Chang and Lad Krabang stations. It takes 27 minutes to reach the airport.
The SARL line uses a standard gauge system with a track width of 1.435m. The rail line is electrified with a 25kVAC Overhead Catenary System.
The rail system consists of seven elevated stations and one underground station. The Suvarnabhumi Airport station is an underground station through which the passengers can access the airport. The station has an escalator, elevator and ramps.
The express train platforms at Suvarnabhumi and Makkasan feature automatic screen doors. The stations have check-in facilities and baggage handling systems. All the stations are built to accommodate 10-car trains.
Passengers can also check-in their baggage at the City Air Terminal even before reaching the airport.
The rolling stock on the SARL includes nine trainsets, four on the SA Express and five on the SA City Line. All the trainsets are Desiro Class 360/2 supplied by Siemens.
They have an air-conditioned pod on the roof and extra power to cope with the humid Thai climate. The SA Express Line uses 16 passenger cars and the SA City Line operates 15.
The City line and Express line are operational from 6am to 12am. The trains run at a maximum speed of 160km/h.
Signalling / communication
Siemens supplied electric power and communication systems to SRT. The company was assigned with the overall integration of all electromechanical systems in the SARL project.
"The SA Express Line uses 16 passenger cars and the SA City Line operates 15."
The SARL uses a CCTV communications system, which is designed to provide real-time video monitoring and recording for the security and safety of the railway facilities, passengers and the staff. AES Group has designed CCTV solutions to meet the requirements of the SARL security communication systems.
The CCTV system uses Bosch IP cameras for sending the pictures to the management storage servers through a LAN network.
The network uses a 3Com rackmount and GarrettCom industrial switches, which are fixed throughout the station.
The project uses Aimetis Symphony intelligent video surveillance software to monitor and analyse the IP video feeds from the cameras installed throughout the route. The software, which was procured from Aimetis Corp, also provides full redundancy, PTZ controls, SCADA integration, video wall and alarm management capabilities to SARL's surveillance system.