Sunday, 22 March 2015

Bangkok railway stations

Bangkok railway stations

Bangkok has 3 terminal railway stations: Hua Lampong หัวลำโพง/กรุงเทพ (main railway station), Thonburi ธนบุรี (6 trains per day, connects to railway network at the next stop - Taling Chan junction ชุมทางตลิ่งชัน), Wongwian Yai วงเวียนใหญ่ (16 trains per day to Maha Chai มหาชัย, then take ferry across river and continue on 3 trains per day from Ban Laem บ้านแหลม to Mae Klong แม่คลอง; not connected to the rest of Thai railway network).

Thonburi and Wongwian Yai stations used to be near the river, but were moved inland to reduced number of crossings with roads. (Source: 22 Walks in Bangkok by Kenneth Barrett.) Former Thonburi station is now part of Sirirat Hospital complex and converted to a museum.

The former railway station is the brick building with tower and clock. Picture taken from river boat. 



Hua Lampong
Well known main railway station. Recently I found there is tank train with a gun a bit north of the railway station:



The tank train, library train and sports area are open to public. There is a commemorative plaque* for soldiers and policemen who fought communist insurgents in the south, referring to a train robbery on 10.07.1979 in Nakon Si Thammarat province.  
*(สดุดีวีรกรรม
สดุดี sà-dù-dee [to] praise ; acclaim ; eulogize  
วีรกรรม wee-rá-gam bravery ; boldness ; intrepidity)




I noticed cars for woman and children only on trips, now I find a note in Hua Lampong railway station (from 01.08.2014 on Ladies & Children Car on the following lines):



This is another repercussion of the incident that lead to alcohol ban on trains (from 11.07.2014 on, after rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl by a drunk railway employee):

Sales of alcohol banned on State Railway after the rape and murder of a 13 year old girl http://www.samuitimes.com/sales-alcohol-banned-state-railway-rape-murder-13-year-old-girl/ and http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/alcohol-sale-drink-will-banned-trains

The LED display for train number, destination, time has been dark for months (update June 2015: still dark; Sep 2015 works again, electronic displays installed at all platforms):



Recently there was a note in the waiting hall informing passengers that the large clock does not display the correct time, but when I went a few days after the note was gone and the clock displayed the correct time. 

The information counter now has a window that is accessible to wheelchair user (the white board on the right shows train delays):



Toilet are currently under renovation, there are two toilet buses outside (south-west end), free of charge. Update May 2015: renovation finished.

Update May 2015: there is a passage from easternmost platform to Rong Mueang road.

Update Oct 2015: toilet in Hua Lampong costs 3 Baht, but there is urianary outside which is free. Cross the road on the western side where the taxi stand and go to the building straight across, the southern side has 3 urinaries half open.

When the southern doors of waiting hall are closed at night (but those to the west are still open), you would have to walk a detour to enter the waiting hall. However, there is a short cut through KFC as long as it is open (7 am to 10 pm) to the waiting hall.

Pahon Yothin railway station สถานีรถไฟพหลโยธิน 
used to be here:  
13°48'40.5"N 100°32'44.2"E 13.811249, 100.545619
but was disassembled in the course of large scale construction work on State Railway of Thailand land (which has affected railway market and gay bars near OToKo as well). About 1 km by air or 2 km by road from Pahonyothin road. It was the railway station closest to Mor Chit 2 bus terminal (right at the south-west corner, Kam Phaeng Phet 6), and I took pictures about 2 years ago but can't find them any more, I vaguely remember there was a time table for passenger trains stopping at the station. 

Here are recent pictures, name plate is still there, but waiting hall and ticket office is gone:







Update Mar 2015: construction work (pillars for MRT or BTS extension?)

Chitralada Royal Railway Station (sign at the station:

สถานีรถไฟหลวงจิตรลดา Royal Pavilion at Chitrlada)
13°45'59.5"N 100°31'28.4"E 13.766516, 100.524554 





The station is not in use. There is a lonely railway staff. You can have a look through the window into the waiting hall:



But there is a station directly north of it, Ramathibodi station โรงพยาบาลรามาธิบดี (named after the nearby hospital):



which has 8 trains stop every day in each direction:



A similar situation (railway station solely for use by emperor) is in Vienna: Court Pavillon (Hietzing) near Schönbrunn Palace.

Mae Nam railway station สถานีรถไฟแม่น้ำ is here:
13°42'50.0"N 100°33'12.9"E 13.713890, 100.553576
on the railway line from Makkasan มักกะสัน to Klong Toey port ท่าเรือคลองเตย (the railway track is next to the tollway and crosses Sukhumvit and Rama 4 road, I have walked all of it by foot, some parts have a slum next to it). This part is freight only, but the station has a booking office, where I bought a ticket once (1.4 km walk from Malaysia hotel, saved me the trip to Hua Lampong).

View from pedestrian overpass over railway line and Chuea Phloeng Road ถนนเชื้อเพลิง, railway station on the left, RN The Royal Navin building on the right:



For train travel in Thailand read here:
http://www.seat61.com/Thailand.htm 
with full timetable and guide as free pdf (excellent job!) 

Stories about railway stations, trains and other read here:
https://railasia.wordpress.com/category/thailand/   

Copyright 2015 ChristianPFC

3 comments:

  1. Jetzt Gruss aus EUR. The pillars bewise Mochit etc are neither BTS, nor MRT, but best called ARL/red line. About same wayas ARL a viaduct being built along tracks till as far as Thammasat Uni north of Rangsit, also to connect the 2 airports. As of now unclear who will run it and even if there will be through trains with ARL. Near your old room at Laksi most advanced with even already some spanners on the pillars.

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  2. Those LADYcars are not perse lady-only perse, but dedicated coupes in sleepers. Same-same as DB has nurFrauen Abteile in Liegewagen.

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  3. Changes at Hua Lampong railway station: displays have been installed at all platforms showing destination, departure time and delay. I guess that was the reason why LED display above ticket counters was switched off, to install electronic connection.

    Thus I found out that trains from Bangkok can be late considerable time (train to Kantang 110 min late departure), I thought they have train depot that buffers all delays.

    Opposite KFC, a glass door has been installed that leads to what I would call VIP waiting room. Only access I could see is from outside, if there is a door inside, it would be behind luggage storage.

    A ticket office for foreigners has been installed left to ticket counters. Air conditioned, with seats.

    Starting from 1st Oct, some trains changed times. Sign in Thai with list of trains and online http://www.railway.co.th/home/viewcontent.aspx?id=CONT-00213&lang=TH

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