The Airport Rail Link (ARL) is a railroad in Bangkok, Thailand. This railroad connects Suvarnabhumi Airport to Phayathai Station in central Bangkok via Makkasan Station, and most of the line is created on an elevated bridge.
The airport rail link is owned by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and operated by a special purpose partnership “Eastern High-Speed Rail Linking Three Airports Company Limited” managed by a consortium of Charoen Pokphak Holdings and its partners.
The 28.6-kilometer-long Airport Rail Link was inaugurated on August 23, 2010, and its operation originally consisted of both Express Service and City Line, an eight-station commuter rail service. However, since September 2014 all express services have been suspended indefinitely due to lack of vehicle availability.
Airport Rail Link route map
The Airport Rail Link route map is shown in the photo above, and consists of 8 stations, which is not that many. The stops are as follows;
- Suvarnabhumi Station (Airport)「สุวรรณภูมิ」
- Lat Krabang Station 「ลาดกระบัง」
- Ban Thap Chang「บ้านทับช้าง 」
- Hua Mak「หัวหมาก」
- Ramkhamhaeng駅 「รามคำแหง」
- Makkasan 駅 (City Air Terminal)」 「มักกะสัน(สถานีรับส่งผู้โดยสารอากาศยานในเมือง)
- Ratchaprarop駅 「ราชปรารภ」
- Phaya Thai駅 「พญาไท 」
I don’t think it’s necessary to memorize Lat Krabang, Ban Thap Chang, and Hua Mak stations because Japanese people don’t have many chances to get off at these stations. However, Ramkhamhaeng, Makkasan, Ratchaprarop, and Phaya Thai are the most common stations for tourists in Bangkok, so you should definitely learn the names of these stations.
Recommended Hotels along the Airport Rail Link
There is a recommended hotel along the Airport Rail Link in Bangkok. It is called “Nasa Vegas”. When you hear the name, you might think for a moment that it is a rip-off of “Las Vegas,” but the origin of the name is a mystery.
It’s a pretty famous hotel, a train ride to the airport, and a 5-minute walk from Ramkhamhaeng station, which is a must for business travelers in Bangkok. I’ll leave the link below just in case. The cheapest rooms are in the 1,000 yen range per night, so it’s very cosy, and with a bathtub in the room, you can refresh yourself after your trip.
▽Use the bus stop next to this place to go to the Guest House Hide.▽
Airport Rail Link Makkasan Station
The Makkasan station of the Airport Rail Link is often used for sightseeing in Bangkok. The reason is that it is a transfer station to the MRT station. The night market in Ratchada, one of Bangkok’s most famous Instagrammable spots, was also reached by changing trains from this Makkasan station.
Airport Rail Link fares and timetables
The Airport Rail Link operates daily from 05:30 to 24:00, with services departing every 10 to 11 minutes during peak hours (6:00 am to 9:00 am and 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm) and every 12 to 13 minutes during off-peak hours and weekends.
During the first three years of operation, the number of passengers using the train was about half of what we had expected. This is because the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) expected about 95,000 passengers per day, but the actual number of passengers was about 40,000 (40,000 includes 38,000 on the City Line and 2,500 on the Express Line).
a subsidiary of SRT established to operate the Airport Rail Link, had been operating at a loss since its inception. In 2015, the Airport Rail Link averaged about 56,000 passengers per day on weekdays and 40,000 passengers per day on weekends, but as of May 2018, it averaged about 72,000 passengers per day. However, with only seven of the nine trains in service, the number of cars is insufficient and remains a major problem during peak hours.
As far as fares are concerned, the standard fare for the City Line is 15-45 baht, depending on the distance. By the way, the Express Line was priced at 90/150 baht one way/round trip.
How to ride the Airport Rail Link
Automatic ticket vending machine. First, touch the name of the station you want to go to, and then select the number of passengers. Confirm the amount.
When paying money, only coins of 1, 5, and 10 baht and banknotes of 20, 50, and 100 baht can be used.
There is an electronic bulletin board on the platform.
Then I boarded. The fancy decorations make the view from inside the train less spectacular, but it can’t be helped.