MRT Blue Line Tha Phra – Lak Song Extension: Tha Phra to Lak Song by Happy Blue Line Train

My original plan for this Bangkok trip was for the new MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension from Hua Lamphong, but I had already taken the short preview of it from Hua Lamphong to Tha Phra accidentally on the first day of free trials. Nevertheless, the new extension to Lak Song is operating in full swing now, so I was still able to explore something new on this planned trip.

BL28 Hua Lamphong MRT Station
BL28 สถานีหัวลำโพง
BL28 华南蓬站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 001

With my stay being at @Hua Lamphong Hotel, I simply headed downstairs to catch the MRT Blue Line train.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 002MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 003

Trains are now running through-service between Tao Poon and Lak Song. No need to change trains at Hua Lamphong any more.

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The almost fully peeled off map at Hua Lamphong.

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Without waiting for a specific train, I started this journey with the BLE train in King livery.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 007

The dynamic route map has also been updated with interchange information. Seems like BMTA took a leaf out of Rapid KL’s terminology with the invented term of “connecting station”.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 008

Heading on the new extension.

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As regular fares now have to be paid for all stations, the exploration crowd has disappeared from the trains.

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I did not explore the stretch between Wat Mangkok and Tha Phra again on this exploration trip as I had already done it before on my previous trip.

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Heading out of the tunnels.

BL01 Tha Phra MRT Station
BL01 สถานีท่าพระ
BL01 他帕站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 012

Tha Phra is an interchange station with perpendicular platforms for the city loop of the MRT Blue Line.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 013MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 014

Interchange information is already included at Tha Phra.

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Making a brief stop at Tha Phra clockwise platform.

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The station sign of Tha Phra.

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Departing from Tha Phra with the view of the shortcut non-revenue line for stock transfer from Kalapapruek Depot to the clockwise direction from Tha Phra towards Tao Poon and Sukhumvit.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 018MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 019

Bypassing the connecting points of this bypass track with the main line.

BL33 Bang Phai MRT Station
BL33 สถานีบางไผ่
BL33 邦派站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 020

Arriving at Bang Phai MRT Station.

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Making a brief stop at Bang Phai. I decided not to alight at all stations along the line to explore them as they all look the same, unlike the underground stations.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 022

The station sign of Bang Phai MRT Station.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 023

Continuing on west.

BL34 Bang Wa MRT Station
BL34 สถานีบางหว้า
BL34 邦华站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 024

Approaching Bang Wa with the view of the BTS Silom Line below.

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The arrival information for Bang Wa.

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There is quite a serious mistake made here as the in-train announcements and colour scheme all describe it as the BTS Light Green Line, when the Silom Line is actually the BTS Dark Green Line.

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Making a brief stop at Bang Wa.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 028

I decided to alight here to check out this new interchange station.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 029

New TV screens are coming up soon.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 031

The clockwise platform offers a nice view of the BTS Silom Line.

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A BTS Siemens Modular Metro EMU-A train departing from Bang Wa.

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The existing BTS station and the new MRT station is formed like a capital “T”.

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A CRRC Changchun EMU-B1 train arriving at Bang Wa.

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The route map is pasted on the half-height platform screen doors.

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The various levels of Bang Wa for transfers.

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The link escalator makes for a very short transfer to the BTS Silom Line.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 131

To interchange with the BTS Silom Line at Bang Wa, exit the station at the concourse as per normal.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 132

Heading out of the concourse through the ticket gates.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 133

Head down the escalator with the signs pointing to BTS Bang Wa.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 134MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 135

Once down from the escalator, the BTS Bang Wa station is just ahead.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 136

A very seamless integration here at Bang Wa.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 137

Here’s a shot of how near these 2 stations are.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 138

The Bang Wa overrun for the line from Tao Poon.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 139

Phetkasem Road runs under Tha Phra MRT Station.

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The tracks at Tha Phra intersect each other line an “X”.

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The next train arriving for me is the IBL train in “Happy Blue Line” livery, the theme launched with the opening of Tao Poon and is now used for every extension.

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The Happy Blue Line train arriving in Bang Wa.

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Boarding the Happy Blue Line train.

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The interior of the IBL train.

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If you can’t differentiate the old and new trains, this annoying area should help you distinguish them apart.

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The route map of the IBL trains has also been updated for the loop.

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The junction to Kalapapruek Depot before Phetkasem 48 MRT Station.

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Phetkasem 48 MRT Station is in the middle of the big wye to Kalapapruek Depot.

BL35 Phetkasem 48 MRT Station
BL35 สถานีเพชรเกษม 48
BL35 卡森钻石48站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 047

Making a brief stop at Phetkasem 48.

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Departing from Phetkasem 48 and approaching the trailing wye junction towards Lak Song.

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After the first crossover, there is space to hold a train in a siding.

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The track tapers in without an escape route to a buffer stop.

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The end of the wider viaduct.

BL36 Phasi Charoen MRT Station
BL36 สถานีภาษีเจริญ
BL36 帕夏洛恩站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 052

Making a brief stop at Phasi Charoen MRT Station.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 053

Phasi Charoen MRT Station is located beside Seacon Bangkae.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 054

I guess more tourists might be flocking to neighbourhood shopping malls now.

BL37 Bang Khae MRT Station
BL37 สถานีบางแค
BL37 邦海站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 055

Making a brief stop at Bang Khae MRT Station.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 056

Bang Khae MRT Station is located adjacent to Tesco Lotus Bangkae.

BL38 Lak Song MRT Station
BL38 สถานีหลักสอง
BL38 第二位数站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 057

Arriving at Lak Song MRT Station with a scissors crossing before the side platforms.

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Passing by the huge park and ride complex at Lak Song MRT Station, with the big MRTA logo plastered on the entire facade of the complex.

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Arriving at Lak Song MRT Station.

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Arrived at Lak Song MRT Station with the Happy Blue Line train.

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The western end of the platform is closed off to passengers.

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The overrun is also extended above the complicated Phet Kanchana Road Junction to future-proof any extension without disrupting the road any more.

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The side platform at Lak Song.

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The station sign at Lak Song.

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The platform information screens are undergoing testing.

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The route map for trains departing from Platform 2.

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The Happy Blue Line train getting ready to depart for Tao Poon.

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Lak Song MRT Station is adjacent to The Mall Bangkae.

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The direct skywalk is still under construction.

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The park and ride complex is connected by skywalk already.

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Getting ready to spot the Happy Blue Line train departing.

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The Happy Blue Line IBL train departing from Lak Song for Tao Poon.

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A BLE train arriving at Lak Song.

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Taking the scissors crossover into Platform 2.

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The BLE train at Lak Song. Similar to other terminals, security and cleaners clear the train here before allowing passengers to board.

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The interior of the IBL train.

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The priority seat is now made more obvious.

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Now I get the salmon joke going around.

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The (currently) full route map for the trip to Tao Poon.

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Departing anti-clockwise from Lak Song.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 085

Passing by TESCO Lotus.

BL37 Bang Khae MRT Station
BL37 สถานีบางแค
BL37 邦海站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 086

Making a brief stop at Bang Khae.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 087

Passing by local shophouses.

BL36 Phasi Charoen MRT Station
BL36 สถานีภาษีเจริญ
BL36 帕夏洛恩站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 088

Making a brief stop at Phasi Charoen MRT Station.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 089

Approaching the spur line towards Kalapapruek Depot.

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The western spur line to Kalapapruek Depot.

BL35 Phetkasem 48 MRT Station
BL35 สถานีเพชรเกษม 48
BL35 卡森钻石48站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 092

Making a brief stop at Phetkasem 48 MRT Station, in the middle of the wye junction to Kalapapruek Depot.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 093

Departing from Phetkasem 48 with a good view of the wye.

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The wye tracks merge to form a double track to Kalapapruek Depot, which is not visible from the main line.

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Approaching the eastern spur.

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Merging with the main line.

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The end of the wider viaduct.

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The view towards Bang Wa includes some new high-rise buildings.

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Entering Bang Wa MRT Station with a view of the BTS tracks.

BL34 Bang Wa MRT Station
BL34 สถานีบางหว้า
BL34 邦华站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 101

Making a brief stop at Bang Wa MRT Station.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 102

The station sign of Bang Wa.

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The view of the Bang Wa overrun and light maintenance facility.

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The Bang Wa light maintenance facility at the end of the line.

BL33 Bang Phai MRT Station
BL33 สถานีบางไผ่
BL33 邦派站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 108

Making a brief stop at Bang Phai.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 109

The station sign of Bang Phai.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 110

The main line spreads on the wider viaduct approaching Tha Phra.

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The line here includes what looks like a turnback siding in between the running lines.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 112

A fourth line starts as the link to the upper level tracks overrun bound for Tao Poon (clockwise).

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 113

On closer inspection of the “turnback siding”, it’s actually a direct link to the shortcut track to the upper level overrun bound for Tao Poon (clockwise). The diamond does not feature a point to operate this track as a turnback siding.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 114MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 115

The shortcut line spurring off.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 116MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 117

The shortcut line takes a sharp and steep incline and curve to the upper level overrun tracks.

BL01 Tha Phra MRT Station
BL01 สถานีท่าพระ
BL01 他帕站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 118

Arriving at Tha Phra MRT Station.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 119MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 120

The current interchange platforms of Tha Phra.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 121

There is still some works on the Tha Phra lower anti-clockwise platforms.

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The Platform 2 concourse offers some trainspotting opportunities with a zoom lens.

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The IBL Happy Blue Line train arriving at Tha Phra MRT Station.

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Departing from Tha Phra with a view of the line towards Tao Poon and Sukhumvit.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 124

Heading into the tunnel into the underground sector.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 125MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 126

BL28 Hua Lamphong MRT Station
BL28 สถานีหัวลำโพง
BL28 华南蓬站

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 127

Alighting back at Hua Lamphong.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 128

The 3D advertisements about the line extension through Sanam Chai has now been removed from Hua Lamphong.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 129

The updated route map.

Bonus:
BL30 Sam Yot MRT Station
BL30 สถานีสามยอด
BL30 山阳站

I headed back to Sam Yot to explore the station exterior as I had not done so on my previous trip due to a lack of time. At Sam Yot, the station design is a little bit special as instead of the concourse or platform, the highlight of the station is actually at its exits.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 146

Yes, this is an MRT station.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 147

Exit 1 of Sam Yot MRT Station is amazingly built in a traditional Sino-Portuguese style to blend in with the local atmosphere. After exiting from the fast escalators and modern interior of the station, you head out through wooden doors like at a shophouse.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 148

The facade of Sam Yot MRT Station Exit 1 in Sino-Portuguese style.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 149

Sam Yot MRT Station was built in such a way so as to blend in with the surrounding buildings. Quite a unique shift in design considering that most new rapid transit systems would want to build the station to stand out (sometimes awkwardly modern) from the surroundings.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 151MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 152

Some of the closed doors are actually functioning as emergency escape routes, so don’t just block them like they are just for decoration.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 153

Blending in with the surroundings.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 154

At the ticket concourse, there is a blend of the modern look of the MRT together with the patterns of the Sino-Portuguese style window and door shape.

MRT Blue Line Lak Song Extension 155

Sam Yot is rather deep, first to prepare the line cross the Chao Phraya River, and also for the completed station box and provisions for the Purple Line interchange in future.

Overall, a long-awaited and possibly long-overdue useful extension on the MRT Blue Line towards the west to ease traffic entering the city from Bang Khae and Phasi Charoen districts, as well as to relieve some load off the BTS Silom Line with passengers now being able to take the MRT Blue Line directly into the city instead, especially now that BTS Silom Line frequencies can no longer be increased thanks to the single track platform at Saphan Taksin.

Can’t wait for the Tha Phra – Tao Poon stretch to be opened to finally be able to maximise the full potential of this Bangkok circle line.

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