Maeklong Railway

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Maeklong Railway
Maeklong station.jpg
Maeklong station
Locale Bangkok, Samut Sakhon Province and Samut Songkhram Province
Dates of operation 1904–Present
Predecessor Thachin Railway
Track gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) (Metre gauge)
Length 66.9 kilometres (41.6 mi)
Headquarters Bangkok

The Maeklong Railway (also known as the Mae Klong Railway) is a 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) (Metre gauge) railway that runs for nearly 67 kilometres (42 mi)[1] between Wongwian Yai, Bangkok, and Samut Songkhram in central Thailand. The line consists of two sections: the eastern Mahachai Line, which runs between Samut Sakhon and Wongwian Yai with 18 stations; and the Ban Laem Line, which runs between Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram with 15 stations. The two stretches are separated by the Tha Chin River at Samut Sakhon. The only way to connect between the stations on the opposite sides of the river is by boat.[2]

History[edit]

A train passes through Talat Rom Hup

The Mae Klong Railway was built in two separate stages. The Tachin Railway Ltd, founded in 1901 with a concession from the crown of Thailand to construct a line to Samut Sakhon from Bangkok,[1] built the 33 kilometer Mahachai Line; it opened in 1904 with eight stations. A year later, The Maeklong Railway Company opened the 34 kilometer Ban Laem Line.[2] The lines merged in 1907 to form the Maeklong Railway Ltd. It was originally opened as a goods line, transporting produce from the fishing ports of Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkram to the Bangkok markets.[3] The Thai military gained control of the railway in 1942, during World War II, and the line was nationalised by the Thai Government in 1946.[4] The line was operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) from 1952 and was fully merged into the SRT in 1955.[2] In 1961 the line's original terminus at Khlong San was closed and replaced with a bus stop, to ease traffic congestion in Bangkok. Wongwian Yai became the new terminus.[2]

Market[edit]

Maeklong Railway
Pak Khlong San
Wongwian Yai
Talat Phlu
Khlong Ton Sai
Chom Thong
Wat Sai
Wat Sing
Bang Bon
Khan Keha
Rang Sakae
Rang Pho
Sam Yaek
Phrom Daen
Thung Si Thong
Bang Nam Jued
Khok Khwai
Ban Khom
Khlong Chak
Mahachai
Tha Chin River
Ban Laem
Tha Chalom
Ban Chi Phakhao
Khlong Noklek
Bang Sikhot
Bang Krachao
Ban Bo
Bang Thorat
Ban Kalong
Ban Na Khwang
Ban Na Khok
Ked Mueang
Lad Yai
Bang Krabun
Maeklong

The railway became famous for its route through the Maeklong Railway Market, nicknamed (Thai: ตลาดร่มหุบ; rtgsTalat Rom Hup), meaning the "umbrella pulldown market".[5] It is one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand, and is centred on the Maeklong Railway's track.[3] Whenever a train approaches, the awnings and shop fronts are moved back from the rails, to be replaced once the train has passed.[6]

Services[edit]

Seventeen trains run daily in each direction between Samut Sakhon and Wongwian Yai.[7] Four trains run daily between Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram.[8] The railway is one of the slowest in Thailand, and the average speed for the whole line is only 30 km/hr.[9] There are no signals on the line.[9]

Stations[edit]

English Name Thai Name Code Distance
in km
Class Thai abbr. Note Location
Pak Khlong San ปากคลองสาน Closed since 1961 Bangkok
Wongwian Yai วงเวียนใหญ่ 5001 0.00 2 งญ.
Talat Phlu ตลาดพลู 5003 1.78 4 ลู.
Khlong Ton Sai คลองต้นไทร 5004 3.35 Halt ไซ.
Chom Thong จอมทอง 5005 4.13 Halt ทจ.
Wat Sai วัดไทร 5007 5.76 Halt วซ.
Wat Sing วัดสิงห์ 5008 7.15 4 สิ.
Bang Bon บางบอน 5009 9.76 กม. Halt าา.
Khan Keha การเคหะธนบุรี 5010 10.23 Halt เค.
Rang Sakae รางสะแก 5011 10.53 Halt รแ.
Rang Pho รางโพธิ์ 5012 14.25 4 รโ.
Sam Yaek สามแยก 5013 15.83 Halt แย.
Phrom Daen พรมแดน 5014 17.29 Halt พแ. Samut Sakhon
Thung Si Thong ทุ่งสีทอง 5034 18.76 Halt
Bang Nam Jued บางน้ำจืด 5015 19.97 Halt นจ.
Khok Khwai คอกควาย 5016 22.99 Halt วา.
Ban Khom บ้านขอม 5017 26.76 Halt ขม.
Khlong Chak คลองจาก 5033 29.76 Halt
Maha Chai มหาชัย 5018 31.22 กม. 1 ชั.
Tha Chin River
Ban Laem บ้านแหลม 5019 0.180 4 แห. Samut Sakhon
Tha Chalom ท่าฉลอม 5020 1.240 Halt ฉอ.
Ban Chi Phakhao บ้านชีผ้าขาว 5021 3.890 Halt ผา.
Khlong Nok Lek คลองนกเล็ก 5035 5.950 Halt ลเ.
Bang Si Kot บางสีคต 5022 6.900 Halt บ ี.
Bang Krachao บางกระเจ้า 5023 8.860 Halt ะจ.
Ban Bo บ้านบ่อ 5024 10.900 Halt บ ่.
Bang Thorat บางโทรัด 5025 13.320 Halt งโ.
Ban Kalong บ้านกาหลง 5026 15.780 Halt กห.
Ban Na Khwang บ้านนาขวาง 5027 17.940 Halt บ ้.
Ban Na Khok บ้านนาโคก 5028 19.970 Halt าโ.
Ket Muang เขตเมือง 5029 23.730 Halt ดเ. Samut Songkhram
Lad Yai ลาดใหญ่ 5030 27.660 Halt ลญ.
Bang Krabun บางกระบูน 5031 30.160 Halt ก ู. Closed
Maeklong แม่กลอง 5032 33.750 4 แอ.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nielsen, Flemming. "The Tachin Railway". ScandAsia. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Pass, Mike. "Thai Steam Today & Yesteryear" (PDF). 2Bangkok. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "The Mae Khlong Mahachai Railway". Thailand by Train. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Transit history notes: Seizing the Maeklong Railway". 2Bangkok. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Maeklong Railway Market: Marketplace With a Railway Track Through it". Amusing Planet. Retrieved 12 Mar 2013. 
  6. ^ Cunningham, Susan. "The Market Where a Train Runs Through". Southeast Asia Traveler. Retrieved 12 Mar 2013. 
  7. ^ "Wongwian Yai - Maha Chai Timetable" (PDF). State Railway of Thailand. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 12 Mar 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ban Laem - Mae Klong Timetable" (PDF). State Railway of Thailand. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 12 Mar 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "SRT: The Maeklong line and Maeklong railway market". Thai Mass Transport Systems. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. Retrieved 12 Mar 2013. 

See also[edit]