Chiang Mai City Rail System Gets the Go Ahead

Photo by: Thailand Skyline

Thailand’s public transport authority recently gave the thumbs up to a proposal to build an urban rail system for Chiang Mai. The Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) endorsed a blueprint to build a three-line system which will link all the main tourism sites and transport interchanges in the city.

Instead of going for the cheapest option, MRTA planners opted for a system which will be partly underground and partly on the surface. According to the Chiang Mai News, this system will ensure the city’s historic landmarks and the Old City walls and gates are preserved for posterity.

The green light means planners are able to start the actual planning process. No date for commencement of construction has been set. The planning proposal estimates two to three years to build each line. After breaking ground, this could give a time-scale of up to nine years to get the whole network up and running.

The blueprints show the network will link key locations including Chiang Mai Airport, Chiang Mai Zoo, the Three Kings’ Monument, Chiang Mai Railway Station and the Night Bazaar. The budget to build the light railway has increased to THB100 billion and is now THB14 billion higher than the original estimate.