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Bangkok’s New Mass Rapid Transit Purple Line Starts Operation

Marubeni Corporation (TOKYO: 8002) and Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced that Bangkok’s new Purple Line officially began commercial operation on August 6. A joint venture formed by Marubeni and Toshiba was awarded a contract in 2013 to supply railway systems and maintenance services for the line.

The Purple Line is 23-km mass transit railway line that connects northern Bangkok and Nonthaburi Province to the northwest of the city. Constructed by Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (“MRTA”) with the support of Japanese yen loans, the line will improve traffic flows and alleviate congestion on routes between central Bangkok and Nonthaburi Province, where population density matches that of Bangkok.

The JV was awarded a rail system supply contract with a scope that included rolling stock, signaling, power supply and communications. The JV was also awarded a 10-year maintenance services contract, which will be executed with East Japan Railway Company (“JR East”).

The Purple Line’s rolling stock was manufactured by Japan Transport Engineering Company (“J-TREC”), a subsidiary of JR East. The new line is the first in the Bangkok rail network to operate Japanese rolling stock; rolling stock from European manufacturers has traditionally dominated the market. This is also the first overseas project where a Japanese team that includes a Japanese rail system operator will deliver long-term maintenance services for a railway line.
Marubeni and Toshiba will continue to export high-quality Japanese railway technologies in cooperation with JR East and other Japanese companies, and contribute to the further improvement of transportation in Thailand.