Bangkok Airport Express Train Breakdown – Passengers Escaping Over The Tracks!

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An Airport Rail Link train from Bangkok Airport to the City Center suffered a malfunction this morning and got stuck after the power went out which also caused the air conditioning to fail.

BKK ARL TrainWith temperatures in Bangkok hovering between 36-40 degrees Celsius these days the train quickly became an oven with passengers starting to faint.

With that happening some passengers panicked and tried to destroy the compartment windows to get fresh air which didn’t appear to seem successful. Passengers then opened the emergency exits and left the train, some of them decided to walk over the tracks to the next station.

Passengers were Tweeting pictures and uploading videos on Facebook.

ARL Passenger Transfer

The remaining rest of the passengers was later transferred to a rescue train (I assume that’s what the above pictures show).

The Nation came out with a more detailed story about noon time today (access here).

A power breakdown prompted an Airport Rail Link train to get stuck in the rail Monday morning before panic passengers exit through the emergency exits after they unsuccessfully tried to break the glass windows and took to the rail to walk to the nearby Ramkhamhaeng station.

The power breakdown was reported at the Ramkhamhaeng station at 7:50 am. By 8:50 am, a passenger posted message on Facebook that people started fainting because the train was crowded and without air condition, heat built up.

She posted that panic passengers tried to break the glass windows but the windows did not break. They later used emergency exits and started walking on the rail to the Ramkhamhaeng station.

With the people walking on the rail, the authorities cut power on the rail, and thus causing other trains to be delayed.

The Airport Rail Link reported that by 9 am, a rescue train was dispatched to evacuate passengers from the breakdown train. The rescue train had to wait for some 20 passengers who got down to the rail to reach the Ramkhamhaeng station first before the power could be resupplied to the system.

When you look at the article at The Nation you can see medical teams attending to people who passed out from the heat. Hopefully everything will be alright!

A couple things to consider are probably known to those of you who have visited Bangkok previously. The Airport Link goes above grounds so you can’t just get off the tracks and make way. If the air condition shuts down I’d say it takes about 4-5 minutes until the heat goes up to unbearable temperatures in a train compartment.

I’m really surprised it took an hour for the situation to get out of control. Considering the reliability of engineering and information in Thailand it could either take 10 minutes or 10 hours until things are being repaired so if the situation was already going on for an hour with no solution in sight I’d say it’s not too unreasonable to try and get out on foot.

Conclusion

The Airport Rail Link was constructed quite some time ago by Siemens and word has it that the maintenance contract ran out which the operator Railways of Thailand didn’t bother to extend. Well, this is what happens when you leave things exclusively in Thai hand I suppose. The system had a lot of issues in the past couple of years and obviously everything mechanic needs proper maintenance to keep functioning properly.

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