The capital of Thailand, Bangkok, is looking to rail as the answer to the burgeoning road congestion which reflects its swelling population and rising car ownership levels. The city covers an area of 1,568 km2 and is home to around 10.3 million people, ranking among the world’s 15 largest urban centres. The metropolitan district as a whole, covering 7,761 km2, has a population of close on 12 million. Until recently there were only basic suburban services on the railways radiating from the city. Over the past decade or so development of various new urban and suburban railway systems has been in progress, with Siemens as the project manager and train builder.
Externally the Airport Express Desiro EMUs are practically identical to their British cousins, apart from the large roof-mounted air conditioning pods. They have a red and white livery and are fitted with 2 + 2 seating, in bays, the seat backs coinciding with the window pillars. Those used on the stopping services (City Line) have a blue and white livery and are fitted with metro-style longitudinal seating to maximise standee capacity.