Maeklong Railway

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Maeklong Railway
Maeklong station.jpg
Maeklong station
Overview
HeadquartersBangkok
LocaleBangkok, Samut Sakhon Province and Samut Songkhram Province
Dates of operation1904–Present
PredecessorThachin Railway
Technical
Track gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) (Metre gauge)
Electrification600 V DC overhead line (between 1926 and 1955)
Length66.9 kilometres (41.6 mi)

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 connection 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, using three steam locomotives.[3][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.[4] The Government of Thailand purchased the now-merged company in 1926 and electrified the eastern section, turning it into an interurban tramway.[5] The Thai military later gained control of the railway in 1942, during World War II, and the line was brought under the control of the State Railway of Thailand in 1952 and fully merged into it by 1955.[6][2] During this period of merger, the electrification was removed from the eastern section, with steam-hauled and later diesel-hauled trains replacing the old tramcars.[3] In 1961 the line's original terminus at Khlong San was closed and replaced with a bus stop, to ease traffic congestion in Bangkok, with Wongwian Yai becoming the new terminus.[2]

Rolling stock[edit]

The Maeklong Railway's first trains were hauled by three 0-4-2T wood-burning tank engines, purchased from Krauss Locomotive Works in 1903 and 1906. Consists of electric tramcars worked passenger services on the eastern section of the line from about 1927 up until the line's de-electrification in 1955, initially being replaced with conventional trains hauled by two Henschel 4-6-2 steam engines. A pair of Henschel 440hp 2-6-2 diesel locomotives were introduced not long after in 1957, but these were not regarded as a success; the railway did not retire steam traction until 1971, when the older but more reliable Sulzer diesels, among the first used by the SRT, were cascaded down to the Maeklong Railway with the arrival of more modern locomotives on the main network. Since at least 1975, the Maeklong Railway has been operated by relatively modern diesel multiple unit trains.[3]

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 Chuet
Khok Khwai
Ban Khom
Khlong Chak
Maha Chai
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".[7] It is one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand, and is centred on the Maeklong Railway's track.[4] Whenever a train approaches, the awnings and shop fronts are moved back from the rails, to be replaced once the train has passed.[8]

Services[edit]

Seventeen trains run daily in each direction between Samut Sakhon and Wongwian Yai.[9] Four trains run daily between Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram.[10] The railway is one of the slowest in Thailand, and the average speed for the whole line is only 30 km/hr.[11] There are no signals on the line.[11]

Stations[edit]

English Name Thai Name Code Distance
in km
Class Thai abbr. Note Location
Pak Khlong San ปากคลองสาน -1.90 Closed since 1961 Bangkok
Wongwian Yai วงเวียนใหญ่ 5001 0.00 1 งญ.
Talat Phlu ตลาดพลู 5003 1.78 2 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 2 สิ.
Bang Bon บางบอน 5009 9.76 กม. Halt าา.
Khan Keha การเคหะธนบุรี 5010 12.23 Halt เค.
Rang Sakae รางสะแก 5011 12.53 Halt รแ.
Rang Pho รางโพธิ์ 5012 14.25 2 รโ.
Sam Yaek สามแยก 5013 15.83 Halt แย.
Phrom Daen พรมแดน 5014 17.29 Halt พแ. Bangkok Samut Sakhon
Thung Si Thong ทุ่งสีทอง 5034 18.76 Halt ที. Samut Sakhon
Bang Nam Chuet 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 ลจ.
Maha Chai มหาชัย 5018 31.22 กม. 1 ชั.
Tha Chin River
Ban Laem บ้านแหลม 5019 0.18 3 แห. Samut Sakhon
Tha Chalom ท่าฉลอม 5020 1.24 Halt ฉอ.
Ban Chi Phakhao บ้านชีผ้าขาว 5021 3.89 Halt ผา.
Khlong Nok Lek คลองนกเล็ก 5035 5.95 Halt ลเ.
Bang Si Kot บางสีคต 5022 6.90 Halt บี.
Bang Krachao บางกระเจ้า 5023 8.86 Halt ะจ.
Ban Bo บ้านบ่อ 5024 10.90 Halt บ่.
Bang Thorat บางโทรัด 5025 13.32 Halt งโ.
Ban Kalong บ้านกาหลง 5026 15.78 Halt กห.
Ban Na Khwang บ้านนาขวาง 5027 17.94 Halt บ้.
Ban Na Khok บ้านนาโคก 5028 19.97 Halt าโ.
Ket Muang เขตเมือง 5029 23.73 Halt ดเ.
Lad Yai ลาดใหญ่ 5030 27.66 Halt ลญ. Samut Songkhram
Bang Krabun บางกระบูน 5031 30.16 Halt กู. Closed
Maeklong แม่กลอง 5032 33.75 3 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 c "Tiger Steam - Maeklong Railway". International Steam. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  4. ^ a b "The Mae Khlong Mahachai Railway". Thailand by Train. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Tram Views of Asia - Thailand". Tramz. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Transit history notes: Seizing the Maeklong Railway". 2Bangkok. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Maeklong Railway Market: Marketplace With a Railway Track Through it". Amusing Planet. Retrieved 12 Mar 2013.
  8. ^ Cunningham, Susan. "The Market Where a Train Runs Through". Southeast Asia Traveler. Retrieved 12 Mar 2013.
  9. ^ "Wongwian Yai - Maha Chai Timetable" (PDF). State Railway of Thailand. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 12 Mar 2013.
  10. ^ "Ban Laem - Mae Klong Timetable" (PDF). State Railway of Thailand. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 12 Mar 2013.
  11. ^ 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]