MRT Blue Line Tao Poon – Tha Phra Extension: Tao Poon to Tha Phra by Happy Blue Line Train – The Complete Bangkok Circle Line

The MRT Blue Line Tao Poon – Tha Phra Extension is the latest and final extension for current construction, crossing the Chao Phraya River from Tao Poon towards Tha Phra to form a loop around old and new Bangkok from the original C-shaped line. With the completion of the MRT Blue Line Tao Poon – Tha Phra Extension, the MRT Blue Line now forms a reverse P-shape across and around Bangkok, with the meeting point at Tha Phra, with trains running on a single main line and passengers having to interchange at Tha Phra when arriving from the north.

BL10 PP16 Tao Poon MRT Station

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As I took my journey during the MRT Blue Line Tao Poon – Tha Phra Extension trial period, though the first day of operations for full day services, an interchange is required at Tao Poon as split services are provided during the free trial on the existing line and new extension.

Do note that through services have already commenced since 1 March 2020, so this information is outdated and there is no need to change trains at Tao Poon for this leg of the journey any more.

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As Tao Poon was obviously not designed for interchanging between the MRT Blue Line and MRT Blue Line, passengers must change platforms via the station concourse below or MRT Purple Line platform above.

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New developments sprouting up around Tao Poon MRT Station.

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Heading down to the concourse level.

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The signs pointing to whichever side you need to head to for your departure platform.

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Heading up to Platform 1 for train services to Tha Phra.

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I had just missed a train, but no problems when I’m doing explorations slowly rather than actual commuting.

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Platform 1 of Tao Poon towards Tha Phra (temporary).

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The route map pasted on the half-height platform screen doors (HHPSDs) reflect the actual through service operations from Tha Phra to Lak Song via Bang Sue, and not this temporary free trial operations.

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The incoming train from Lak Song via Bang Sue, terminating at Tao Poon.

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The incoming train from Tha Phra via Sirindhorn, terminating at Tao Poon.

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Passengers must alight here to change to the regular MRT Blue Line train between Tao Poon and Lak Song via Bang Sue.

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The train will be cleaned and checked through by staff before passengers are allowed to board, similar to the other terminals of the line.

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The direction of the train has been changed.

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The interior of the MRT Blue Line Siemens BLE EMU.

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The dynamic route map showing the MRT Blue Line Tao Poon – Tha Phra Extension shuttle route.

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Departing from Tao Poon MRT Station.

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Crossing over to the track on the left towards Tha Phra.

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Passing by Gateway Bangsue.

BL09 Bang Pho MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Bang Pho MRT Station.

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Approaching the Chao Phraya River.

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Crossing over the Chao Phraya River.

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The MRT Blue Line crosses the Chao Phraya River south of the Rama VI Bridge where the SRT Southern Line crosses to head to Hat Yai, Butterworth, KL Sentral and Woodlands CIQ.

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Noise barriers are installed on the curve towards Bang O.

BL08 Bang O MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Bang O MRT Station.

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Heading on to Bang Phlat.

BL07 Bang Phlat MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Bang Phlat MRT Station.

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Heading on to Sirindhorn.

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There is a turnback siding before Sirindhorn MRT Station. Trains probably used this to cross over back to Tao Poon during the first trial phase from Tao Poon to Sirindhorn.

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Merging back to form the regular double track alignment.

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Crossing a suspension bridge over Bang Phlat Intersection so that the beam can have a longer span flying above the busy road intersection.

BL06 Sirindhorn MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Sirindhorn MRT Station.

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Heading on to Bang Yi Khan with a nice view of the Rama 8 Bridge against the Bangkok skyline.

BL05 Bang Yi Khan MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Bang Yi Khan MRT Station.

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Crossing over the Borommaratchachonnani Intersection.

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Crossing over the Bangkok Noi River.

BL04 Bang Khun Non MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Bang Khun Non MRT Station. This is an interchange station with the SRT Southern Line Thonburi Branch Line at Charan Sanitwong Railway Halt.

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Passing over Sahakorn Market and the SRT Southern Line Thonburi Branch Line facing towards Thonburi.

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Taking a left curve to Fai Chai.

BL03 Fai Chai MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Fai Chai MRT Station.

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I alighted here to check out if I can do some trainspotting with the suspension bridge after Fai Chai MRT Station.

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Hmm, a bit too close for good shots.

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Yup, that’s a failed shot right there.

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The platform of Fai Chai MRT Station.

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Heading to the staircase exit to take a wider shot of the suspension bridge – which is still a failure.

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Hmm, perhaps zooming helps.

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NOPE.

Mission failed.

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The station sign on the platform of Fai Chai MRT Station.

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The opposing Siemens BLE Train in “The Great Garland” livery.

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The half-height platform screen door (HHPSD) controls beside Door 7. The HHPSD sets are future-proofed with a reserved knob to switch to 4-car and 6-car operations in the distant future.

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Oh hello. This ST Engineering logo looks familiar.

Seems like other countries appreciate Singapore’s products more than Singapore, when we buy our new HHPSDs on the Tuas Link Extension from Fangda Intelligent Innovation Technology Co., Ltd. instead.

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The current ST Engineering Electronics HHPSDs operate for a 3-car formation from Doors 7 to 18.

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Departing from Fai Chai MRT Station over the suspension bridge.

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Passing by HomePro Charan Sanit Wong.

BL02 Charan 13 MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Charan 13 MRT Station.

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Passing by Siam Technology College (Siam Tech).

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A slight curve before Tha Phra allows the X-shaped station to be seen.

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Passing by Wat Tha Phra.

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The Bangkok skyline from Tha Phra.

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The line splits before entering the Tha Phra station vicinity.

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A scissors crossing before the platform.

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Beautiful. You don’t get many of these in the open nowadays.

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Approaching Tha Phra MRT Station.

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Entering Tha Phra MRT Station.

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Passing over the lower level tracks towards Lak Song and Tao Poon via Sukhumvit.

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BL01 Tha Phra MRT Station

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Arrived at Tha Phra MRT Station.

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The station level transfer information at Tha Phra MRT Station.

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The station sign of Tha Phra MRT Station at the platform.

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Spotting a Siemens IBL Train heading into the tunnel for Itsaraphap.

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Similar to Tao Poon, the upper level consists of an island platform, while the lower level is made up of side platforms, allowing convenient escalator transfers.

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Trains currently only use Platform 4, with Platform 3 reserved for stabling a standby train.

Platform 4 does the clockwise loop around Bangkok from Tha Phra.

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The transfer information as pasted on pillars around the platform.

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The escalator down to the Lak Song-bound Platform 1.

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The view from the upper level island platforms towards Bang Phai, with a clear view of the shortcut service line from Bang Phai to the upper level overrun tracks for easy stock transfer, so that trains need not go through the full MRT Blue Line loop just to get to the top.

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The transfer line between the lower level tracks and upper level overrun.

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Looks big, but it’s essentially a central siding with an escape route from the down slope, rather than it being quadrupled-track.

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Access to the service slope bypass seems to only be possible from Bang Phai up to the central siding to cross over the Lak Song-bound track on a rigid diamond to the slope to the upper level overrun tracks.

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Excellent designing of this service track.

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The service track merges after Platform 3.

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There are 3 overrun tracks to store trains.

This track layout also allows the MRT Blue Line to operate with detrainment on Platform 4 for passengers arriving from Charan 13, with the train heading empty into the middle overrun to reverse out into Platform 3 to pick up passengers to Lak Song via Bang Sue to further improve frequencies should even more trains be one day procured.

Bangkok has thought of everything already.

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A Siemens IBL Train stabling at Platform 3.

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The escalator down to Platform 2 for trains to Silom, Sukhumvit, Tao Poon and Tha Phra.

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The simple walking path to Platform 2.

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The arriving train at Tha Phra towards Tao Poon via Sukhumvit (and in future, through to Tha Phra).

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Platform 2 does the anti-clockwise loop around Bangkok from Tha Phra.

Overall, an excellent extension to new areas not served by any form of mass transit options before, which also allows the formation of a new “Bangkok Circle Line” to diffuse passengers coming in from either ends to use a less crowded loop around the city if they are heading across the city. By having a P-shaped line like this with a terminal platform in the meeting point, it also allows a standard frequency of trains across the line since the MRT Blue Line is able to operate like a linear system despite the actual alignment being a loop.

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