Bangkok railway station

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Bangkok railway station
สถานีรถไฟกรุงเทพ
Six o'clock at Bangkok Railway Station.jpg
LocationRama IV Rd, Rong Mueang, Pathum Wan, Bangkok, 10330
Coordinates13°44′20″N 100°31′0″E / 13.73889°N 100.51667°E / 13.73889; 100.51667Coordinates: 13°44′20″N 100°31′0″E / 13.73889°N 100.51667°E / 13.73889; 100.51667
Owned byState Railway of Thailand
Line(s)Northern Line
Northeastern Line
Eastern Line
Southern Line
Platforms14
ConnectionsMRT, BMTA
Construction
Disabled accessYes
Other information
Station codeกท.
History
Opened25 June 1916[1]
ElectrifiedNo
Passengers
22,000,00060,000+ per day
Services
Preceding station   State Railway of Thailand   Following station
TerminusNorthern Line
toward Chiang Mai
Northeastern Line
toward Thanaleng
Southern Line
Eastern Line
toward Poipet

Bangkok railway station (Thai: สถานีรถไฟกรุงเทพ), unofficially known as Hua Lamphong station (Thai: สถานีหัวลำโพง), is the central station in Bangkok, Thailand. It is in the center of the city in the Pathum Wan District, and is operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT).

Naming[edit]

The station is officially referred to by the State Railway of Thailand as Sathani Rotfai Krung Thep (สถานีรถไฟกรุงเทพ) in Thai (Krung Thep is the transliteration of the common Thai language name of Bangkok),'Bangkok Station' in English.[2] Hua Lamphong (Thai: หัวลำโพง) is the informal name of the station, used by locals, tourist guides and the public press.[3] In outlying areas of Thailand the station is commonly referred to as Krungthep Station, and the name Hua Lamphong is not well-known. In all documents published by the State Railway of Thailand (such as train tickets, timetables, and tour pamphlets) the station is uniformly transcribed as Krungthep (กรุงเทพ) in Thai.[2]

The name Hua Lamphong is the name of both a canal and a road (now Rama IV Road) that used to pass near this station. The name Hua Lamphong, some say originated from the green plains surrounding the area in the past that were used to graze the cattle of the Muslim community, when the people saw the cattle running vigorously in the plains, it was named the Thung Wua Lamphong ('swaggering bulls plains'), eventually being called Hua Lamphong.[4] Others presumed that the name originated from a species of plant called Lamphong (Datura metel), a toxic plant that used to grow abundantly in the area.[5]

It is also thought that the name may have a Malay origin as a mixture of khua in Thai, meaning 'bridge', and the word lampung in Malay (pronounced lumpung) meaning 'to float'. Loi Khua Lumphung, thus meaning a temporary bridge (across or floating on the river) then become known as Hua Lamphong by Thais.[6]

Hua Lamphong railway station was another railway station of private Paknam Railway Line which operated before the founding of the Royal Siamese Railway Department (now the State Railway of Thailand). Hua Lamphong railway station was opposite the present day Bangkok railway station. It opened in 1893 and closed in 1960 in conjunction with the dissolution of the Paknam Railway Line. The site of the demolished Hua Lamphong railway station borders Rama IV Road. Today, the Bangkok subway's Hua Lamphong MRT Station lies beneath it.

History[edit]

Bangkok railway station before 1970

The station was opened on 25 June 1916 after six years of construction that started in 1910 in the reign of King Chulalongkorn and finished in the reign of King Vajiravudh. The site of the railway station was previously occupied by the national railway's maintenance centre, which moved to Makkasan in June 1910. At the nearby site of the previous railway station a pillar commemorates the inauguration of the Thai railway network in 1897.

The station was built in an Italian Neo-Renaissance-style, with decorated wooden roofs and stained glass windows, with the Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof in Germany as a prototype. The front of the building was designed by Turin-born Mario Tamagno,[7] who with countryman Annibale Rigotti (1870–1968) was also responsible for the design of several other early 20th century public buildings in Bangkok. The pair designed Bang Khun Phrom Palace (1906), Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in the Royal Plaza (1907–1915) and Suan Kularb Residential Hall and Throne Hall in Dusit Garden, among other buildings.

Initially, Hua Lamphong was a combined railway station: it transported goods and people. Over time, the transport of freight and passengers proved untenable due to the limited area for expansion of the 120 rai (48 acre) site. The transport of goods was shifted to the Phahonyothin yard in 1960.[8]

The station has 12 platforms, 22 ticket counters, and two electric display boards. Before 2020, Hua Lamphong served about 200 trains and approximately 60,000 passengers each day.[1] Since 2004 the station has been connected by an underground passage to the MRT (Metropolitan Rapid Transit) subway system's Hua Lamphong MRT Station.

The station is also a terminus of the Eastern and Oriental Express luxury trains,[9] and the International Express to Malaysia.[10]

On 25 June 2019, the 103rd anniversary of Hua Lamphong was celebrated with a Google Doodle.[11]

Closure[edit]

The station is scheduled to be closed as a railway station in 2021, when it will be converted into a museum. The station will change its official name to Hua Lamphong Station. The State Railway of Thailand will move Bangkok's central station to Bang Sue Grand Station.[12][13]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Launch of Red Line delayed 4 months". Bangkok Post. 11 March 2021. Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Northeastern Line Timetable" (PDF). State Railway of Thailand. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  3. ^ Eames, Andrew (13 February 2021). "Postcard from . . . Bangkok: goodbye to a grand old station". Financial Times. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  4. ^ "ทุ่งวัวลำพอง-หัวลำโพง ค.ศ. ๑๙๑๕" [1915 Wua Lamphong Fields-Hua Lamphong]. Historical Archives Archdiocese of Bangkok (in Thai). 2016-05-13. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  5. ^ Leekaew, Pichanan. "ลำโพง: ไม้ประดับมีพิษ" [Metel: Poisonous ornamental plant]. Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University (in Thai). Retrieved 2021-01-03.
  6. ^ Por Sinak (2016-02-03). "ภาษามลายูในกรุงเทพฯ เพิ่งรู้ "หัวลำโพง" มาจากมลายู" [Malay language in Bangkok, just know 'Hua Lamphong' from Malay]. mtoday.co.th (in Thai). Retrieved 2019-01-29.
  7. ^ Pattramon Sukprasert (20 June 2016). "Happy 100th birthday Hua Lamphong". The Bangkok Post.
  8. ^ "ครบรอบ 103 ปี สถานีหัวลำโพง สถานีเก่าแก่-คลาสสิกสุดในโลก" [103rd anniversary of Hua Lamphong station]. Prachachat (in Thai). 2019-06-25. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  9. ^ Perkins, Ed (2013-08-01). "10 iconic train excursions". USA Today. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Train 35 Timetable (Now Train 31 from Bangkok to Hat Yai)". Train36.com.
  11. ^ "103rd Anniversary of Hua Lamphong". Google. 25 June 2019.
  12. ^ Charoenkiatpakul, Wichan (8 May 2017). "Hua Lamphong enters its last 2 years". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  13. ^ Clark, James (3 November 2016). "These rail projects will transform travel in Southeast Asia". Asia Times. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  • รายงานกองบัญชาการครั้งที่ 20 กล่าวด้วยการเดินรถไฟหลวงทางขนาดใหญ่ในกรุงสยามประจำพระพุทธศักราช 2459 (ปิคฤศต์ศักราช 1916-17), กรมรถไฟหลวง, โรงพิมพ์กรมรถไฟ, 2460 (Stored in National Archives of Thailand)
  • งานฉลอง 50 ปี กรมรถไฟหลวง, กรมรถไฟหลวง, โรงพิมพ์กรมรถไฟ, 2490