Just as I headed up to the Samrong-bound platform at Kheha BTS Station to wait for a train back to Samrong, I saw this new yet familiar looking thing creeping up the viaduct from the Bang Bu Depot.
Could it be? Was I going to board this train without waiting for long?
The original BTS Siemens Modular Metro train was arriving first, which I was very happy to give it a miss.
The Siemens Modular Metro train picking up passengers for Samrong.
Once the train had departed, the new BTS Siemens Inspiro (EMU-A2) heads to the platform.
Crossing over to the Samrong-bound and Mo Chit-bound track.
The new BTS Siemens Inspiro (EMU-A2) entering the platform.
As no destination and train number is keyed in yet from the fresh launch from the depot, the destination sign simply shows “Bangkok Green Line”.
Boarding the new BTS Siemens Inspiro (EMU-A2).
The interior of the new BTS Siemens Inspiro (EMU-A2).
The car number format follows the existing numbering format of BTS Skytrains.
Perhaps the most unique and controversial part of the new train is this standing area which has been fitted upon delivery, enabling higher crush loads on the BTS Skytrain.
The gangway of the new BTS Siemens Inspiro (EMU-A2).
The gangway platform is similar to the existing Siemens Modular Metro.
A wheelchair bay can be found at the side of the gangway.
A belt buckle set is also available at the wheelchair bay to secure the wheelchair and passenger in wheelchair.
The route map as seen on the LED screen dynamic route map shows the full route of the BTS in accordance to the direction of the train when viewing the route map. Languages alternate between English and Thai to reduce clutter.
Another look at the interior of the new BTS Siemens Inspiro (EMU-A2).
The high-density section of the train car at each end.
Lots of handgrips and grabpoles are available in the high-capacity area.
The unique door window design on the new BTS Siemens Inspiro (EMU-A2).
The usual TV screens are placed in the middle of the seating area for screening advertisements.
The poster in the train car advertising the free usage of the Samrong and Kheha Extensions between Bearing and Kheha from 6 December 2018, 12.00pm.
Due to the high-capacity areas, each train car has just 4 rows of seat, with 1 row in each high-capacity section and 2 rows in the middle section.
The dynamic route map features the route in an interactive manner as the train travels along.
The station names are indicated clean and clear on the dynamic route map.
The announcement text are rotated between English and Thai.
The view of Samut Prakan from the BTS Kheha Extension.
Passing by the Chang Erawan at The Erawan Museum.
Lots of flyovers and viaducts here.
The train was reasonably full on an off-peak weekday afternoon for a train line which only serves the neighbourhood.
Arriving at Samrong.
Crossing onto the turnback siding to head to Platform 1 of Samrong.
Arriving at Samrong.
Here, it is a simple cross-platform interchange to the train bound for the city and onwards to Mo Chit.
The CRRC Changchun (EMU-B) train and the new BTS Siemens Inspiro (EMU-A2) at Samrong.
Upon arrival at Samrong, the train gets cleared of passengers and is ready for the next trip back to Kheha.
The driver ensures that there is no obstruction at the train doors, despite the line being fully operated by CBTC.
Departing from Samrong BTS Station.
The new BTS Siemens Inspiro (EMU-A2) heading back to Kheha for the weekday peak hour runs.
Here, the new BTS Siemens Inspiro (EMU-A2) crosses with a Siemens Modular Metro on a through service from Kheha to Mo Chit, probably as a peak hour swap and to rotate the Siemens Modular Metro trains between Bang Bu Depot and the main Mo Chit Depot after service hours.
As such, the turnback siding is not used for any crossovers in this instance.
The direct Kheha to Mo Chit train approaching Kheha. However, I waited for the next train commencing service at Samrong as there was some crowd in this direct train heading into the city already.
Trains for Mo Chit depart from Platform 2 of Samrong.
The route map of onward destinations from Platform 2.
My train back to the city was formed of a CRRC Changchun (EMU-B) train.
The interior of the CRRC Changchun (EMU-B) train.
The dynamic route map on board the CRRC Changchun (EMU-B) train shows why it is important for dynamic route maps to be in LED screen form as the network rapidly changes, as both the Samrong and Kheha Extensions are still featured on the LED dynamic route maps as simply a small sticker.
Overall, the BTS Siemens Inspiro (EMU-A2) is a pleasant train to ride on without the crowds. The real evaluation would be when this train does the full route to Mo Chit, passing through the Ratchaprasong District where the bulk of passengers are waiting for the BTS at all times of the day. Until then, it’s a nice addition to the ever-growing BTS fleet.