State Railway of Thailand

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State Railway of Thailand (SRT)
การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย (รฟท.)
State Railway of Thailand Logo.png
Thailand rail map.gif
Locale Thailand
Dates of operation 1890–present
Track gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) (Metre gauge)
Length 4,070 km
Headquarters Bangkok

The State Railway of Thailand (Thai: การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย) is the state-owned rail operator in Thailand. The network serves around 50 million passengers per annum.

History[edit]

SRT was founded as the Royal State Railways of Siam (RSR) in 1890. Construction of the Bangkok-Ayutthaya railway (71 km or 44 mi), the first part of the Northern Line, was started in 1891 and completed on May 23, 1892. The Thonburi-Phetchaburi line (150 km or 93 mi), later the Southern Line, was opened on June 19, 1903.

The Northern Line was originally built as 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge, but in September 1919 it was decided to standardize on 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) meter gauge and the Northern Line was regauged during the next ten years. On July 1, 1951, RSR changed its name to the present State Railway of Thailand.

In 2005 SRT had 4,070 km (2,530 mi) of track, all of it meter gauge. Nearly all is single-track, although some important sections around Bangkok are double or triple-tracked and there are plans to extend this.

Issues[edit]

The SRT has long been popularly perceived by the public as inefficient and resistant to change. Trains are usually late, and most of its equipment is old and poorly maintained. The worst financially performing state enterprise, the SRT consistently operates at a loss despite being endowed with large amounts of property and receiving large government budgets; it reported a preliminary loss of 7.58 billion baht in 2010.[1] Recurring government attempts at restructuring and/or privatization throughout the 2000s have always been strongly opposed by the union and have not made any progress.[2][3]

Network[edit]

State Railway of Thailand
Thanaleng, Laos
Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge
Nong Khai
Ubon Ratchathani
Udon Thani
Sisaket
Chiang Mai
Khon Kaen
Lamphun
Surin
Nakhon Lampang
Ban Phai
Khun Tan Tunnel
Buriram
Sila At
Bua Yai Junction
Bua Yai Junction
Thanon Chira Junction
Uttaradit
Thanon Chira Junction
Chatturat
Nakhon Ratchasima
Ban Dara Junction
Sawankhalok
Royal Cambodian Railway
Phitsanulok
Aranyaprathet
Phichit
Prachin Buri
Nakhon Sawan
Kaeng Khoi Junction
Lop Buri
Saraburi
Ban Phachi Junction
Suphanburi
Ayutthaya
Nakhon Pathom
Bang Sue Junction
Bang Sue Junction
Thonburi
Chachoengsao Junction
Bangkok (Hua Lamphong)MRT (Bangkok) logo.svg
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Wongwian Yai(MKR)
Kanchanaburi
Mahachai(MKR)
Nam Tok
Ferry across Tha Chin River
Nam Tok Sai Yok Noi
Ban Laem(MKR)
Burma Railway
Maeklong(MKR)
Ratchaburi
Chonburi
Phetchaburi
Si Racha Junction
Hua Hin
Laem Chabang Port
Prachuap Khiri Khan
Bang Lamung
Bang Saphan Noi
Pattaya
Chumphon
Khao Chi Chan Junction
Lang Suan
Map Ta Phut Port
Lamae
Sattahip Port
Chaiya
Khiri Ratthanikhom
Ban Thung Pho Junction
Surat Thani
Thung Song Junction
Trang
Khao Chum Thong Junction
Kantang
Nakhon Si Thammarat
Phattalung
U Taphao Junction
Songkhla
Hat Yai Junction
Hat Yai Junction
Thai/Malaysian Border
Yala
Padang Besar, Malaysia
Su-ngai Kolok
Malaysian Railways
Thai/Malaysian Border (Not in operation)
 Woodlands, Singapore 
Rantau Panjang, Malaysia
 Gemas 
Pasir Mas, Malaysia
Malaysian Railways
 Tumpat 

The SRT operates all of Thailand's national rail lines. Bangkok's Hua Lamphong, or Krungthep Station, is the main terminus of all routes. Phahonyothin and ICD Ladkrabang are the main freight terminals.

Northern Line[edit]

Further information: SRT Northern Line route map

The Northern Line begins alongside the Northeastern Line up until Ban Phachi Junction. Here, it splits from the Northeastern Line and proceeds through Lopburi, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Denchai, Lampang, Lamphun, before finally reaching Chiang Mai 751 kilometers away from Bangkok. There is also a branch off the mainline from Ban Dara junction to Sawankhalok in Sukhothai Province.

Northeastern Line[edit]

Further information: SRT Northeastern Line route map

The Northeastern Line begins on the same route as the Northern Line, splitting at Ban Phachi Junction towards Nakhon Ratchasima. Then at Thanon Chira Junction, the line splits with one route passing Khon Kaen and Udon Thani before terminating at Nong Khai 624 kilometers from Bangkok. The other route passes through Buriram, Surin, Si Sa Ket to reach Ubon Ratchathani, 575 kilometers from Bangkok.

There is also another branch route originating from Kaeng Khoi Junction in Saraburi Province passing through Lamnarai in Lopburi Province, Chaturat in Chaiyaphum Province, before joining the mainline heading towards Nong Khai at Bua Yai Junction in Nakhon Ratchasima Province.

Southern Line[edit]

Further information: SRT Southern Line route map

The Southern Line begins in Bangkok and heads west towards Nakhon Pathom before splitting into 3 different routes. One route heads west towards Kanchanaburi Province (km 210) while another heads north towards Suphan Buri (km 157). The Southern Line itself continues southbound through Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, Chumphon, to Surat Thani 678 kilometers away. From Surat Thani, there is a westerly branch towards Khiri Ratnikhom while the main line continues south to Thung Song Junction in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province where another branch reaches Kantang in Trang Province. The main line from Nakhon Sri Thammarat continues through Phatthalung before reaching Hatyai Junction in Songkhla Province. From here, the line branches to connect with the Malaysian railway at Padang Besar and Sungai Golok passing through Yala Province in the process.

Namtok Branch[edit]

On local trains, several cars may be reserved for school children, much like a school bus elsewhere. Children board a Pattaya-Bangkok train at an improvised between-stations stop

Eastern Line[edit]

Further information: SRT Eastern Line route map

The Eastern Line begins at Bangkok before heading through Chacheongsao, Prachinburi to terminate at Aranyaprathet station in Sa Kaew Province 255 kilometers distant. There is an unused rail link to Cambodia from Aranyaprathet. A branch line also connects Khlong 19 to the Northeastern Line at Kaeng Khoi Junction. At Chacheongsao station, there is another branch to Sattahip from which there is also another branch to Sriracha Junction 139 kilometers from Bangkok. From Sriracha Junction, there is yet another branch towards Laem Chabang deep sea port and Mapthaphut.

Maeklong Line[edit]

The Maeklong Railway, also operated by the SRT, is independent of the national rail network and is split into two sections. The line begins at Wongwian Yai in Bangkok before terminating at Mahachai where a ferry is used by passengers to cross the Tha Chin River. The line starts again across the river towards Mae Klong.[5]

Freight Lines[edit]

SRT operates freight-only services on the following lines:

Makkasan Station-Mae Nam-Tha Rua Mai

Mae Nam-Bang Chak Oil Refinery

Khlong Sip Kao Junction-Ongkharak Station-Wihan Daeng Station-Bu Yai Station-Kaeng Khoi Junction

Ban Chong Tai Station-Cement Works

Hin Lap Station-Cement Works

Samran Station-Oil Refinery

Services[edit]

Intercity services[edit]

SRT operates intercity passenger services on the following lines:

Northern Line[edit]

Northeastern Line[edit]

Eastern Line[edit]

Southern Line[edit]

International services[edit]

SRT operates international services to Butterworth in Penang, Malaysia, in conjunction with Malaysian state operator KTM.

A link across the First Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge to Thanaleng Railway Station, near Vientiane, opened in March 2009.[6]

There are plans to re-open rail links to Cambodia via Poipet from the railhead at Aranyaprathet. Railway connections to Myanmar (Burma), notably the infamous Death Railway, are defunct.

In December 2010, following Chinese plans to extend their (standard gauge) network to Xishuangbanna on the China-Laos border and further into Laos,[7] the Thai government agreed to start negotiations on building a standard-gauge network.[8] This would initially involve two lines: from Bangkok to the Lao border, and a longer line from Bangkok along the peninsula to the Malay border.[9]

SRT also allows operation of the Eastern and Oriental Express on their tracks which runs from Singapore to Bangkok and vice versa, with a few trips to Laos and Chiang Mai.

Rail links to adjacent countries[edit]

Commuter trains[edit]

The SRT operates commuter rail services from Bangkok along the Northern and Northeastern Lines up to Ayutthaya, Ban Phachi Junction, Lopburi and Kaeng Khoi Junction. Ten trains run along the route on a daily basis.[11] A new service serving between Thonburi and Sala Ya was launched on 22 October 2010.[12]

The Red Line project is a new commuter rail system also owned by the SRT. It is currently under construction and will replace portions of rail lines running through Bangkok, eliminating at-grade crossings.

Other services[edit]

SRT operates the Airport Link to Suvarnabhumi Airport which opened in 2010.[13] It is medium speed (160 km/h) and links with BTS Skytrain at Phaya Thai Station and MRT at Phetchaburi Station,and a new transit center at Makkasan allows airline passengers to check-in.

Locomotives & multiple units[edit]

Active fleet[edit]

Diesel electric locomotives[edit]

Type Manufacturer Numbers Year(s) built Quantity built Power (horsepower) Max Speed (km/h) Image Note
UM12C (GE) General Electric 4001-4050 1964 (4001-4040)
1966 (4041-4050)
50 1320
(2 × 660)
103 [14] GE4010.JPG Refurbished around 2010-2011. State Railways Thailand 4041 Kanchanaburi.jpg
AD24C (ALS) Alstom 4101-4154 1974–1975 54 2400 90 Ayutthaya railway station 1.jpg First batch of AD24C locomotives. Some of them were refurbished with new MTU Friedrichshafen diesel engine.
AD24C (AHK) Alstom, Henschel and Krupp 4201-4230 1980 30 2400 100 State Railways Thailand 4228 Locomotive.jpg Second batch of AD24C, built under licence by Henschel and Krupp.
AD24C (ALD) Alstom 4301-4309 1983 9 2400 100 ALD4301.JPG Third batch of AD24C.
AD24C (ADD) Alstom 4401-4420 1985 20 2400 100 ADD4406.JPG Fourth and last batch of AD24C.
8FA-36C (HID) Hitachi 4501-4522 1993 22 2860
(2 × 1430)
100 HID4515.JPG First batch of Main Line Locomotive Programme, used MAN B&W Diesel engine in the short-term[citation needed], then replaced by Cummins KTTA-50L engine, later modified to KTA-50L.
CM22-7i (GEA) General Electric 4523-4560 1995–1996 38 2860
(2 × 1430)
100 GEA4539.JPG Second batch of Main Line Locomotive Programme, use Cummins KTA-50L engine. Some locomotives were air-conditioned.

Diesel hydraulic locomotives[edit]

Type Manufacturer Numbers Year built Quantity built Power (horsepower) Max Speed (km/h) Image Note
DH1200BB Henschel 3001-3027 1964 27 1200 90 All locomotives except #3015 are withdrawn. #3026 preserved. Some of them were sold to Italian-Thai construction and rebuilt by Vossloh, the rest were scrapped.
M1500BB Krupp and Krauss-Maffei 3101-3130 1969 30 1500 90 KRUPP3121.JPG

Diesel multiple units[edit]

Type Manufacturer Numbers Year built Quantity built Power (horsepower) Max Speed (km/h) Image Note
RHN Hitachi 1011-1048 (power cars)
11-48
(trailer cars)
1967 38+38 220 90 BuriramTrain4.jpg Now use as a Northeastern line commuter train.
RTS Tokyu D9-D16
(power cars)
TS4-TS7
(center/trailer cars)
1971 8+4 220 70 Ex-Mahachai railways, to be refurbished. Similar bodyshell of THN and NKF but with different formation (power car-2 trailer cars).
THN Tokyu, Hitachi and Nippon Sharyo 1101–1140 1983 40 235 105 State Railways Thailand SRT 1113 Bangkok.jpg Similar to NKF.
NKF Nippon Sharyo, Hitachi, Fuji Heavy Industries,Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Niigata Tekkousho, and Kinki Sharyo 1201–1264, (center) 2101-2112 1985 64+12 235 105 NKF1253.JPG Similar to THN, but with plastic chairs.
ASR

(Class 158 Express Sprinter)

BREL, Derby Works 2501–2512, (center) 2113-2120 1991 12+8 285 120 Sprinter2509.jpg Metre gauge version of British Rail Class 158, with different gangways and couplers, and with inward-opening slam doors instead of plug doors. 3-car set until 2011, when all were refurbished with new seats, vinyl floors, an extra coach and new livery.
APD .20 Daewoo Heavy Industries 2513-2524 (center) 2121-2128 1995 10+8 298 120 Daewoo2515.JPG First batch, narrow body.
APD .60 Daewoo Heavy Industries 2525-2544 1996 20+40 298 120 TahiLand RailWay001.JPG Second batch, wide body.

Former types[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chantanusornsiri, Wichit (23 January 2012). "State railway to finally account for assets and liabilities". Bangkok Post. 
  2. ^ Mahitthirook, Amornrat; Marukatat, Saritdet (22 December 2010). "Getting on track needs strong political will". Bangkok Post. 
  3. ^ Bowring, Philip (23 October 2009). "Thailand's Railways: Wrong Track". Asia Sentinel. Asia Sentinel. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  4. ^ New Eastern rail line gets on track, The Bangkok Post, 13/01/2012
  5. ^ Barrett, Kenneth (2013). "Walk 1 Wong Wian Yai" (ebook sample 36 pp. 2.5MB). 22 Walks in Bangkok. Singapore: Tuttle. p. 25. ISBN 978 1 4629 1380 0. Retrieved 2014-07-27. "The Mahachai-Mae Klong line was built by the Tha Cheen Railway Company under a private concession and opened in early 1905, its purpose being to bring fish and farm produce from the coast." 
  6. ^ "Inaugural train begins Laos royal visit". Railway Gazette International. 2009-03-05. 
  7. ^ "NEW CHINA-LAOS LINK". Railways Africa. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  8. ^ "STANDARD GAUGE FOR THAILAND". Railways Africa. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  9. ^ "Railway Gazette: Two standard gauge main lines recommended". Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  10. ^ "Neighbours to the west get closer | Bangkok Post: news". Bangkok Post. 2012-02-28. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  11. ^ "Commuter line timetable". SRT website. State Railway of Thailand. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  12. ^ ศูนย์ประชาสัมพันธ์และบริการท่องเที่ยว (22 October 2010). การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทยพัฒนารถไฟสายศิริราช-ศาลายานำร่อง เตรียมสร้างโครงข่าย. press release (in Thai). Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport rail link opens". Railway Gazette International. 2010-08-24. 
  14. ^ http://www.railway.co.th/home/srt/knowledge/locomotives.asp

External links[edit]