MRT Blue Line Tao Poon – Tha Phra Extension: Tha Phra to Tao Poon 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. I decided to head back by the new extension again, rather than taking the shorter loop to the city so as to clear the new extension properly in both directions.

BL01 Tha Phra MRT Station

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The upper level of Tha Phra MRT Station consists of an island platform, while the lower level is made up of side platforms, allowing convenient escalator transfers.

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Looking down at the lower level tracks towards Lak Song and Tao Poon via Sukhumvit.

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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 Tha Phra, and not this temporary free trial operations.

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The active Platform 4 of Tha Phra MRT Station.

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The station sign of Tha Phra MRT Station.

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The incoming train approaching Platform 4 of Tha Phra MRT Station.

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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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Departing from Tha Phra MRT Station.

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Passing over the diamond crossing.

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Looking down at the line towards Lak Song.

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Heading on to Charan 13 MRT Station.

BL02 Charan 13 MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Charan 13 MRT Station.

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Passing through the suspension bridge approaching Fai Chai MRT Station.

BL03 Fai Chai MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Fai Chai MRT Station.

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Passing by Makro Charansanitwong.

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Passing over Charan Sanitwong Railway Halt.

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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Crossing over the Bangkok Noi River.

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Crossing over the Borommaratchachonnani Intersection.

BL05 Bang Yi Khan MRT Station

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Approaching Bang Yi Khan MRT Station with Indy Market just beside it.

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Making a brief stop at Bang Yi Khan MRT Station.

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Heading on to Sirindhorn MRT Station.

BL06 Sirindhorn MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Sirindhorn MRT Station. Here, I alighted to see if I can trainspot with the suspension bridge as a backdrop.

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My train departing from Sirindhorn MRT Station.

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Ah, nope.

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Perhaps an incoming train might work?

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Nope, not at all.

Looks like the angle can only be good from a building outside Sirindhorn MRT Station.

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The opposing Siemens BLE Train at Sirindhorn MRT Station.

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The station sign on the platform of Sirindhorn MRT Station.

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Arrival times are shown accurately on the information screens on the platform.

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Surprisingly, a Siemens IBL Train pulled in on this new extension. Wasn’t expecting it.

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Crossing a suspension bridge over Bang Phlat Intersection after departing from Sirindhorn MRT Station.

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Passing by the turnback siding after Sirindhorn MRT Station.

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 Bang O MRT Station.

BL08 Bang O MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Bang O MRT Station.

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Noise barriers are installed on the curve out of Bang O.

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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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Looking south towards Wat Kaew Fah Chulamanee.

BL09 Bang Pho MRT Station

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Making a brief stop at Bang Pho MRT Station.

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Heading on to Tao Poon MRT Station.

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Looks like the BTS and Chao Phraya Express Boat increases the value of condominiums now – a fulfillment of the saying that a developed city is where the rich takes public transportation.

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Entering Tao Poon MRT Station.

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Arriving at Platform 1 of Tao Poon MRT Station.

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All passengers must disembark at Tao Poon MRT Station for the train to be checked through by staff.

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 to continue on to the rest of the MRT Blue Line any more.

BL10 PP16 Tao Poon MRT Station

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Arrived at Tao Poon MRT Station.

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The station sign of Tao Poon MRT Station at the platform.

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I headed out of the station to check out the fares charged with the opening of this new MRT Blue Line Tao Poon – Tha Phra Extension. Seems like old linear fares are charged without the new shortcut to Tha Phra, but notice that there seems to be layers of stickers on different parts of the map pasted on this notice board.

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I headed to the ticket machine to check the price, and nope, the fare chart was thankfully wrong, and BEM has already factored the complete loop line into the fares. A ticket to Tha Phra costs 16 Baht with the free service on the new MRT Blue Line Tao Poon – Tha Phra Extension.

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Just to make sure the fare calculations were already future-proofed, I selected a maximum station from the linear fare, which would be a station after Tha Phra, which is Itsaraphap so that it would be in the new loop, and yes, the free fare on the new MRT Blue Line Tao Poon – Tha Phra Extension is also factored in, with the journey now costing only 19 Baht rather than 42 Baht on the old linear fare.

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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