PROJECT: Bangkok metro enhancement

PARTNERS: Mahidol University + the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning

Description: Between January 2018 and February 2019 CLARE team has been working with the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) on a project titled: A study of systematic train operation planning for mass rapid transit service enhancement. The project was divided into six parts, where each looked at the following aspects:

  1. Naming and coding for the stations in Bangkok and suburban areas based on international standards;
  2. Key performance indicators for metro operations;
  3. Simulation model technology development for systematic planning;
  4. Mobile application for mass rapid transit;
  5. Digital data guideline for platform exchange;
  6. Digital monitoring and controlling the operations.



  • February 2019: Bangkok Mass Transit map (draft)

One of the outcomes of the project is Bangkok mass transit map including all existing and planned routes in the city. Currently, a draft of the map is available and it is expected to evolve as new project decisions and approvals come into place.

Figure: Draft of Bangkok Mass Transit Map by CLARE

To request the full version of the map (over 3MB) please contact CLARE team. 

  • January 2019: BKK Rail app is out!

Another outcome of the project is BKK Rail application with 5 functions:

  1. Trip planning;
  2. Timetable;
  3. Route details;
  4. Station information;
  5. Project status update.

BKK Rail app is available free of charge via Google Play or App Store and feedback from users is welcome to improve it in the future.



PROJECT: MetroExchange

PARTNERS: Mahidol University (TH) + BTSC (TH) + Newcastle University (UK) + Nexus (UK)

Description: MetroExchange is an industry-academia partnership project, which aims to improve rail engineering education and research in Thailand by focusing on exchange of good practice in assessment of metro operations in the UK and in Thailand. This will be achieved by working in a close collaboration between two universities and two metro operators. Project partners will facilitate performance benchmarking and skills exchange activities.



  • December 2018: STEM activities. In November 2018 12 small groups of Year 3 Engineering students developed brand new STEM activities with a rail flavour. They then tested the activities with the public at the campus and in a primary school in Bangkok. Two activities that received the highest ranks are available for a FREE download. Activity 1: Salaya-Siam travel options. Activity 2: Rail ballast.

Picture: STEM rail activity at Open House event by Jirapat Choksuchart

  • STEM activity: travel options between Salaya and Siam, Thailand (1 JPG file)

This activity is applied to a Thai context. The aim is to help MU staff and students make better informed travel choices. The activity features travel options between MU Salaya campus and Siam (central station of Bangkok metro system) with time, cost and CO2 emission parameters calculated. In the actual activity students match mode pictures (cut of of the poster) with travel options as well as compare and realise the value of individual travel parameters.

PDF version of the activity sheet is available: MetroExchange Salaya-Siam travel options PRINT A3

  • STEM activity: Rail ballast (6 PDF files)

This activity can be applied to an international context. Students are encouraged to 1. listen to a presentation; 2. do the hands-on activity. The activity itself includes the following steps:

  • cut out elements of a rail ballast structure from 5 sheets of paper; 
  • glue them accordingly;
  • put them in a correct order.

The activity helps to realise how rail ballast is structured and what types of natural materials (soil, rocks) are used for it.

Activity includes 6 resources:

  1. MetroExchange 00 Ballast activity slides
  2. MetroExchange 01 Ballast PRINT A2

3. MetroExchange 02 Ballast PRINT A3

4. MetroExchange 03 Ballast Shoulder PRINT A3

5. MetroExchange 04 Natural Ground PRINT A2

6. MetroExchange 05 Soil PRINT A2

Suggestion: In addition to the above resources, a small rail track (out of ice-cream sticks) and a paper train model (various models available online) could be added on top of the rail ballast model to help students imagine the scale.

Picture: Rail ballast model at a primary school STEM event in Bangkok

  • December 2018: STEM careers in transport sheets are now available. 8 case studies of transport academics and professionals are featured in a form of 1-page sheet where they respond to a set of questions and mark levels of STEM subjects they use at work.


All 8 files are available in a PDF format: MetroExchange STEM careers in transport 8 cards

  • 16th November 2018: #1 forum delivered. Over 15 rail academics and professionals gathered together at MU Salaya campus to discuss issues related to “Skills Gap in Rail Workforce”.

Picture: Some of the participants of the 1st MetroExchange forum at MU

  • 15th November 2018: consortium meeting in Bangkok. Three partners of MetroExchange (MU, Nexus and BTS) met at BTS office to discuss differences and similarities in performance operations, maintenance and disruption management and staff skills development. The two metro systems in Bangkok (TH) and Tyne & Wear (UK) are very different in terms of rail infrastructure and vehicles, but still have many similarities. 

Picture: MetroExchange consortium meeting at BTS offices in Bangkok

  • 13-14th November 2018: A 2 day course on “Metro operations performance and benchmarking” was successfully delivered. Two guests from Nexus (UK): Dr Aleksandrs Rjabovs (Project Manager) and Mr James Parkinson (Head of Commercial) shared their knowledge with rail professionals and academics on 13-14th November 2018 at MU Salaya campus. Topics related to Tyne & Wear Metro’s current operational challenges and current performance regime, examples of other performance models in the UK, reduction of delays, improvement of drivers’ safety and on-time performance, and many other operation-related issues were discussed. 

Picture: Second day of the 1st MetroExchange’s course at MU

  • August 2018: Project meeting update (UK)

Picture: MetroExchange project team meeting: Nexus and NU. August 2018, Nexus, UK. A progress of an NU student’s internship with Nexus was discussed.

  • April 2018: Project kick-off meeting (UK)

Picture: MetroExchange project team: Nexus, NU and MU. April 2018, Newcastle University, UK. Project deliverables, student internships and overall timescale for tasks were discussed.

  • April 2018: Project kick-off meeting (TH)

Picture: MetroExchange project team: BTS and MU. April 2018, BTS, Bangkok. Student internships and project deliverables were discussed.

About MetroExchange project

MetroExchange project full title is: “Thai rail engineering education and research improvement by exchange of good practice in metro operations in Thailand and in the UK” 

MetroExchange project is divided into 4 Work Packages: 

  • Education 
  • Research 
  • Knowledge sharing 
  • Management and Dissemination

MetroExchange objectives:

 1. To build staff capacity in delivering excellent rail engineering higher education in Thailand by organising activities jointly delivered by Thai and the UK project partners: 

  • student internships 
  • summer school 
  • a short course 
  • case teaching 

2. To engage Thai and the UK project industry partners in delivering excellent collaborative rail engineering research by suggesting metro operations-related research topics: 

  • academia-industry supervisory teams 
  • innovation in rail engineering education research 

3. To share rail/metro operations knowledge between academia and industry by organising events led by the partners and open to a wider audience: 

  • two forum discussions 
  • scientific papers

MetroExchange project duration: 2 years (April 2018 – March 2020)

MetroExchange partners are:

  • Nexus, UK
  • BTS, Thailand
  • Newcastle University, UK
  • Mahidol University, TH

MetroExchange funders: Newton Fund (UK) + OHEC (TH)

MetroExchange Newsletters:


Dr Waressara Weerawat 

Mahidol University, Thailand 

Dr Marin Marinov 

Newcastle University, UK