The area around Hualamphong Station

Nils reports: As 2Bangkok.com posted the Paknam Railway map (807kb) by Dik van der Spek, it would be appropriate to mention the thread about the location of its Hualamphong station.
Furthermore, I attached the pictures from 1946 posted by Wisarut on the Thai forum (see below). What is most amazing is how tiny the Paknam Railway station was! I also visited the area with those old photos in hand to get an impression of the situation in the old days.


(Photo: Nils)

Above: View from subway exit 1 across Rama IV Road towards exit 3. Essentially, nothing seen in this picture existed back in 1946. A lot in this area has been redesigned following the construction of the subway station and looks very different from 1999, when I was first there. The photograph was taken about where Hualamphong Canal used to be.


(Photo: Nils)

Above: The recently renovated Station Hotel, also quite old, is not in the 1946 photo. [There also used to be a hotel where the old shophouses are called the Ratchathani Hotel which was supposed as plush as the Oriental Hotel.]


(Photo: Nils)

Rama IV Road - 2004
Above:
Looking eastwards down Rama IV Road while crossing the street. We can estimate the conditions prior to 1960: The old Rama IV Road only occupied the space left of the middle island (or a little bit more than that); to the right was the alignment of the railway/tramway, and still to the right of that, where subway exit 1 is situated today (circle), Khlong Hualamphong was flowing and freight barges were docking for loading and unloading. I have difficulty spotting the tramway in the old photos, though. Where was it?

Rama IV Road - 1959
Above:
1959 - Paknam Railway (Hitachi) and Samsen Line Tramway somewhere along Rama IV Road - looks amazingly upcountry.


(Photo: Nils)

Above: This is, as far as I can tell, the position of the Paknam Railway Station! The red lines are approximate extensions of the baselines of Hualamphong Station, for better comparison with the old photo. Immediately to the left is the intersection of Rama IV and Mahapruettharam Road (which still sported a bridge over Khlong Hualamphong in the old times). That is how mass transit has been gobbled up by motorized individual traffic.

Left: Khlong Hualamphong runs along the bottom; Mahapruettharam Rd
(with bridge) adjacent to the Paknam Station. Note the long building that
was used to transfer cargo to and from boats along Khlong Padung Krung
Kasem, according to Wisarut, and the other parts of the Hualamphong freight
terminal that do not exist anymore. Numbers 1,2,3,4 indicate the approximate positions where the modern day photos were taken. [The slender building to the right of the station is the O-Ping Hotel that was bombed during World War II when the Allies attempted to destroy Hualamphong Station. These photos are from the postwar aerial survey of Bangkok taken by Peter Williams Hunt - circa 1946.]
Right: Looking west. The building(s) behind Khlong Padung Krung Kasem, left of Charoensawat 36 Bridge (now substantially wider) have been demolished and replaced by newer (and uglier) ones. Traimit Road goes towards Yaowarat (their intersection being known as 'Sam Yaek') and this was the route of the Samsen Tram Line. Rama IV becomes Charoen Krung Rd. (with Bang Kholaem Tram Line that intersected with the Samsen Line at Sam Yaek). Krung Kasem Rd was the route of Hualamphong Tram Line, merging with the Samsen line here at this intersection.

Finally, consider this: From 1925 to 1959, Sala Daeng Intersection had a crossing between Tramway and Paknam Railway (wonder how that looked like). The Paknam Line was dismantled 1960, the Silom Line 1962. Now, 45 years later, we finally have a crossing again at this point, between Skytrain and Subway (plus the flyover).... much in the same way, Hualamphong subway station has replaced the old Paknam station underground.

Paknam Station - November 3, 2004
Nils prepared these closeup of the Peter Williams Hunt from 1946 and asks a few questions:
Above: Is that a turntable? Along the road note the Bangkok tram poles.
Below: I really wonder what the strange structures in front of the station (along Rama IV Road) are. There should be a platform there, not these indeterminable things.

 

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