Thai/Burma Railway in 1992

Back to the main Thai Railways/SRT page

Reiner Zimmermann - 10th May 2004: It was 1st March 1992 when this correspondent first took the train from the former Thonburi station to see what remained of the wartime Thai/Burma-line. At the end of the platform of Nam Tok station was a sign which read in Thai and English “THE TRACK WILL BE EXTENDED 1.4 km FROM THIS POINT TO SAI YOK NOI WATERFALL ALONG THE ORIGINAL ROUTE”.


(Photo: Reiner Zimmermann)

We have no records when this signboard had been put in its place, but for years there had been no visible action to turn the promise into reality. The regular daily trains and the weekend excursion DMU continued terminating at Nam Tok station and those of the passengers whose intended destination was the Sai Yok Noi waterfall had to proceed by other means.

(Photo: Reiner Zimmermann)
1.3.1992 Signboard at the end of Nam Tok platform.

(Photo: Reiner Zimmermann)
1.3.1992 The former end of the line, about 400 meter from Nam Tok station proper.

The line ended at a buffer about 400 meters from Nam Tok station; beyond the buffer shrubbery and bushes occupied the former railway alignment that seemed rather impenetrable.

A visitor to the site on 18th March 1998 reported that the track had been extended by about 600m into the bushes, but the buffer remained at its location, bisecting the rails. The situation was the same 3 years later in March 2001.

Upon an “inspection-trip” on 19th May 2003 the buffer was found removed and the line ready for service to a small new station called “Nam Tok Sai Yok Noi”. It is a single track extension with no passing loop and no facility for a locomotive to “run around the train” for the return journey. Clearly, the line must have been meant to make it easier for passengers of the weekend-DMU to access the waterfall and the adjacent recreation area. Albeit, there was still no service. All trains ended at Nam Tok as before.

(Photo: Reiner Zimmermann)
4.4.2004 The new end of the line at km 195+694.00.

(Photo: Reiner Zimmermann)
29.5.2003 Pointing towards Burma, 1935 Mitsubishi-built ex JNR C56.2, No.702. is plinthed on the trackbed beyond the extended line, unfortunately a bit “off” its alignment. From here, the old railway survives as a footpath to the Waterfall.

(Photo: Reiner Zimmermann)
29.5.2003 The new line is ready, but not yet in use. Nature is taking over again.

We have no date on record of the actual accomplishment of the work. Of 3rd March 2004 there is a report that the track was found “in use”. It took this correspondent until 4th May 2004, 12 years after having photographed that promising signboard, to enjoy the first actual ride – about 1,400 meter closer to Burma, thereof 1,082 meter on newly laid track along the old alignment of the Thai/Burma Railway.


(Photo: Reiner Zimmermann)
4.4.2004 The line ahead, as seen from the DMU’s driving cab. Dumped to the right in the distance is the former buffer.


(Photo: Reiner Zimmermann)
4.4.2004 After disembarking of passengers, the train reverses to Nam Tok for laying over until its departure. The driver has not yet reversed the headlights, so it looks as though the DMU would be coming in.


(Photo: Reiner Zimmermann)
4.4.2004 On the new line.


(Photo: Reiner Zimmermann)
4.4.2004 The Elephants keep to their tracks.


(Photo: Reiner Zimmermann)
4.4.2004 The former buffer, at km194+611.92.

Back to the main Thai Railways/SRT page

This entry was posted in Thai Railroads. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.