Let’s Get Our Monorail On

23 Aug

Bombardier wins in Bangkok


Yesterday, I mentioned the art train project and so I thought that, on the second day of this visit, I would stay on track and spend more time on the train, this time a Canadian made version.

The TTC and Metrolinx might not be very fond of Bombardier, but the folks in Bangkok sure are.  You all know the problems we are having with Bommbardier in Toronto.  The streetcar delivery schedule is way behind and the TTC is threatening to sue.  And the LRT trains are also delayed.  Metrolynx has already served notice that it intends to sue. So Bombardier, a Canadian company, doesn’t seemed to be loved in its home country.

But no worries.  Bomabardier is loved in Bangkok, where it just won a monster contract to supply trains for new Skytrain lines currently being constructed.  After years of only using Siemens trains, the folks buying these items have decided to give Bombardier an opportunity to supply 288 cars, which amounts to a huge contract.  Apparently, the vehicles will be built in China. That’s probably a good thing, as if they were being built in Canada, they would probably be delivered late.

The Bombardier Innovia Monorail that is being supplied is a driverless automated rail system that can travel at high speed and carry lots of passengers.  The estimate is that 28,000 passengers an hour will be serviced in Bangkok once the system goes into full operation.

Why do I think the order in Bangkok will be filled on time, while our systems will continue to be delayed?  If Bombardier history continues to unfold as it has, foreign orders almost always get delivered more or less on time.  Maybe the consequences in foreign locations, like jail terms or deportations, are a little more effective than Canadian courts.  Or maybe Bombardier believes they can get away with sloth-like behaviour in its own country.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire order in Bangkok is filled before Toronto gets all of its trains.

The other thing about this contract that is telling is how quickly Bangkok continues to grow its mass transit system.  For every subway or LRT stop built in Toronto, it seems like Bangkok adds about ten in the same period of time. We, in Toronto, continue to move at a snails pace, while Bangkok zooms ahead.

2 thoughts on “Let’s Get Our Monorail On

    • If the power goes out between stations – driver or not – the passengers are screwed. Hopefully they have brought lots of games and stuff on their phones and maybe even food. (That’s likely as this is Thailand with round the clock food everywhere.) We have the same issue on our subways if the power goes off in the tunnels. I guess the drivers can help people get off the train, but on the Sky Trains, there is no way they would let you walk on tracks that are 6-7 stories above the ground.

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