I wish I had told you a mysterious ‘X-Files’ type of story, but I’m not. Ghouls and sprites do not haunt this ghost station. Rather it’s an infuriating story of (your) wasted money. I will tell you about the never-constructed ‘ghost’ BTS Skytrain station of Sena Ruam and how this invisible train station has been shamelessly draining money out of your pockets. Not a ghost station in the traditional sense, but some pretty scary facts, nonetheless.
What is Sena Ruam Station?
When the BTS Skytrain was opened in 1999, BTS already showed the name Sena Ruam station on the map as station code N6. In the vision of the Bangkok Skytrain System set out, Sena Ruam station was ‘planned to be built in the future. At that time, the green train line was one of the two lines in Bangkok, and it terminated at Mo Chit station (Chatuchak Market). Sena Ruam station, a planned stop between Ari and Saphan Kwai, was deemed ‘unnecessary’ as this area had not yet reached the property development and population density.
However, despite no-sign of construction for 20 years, Sena Ruam station continues to exist on the map (OK – that’s fine, no problem), but if you pay close attention to the fare rate, you’ll notice that you pay for this station stop too (not OK, not fine, problem!)
Why the BTS charges a fare for this unconstructed project is another mystery (sneaky greed? – who said that? – not me!)
Where is it (not) located?
Supposedly, the station will be opposite Soi Sena Ruam (Phaholyothin 11), right in front of the AIS 2 building and the Bang Sue police office building.
The average distance between BTS stations is around 1.5 – 2 km. However, it’s only 800 meters from Ari Station to Sena Ruam Station and 800 meters to Saphan Kwai station. If you can walk as fast as a Google Mapper, it will take you around 7 minutes.
You usually pay 16 baht for traveling to the nearest station. From Ari to the other nearest station, Sanam Pao, you pay 16 baht, but from Ari to Saphan Kwai, you pay 23 baht.
This means that every time you whizz by the imaginary Sena Ruam station, whoops, you just dropped another 7 baht!
Will it ever be built?
Another similarly unbuilt station in the Silom line, St. Louis station, formerly known as Suksa Wittaya station. Similarly unbuilt for decades, and again charging passengers for the pleasure of not using this unbuilt station – until finally a decision was made that the footfall at St Louis Hospital now justified its construction.
This would leave Sena Ruam being the only invisible train station in the entire BTS system. Does that mean it’s never going to be built? Absolutely not. Many speculate that now that they have constructed the St. Louis station, Sena Ruam is next on the list. However, it appears that the construction of Sena Ruam station has been postponed due to the spread of Covid-19. BTS never announced the exact completion date or construction plans.
Do you want this station?
This all led to the question, do you want this station to be built? Phaholyothin Road around Ari – Saphan Kwai is getting much denser with office buildings. After Pruksa Real Estate’s ‘Pearl Building’ opened in 2019 near Phaholyothin Soi 5, other high-rise office buildings seem to have announced their construction plans.
Vanit Place, a 32-storey office building and its mall companion, Vanit Village, is planned to open in 2022 near Phahol’ soi 4. The Rice Building, 26-storey office space replacing the historical Srisuparach Arcade in Saphan Kwai corner, will also be opened in 2022. The newly opened Pruksa Real Estate owned “Vimut Hospital” will lead to Saphan Kwai station.
However, these projects are already closer to either Ari station and Saphan Kwai station. They will surely make the two stations more crowded but will it give people a reason to stop at Sena Ruam station? Maybe. I know for sure that adding another station in between will add extra stop-time in everyone’s commute.
You can decide for yourself if you want this station to be built or not. Personally, I would vote for eradicating the nonsensical 7 baht fare rather than building a new station with questionable use. But that’s just me.
Happy traveling, everyone!
- เส้นทางและอัตราค่าโดยสาร, บริษัท ระบบขนส่งมวลชนกรุงเทพ จำกัด (มหาชน)
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