After many years of delays, we are finally coming a step closer to seeing the BTS Skytrain being extended all the way into Samut Prakan. At the moment, the latest extension which is to BTS Bearing is only as far as the border with Bangkok. Now we will see another nine stations, according to a report in the Daily News, that will take people as far as the Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm. The last stop will also only be a few minutes away from the Ancient City. Once opened, the new skytrain extension will give easier access to tourist attractions in Samut Prakan for tourists from Bangkok.
Building of the extension, which will take at least three years, will come at a cost. Starting from Songkran next month, two lanes along Sukhumwit Road will be closed to traffic so that they can start to build the extension. This will mean major traffic jams between Bearing and Paknam. Traffic has always been jammed in Samrong due to the bottleneck caused by buses stopping outside of Imperial. The closing of another lane will make it worse. But the pain for a few years will be well worth the benefits that we will gain once the sky train extension is opened.
The new extension will go from Soi Bearing (E14) to Samut Prakan (E23). This stretch is 12.6 kms long and will have nine stations. It passes Imperial World in Samrong, the giant three-headed elephant at The Erawan Museum, the Navy Museum, Samut Prakan City Hall, Big C Samut Prakan and finishes near the top of the soi for the Crocodile Farm. I have already marked the proposed sites for the stations on a google map. As you will see, the next extension will take the line all the way out to Bang Pu Seaside Resort which will eventually mean Bangkokians will be able to catch the skytrain to a restaurant by the sea. However, judging by past experience, the first extension to Samut Prakan won’t be open for another five years, and then to Bang Pu maybe another five years after that.