Monday, 30 January 2017

Train from Surat Thani to Khirirat Nikom


Train from Surat Thani to Khirirat Nikom

That line was supposed to continue to Phuket, but construction was only completed up to Khirirat Nikom. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khiri_Rat_Nikhom_Railway_Station

There is only one train in each direction per day:
Train 489 Surat Thani dep 16:55 Khirirat Nikom arr 17:55.
Train 490 Khirirat Nikom dep 6:00 Surat Thani arr 6:58.

Article based on one trip on 28nov2016. By a friend’s car, go to Surat Thani railway station (15 km out of town!) and buy ticket for 8 Baht. I found the train only by platform number, no destination outside wagons (as all other trains in Thailand have).


3 wagons with wooden benches, about ¾ full, mainly pupils (now the times make sense: taking them to school in Surat Thani in the morning and back in the evening).

The trip was one of my greatest adventures in 2016. Search on the internet and in books did not show any hotel; I would arrive in the evening (with no means to go elsewhere) not knowing where I would spend the night. But when I arrived and asked at the railway station, they pointed me to a hotel that was fine for my needs. 

There is a way in and out other than the railway: van 8363 พุนพิน - คีรีรัฐนิคม (Phunphin - Khirirat Nikom, Phunphin is where Surat Thani railway station is; in Khirirat Nikhom van ends at railway station).

List of stops, from east to west:
(Romanized only when it was on station sign, coordinates for stations that are not on google maps)
1. Surat Thani สถานีรถไฟสุราษฎร์ธานี
2. Ban Thung Pho Junction Railway Station  
สถานีรถไฟชุมทางบ้านทุ่งโพธิ์
3. สถานีรถไฟบ้านทุ่งหลวง
4. Bankanai สถานีรถไฟบ้านขนาย
5. บ้านดอนเรียบ 9°04'44.3"N 99°02'41.1"E 9.078976
6. Klongyan คลองยัน 9°03'29.1"N 99°01'28.2"E 9.058078
7. Khao Lung ที่อยุดรถเขาหลุง (can’t find it on google maps)
8. บ้านยาง 9°02'51.3"N 98°58'42.4"E 9.047574
9. Khirirat Nikhom Railway สถานีรถไฟคีรีรัฐนิคม

Only Surat Thani, Ban Thung Pho Junction and Khirirat Nikhom have a station building, elsewhere passengers get off along the track:





The track extends about 600 m beyond railway station with a junction to change tracks. This extensions is visible on google street view Feb 2016, but not on satellite. The track and bed is new, which means the line is going to stay.


The end of the railway track:



Looking out westwards from the end of the railway track, plantations. Some maps show the track continuing westwards, that's either completely wrong or has been a long time ago with no visible traces left.



Now there are only 3 tracks left I haven’t been on: Kanchanaburi – Nam Tok, Trang – Kantang (closed for renovation when I went, van service instead), Hat Yai – Padang Besar.

On the subject of railway lines in southern Thailand, here is a video that shows train in recent flood (jan2017):

video

Copyright 2017 ChristianPFC except video

2 comments:

  1. not a bad way to wash the carriages underneath - run it through the shallow flood

    ReplyDelete
  2. then you have been before me-its the 1+only line not been on for me-have done all the 3 you mention. Older reports all tell there is NO van after 18.00 to come back and also NO htl in Nikom-so that has improved.
    Pdg Besar(=big) and NamTok are easy to do, NT in 1 day from BKK.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are currently unmoderated and open to everyone. I will see how this works out and might switch to moderation. Please sign your comment with a name or identifier.