Tram for Chinatown will be in service this month - The Nation, February, 2009
The project to develop Bangkok's Yaowarat area is more than halfway complete and the "red route" tram service should be running by the end of this month, a senior official said Thursday...
[This is not a tram, but a bus styled like the old trams.]
Fight club at Lumpini Park - May 2, 2008
Jett of Jettcycles design writes: I just read BANGKOK ELECTRICAL
SUPPLY Reprint of The Far Eastern Review, May 1931 and I remembered
my late father talking about his early memories of the Bangkok
My father grew up in the 1950’s and went to school at Assumption boy
school on Charoen krung rd. His family lived in a 1920’s built
shophouse on Songwad rd, which is still standing, and he traveled to
school by tram on the Bang Kholaem line each day.
My father had a lot of school-days stories, but my favourite was of the
student fights and their unique 1950’s approach to them.
As the school was very strict about fighting, students went to great
lengths to avoid getting caught fighting on school grounds.
Instead, they would catch the Silom line tram to Lumpini Park, which
was a perfect venue as it was virtually deserted at the time. But
it was on the tram that the tension would mount. The opposing
camps would face off on the tram, silently trying to intimidate the
opposition. Nobody would say or do anything aggressive due to the
strict social order at the time. Plus the students were wearing
uniforms bearing the school name.
At the park it was a different story. The couple would fist fight and
wrestle while the crowd cheered on. At this point I would always ask my
father “who won?” He would tell me with a smile that no one won, "We
would fight until we just ran out of breath." My father would
always assure me that the fighting pair would end on friendly terms,
going their separate ways with a smile. He would always end his stories
with “that’s how we did it back in the days”
Bangkok Electrical Supply, Far Eastern Review,
Thanks to Ric for sending this
(Photo: Ryoichi Sakuma)
(Photo: Ryoichi Sakuma)
(Photo: Ryoichi Sakuma)
HO-gauge tram!!! - November 7, 2007
Charming, tramming Bangkok - Bangkok
Recorder, August 30, 2007
Ryoichi Sakuma writes: I'm happy to show you two Bangkok trams I made in HO gauge (1/87) recently.
Every photo on the Bangkok tram has been very useful and helpful
for me to make it.
I wish 2Bangkok. com will be successful more and more.
...The first, the Red Line, will open in the next two
weeks, running only on weekends. The tram will start from Hualumphong
subway station and go through China Town, Charoen-krung Road and return
The second, Yellow Line, will launch in late October, running in the
Rattanakosin Old Town area, starting from Wat Phra Kaew and ending at
Tha Chang pier...
Bangkok horse trams and the Chinatown gang wars -
October 28, 2006
Ric Francis provides the following translated from an old SEC magazine: Probably the most extraordinary event the tramways became involved in was in the early days when they became embroiled in a battle between government troops and a gang of Chinese Mafiosi called the "Ang Yi."
‘It’ was’ early 1889 and, the
Trams, which were then still drawn by horses, were used to transport soldiers to suppress the "Ang Yi" gang which controlled what is now the Yan Nawa area. For years the "Ang Yi" had been above the law and terrorised the local residents. But in 1889 the gangs split into two factions and a classic gang war' situation developed.
What was to be the beginning of a showdown between the two gangs -the Tang Kong Si and the Siew Lee Kue - began on June 19, when they declared part of the Charoen Krung Road a "war zone," building huge road blockades out of zinc sheets, removing furniture and whatever they could lay their hands on in preparation for a pitched battle which followed that the same night.
The fight which involved all kind of weapons ranging from simple wooden batons and knives to various types of guns lasted all night and continued the following morning. The casualties mounted until there were at least 20 dead and more than a hundred injured.
As the fight raged on, the situation clearly was beyond the ability of the local police to handle and the troops were called in. And it was no small operation.
The soldiers' maneuvers were
mapped out during a meeting of the top brass held by Army Operations Department Commander Krom Phraya Panuphandhuvong, the department's ,Ipsp, or General Krom KbuR Narisra Nuwattiwong, Assistant Army Commander-in-Chief Krom' Muen Damrong Rajanuparp and Commodore Phraya Chollayuth Youthin who would provide Jiavy support from the Chao Phya River front.
D-Day was set for the next morning of June 21. It was then that the mission planners decided to select the trams to mobilise the ground troops to the "front line," as they represented the only efficient mass transportation system in the city at the time. The trams which were making their regular early morning rounds to Lakmuang terminal were commandeered by the government force and hundreds of troops clambered aboard ready for action.
The tram drivers, upon learning about the mission, volunteered to drive their trams turned-war chariots to the battlefield.
At the clash, site, fierce gunfire erupted when the gangs turned their weapons on the government troops. The bloody battle lasted for five hours before being put to an end with 10 law-breakers killed, 20 wounded and 800 - eight of whom were members of Ang Yi's top echelon - arrested.
Throughout the battle the trams served the vital function of, providing reinforcements for the government troops at the battle scene. Their role was hailed by both local and foreign 'residents alike.
Notes on the tram
- June 22, 2006
Heinrich writes: While
I was browsing today though your pages about Bangkok tram. I
noticed the legend to the very first pic (Bangkok9.jpg?) on this page. It reads: "Probably around Saphan dam area."
I don't know, where Saphan Dam exactly is, but this photo is definitely
at "Saphan Charoen Rat 31" over Khlong Lod, which is right next to Pak
I also found other pictures near that place on your "Daily Tram" pages - September 8, 2004 (Tram-05-mid-way-on-line.jpg?)
and The daily tram - September 13, 2004 (Tram-06-crossing-bridge.jpg?)
Compare the unique building on the corner behind the bridge. And compare
the parapet with the pictures on my page.
Trams, old and new - January
Colin writes: Above is a picture that was published on the cover of
The Modern Tramway for August 1955, to accompany an article on the Bangkok
trams by Ralph Forty. The content of the article is probably what you
already know, but the picture is of interest. It shows the subtle differences
between the modernised trams, probably with the imported English parts
and the local version. The numbers displayed might be expected to be service
running numbers, but as they are so obviously posed, they may well represent
the tram numbers for the occasion - 203, 17 and 3. Note also that the
two modern trams are not fitted with towing gear.
(Photo: Undated postcard from the 2Bangkok.com
Tram 18 info - January 11, 2006
Wisarut comment on the photo we ran at the weekend: ...it is the Yellow
Tram line (Bang Kho Laem line) in front of Wat Sam Jin (Wat Trai Mitr),
near Odean Circle. This photo must originally be from the National Archives...
Bangkok trams on Google
Earth - January 11, 2007
Dick van der Spek writes: On the Google Earth Community I found a
Bangkok trammap projected on Google Earth, source: 2Bangkok.com. Very
nice to know for our forum friends.
1950 Bangkok Tramway Network
Google Earth View
in Google Maps
A 1950 map of Bangkok tramways. Tramlines ringed Rattanakosin Island
and peeled out along Rama 4 Road and Sukhumvit. The routes along Rame
4, Rajadamri and Sukhumvit are identical to the more modern rail
systems, the BTS and MRT. Plus ca change... Copyright Dick van der Spek
(more information on Mr van der Spek and his excellent historical
transport maps at www.2bangkok.com)
Tram map and route description
(1958) - January 7, 2005
Remembering the trams
and the Paknam Railway - December
- 1962 - December 7, 2005
TRAMWAYS et ELECTRICITE
de BANGKOK SOCIETE ANONYME - May 21,
The closing of the Bangkok tramways -
January 29, 2005
We recently obtained a copy of Modern Tramway (March, 1969)
which contains a contemporary account of the closing of the Bangkok
tram system in 1968.
Article (186kb) - photos
(140kb) - map (55kb)
(Photo: 2Bangkok.com) |The last tram sign -
September 26, 2004
Bangkok tram stop sign near Wat Chai Chana Songkhram intersection
in Chinatown (right and below).
Tram map with stations
- September 15, 2004
(Photo: Dick van der Spek)
Ric Francis sent in this great tram map. The undated map came from Robert
Sechler in the USA who obtained it in Bangkok from the "Manager
of the Tramways." It is a blueprint image in three parts 1 (369kb),
2 (439kb), and 3 (347kb).
Bangkok Tram map
- September 10, 2004
Dick van der Spek created this map of tram routes in 1950, but it is more
than that--it is a look at Bangkok's surprisingly comprehensive fixed mass
transit routes of the time...
Rusting mass transit
- February 23, 2004
(Photo: Terry King)
Tram tracks - November 12,
Terry King writes: I thought that you might find this interesting.
The trams are gone, but there are still some tracks to be seen. I found
these old tram tracks near the Bangkok City Pillar (Lak Meuang). The
building on the left in the photo is the Lak Meuang building. The photo
was taken facing east with my back to the Grand Palace. I think that
the street is called Thanon Lak Meuang. There may be other tracks around,
but these are the first that I have noticed.
(Photo: Charlie Sullivan)
Above: Tram #9, circa 1964-65
Wisarut comments on this photo:
The tram taken by Mr. Sullivan (Tram # 9) is definitely taken at Phan
Fah Intersection (on Ratchadamnoen Avenue). The pink-grey building is
the SAS office in Bangkok. SAS was the partner of Thai Inter when Thai
Inter was just starting up. Today that building is home to Deves Insurance
PCL (an insurance company in which the Crown Property Bureau is a major
mulls reviving the electric tram - AFP, November
This is brought up from time to time...: Thailand is considering the
revival of an electric tram system used in Bangkok early last century
to help solve the capital's perennial traffic woes, according to a Sunday
New tram video - October
Dr. Volker Wangemann writes: I would like to inform every visitor of
2Bangkok.com who is interested in the history of the Bangkok Tramways,
that there is a new video: "TRAMWAY EXOTICA-1: VIETNAM AND THAILAND."
It is available for 18 English Pounds from LRTA Publications, 13A The
Precinct, Broxbourne EN 10 7 HY, United Kingdom. It includes scenes not
only of the classic 4-wheelers of Bangkok (including film from the 1920s),
but also the tram and the short-lived trackless trolleys of Hanoi and
the veteran AECs of Singapore!
||Tram photos from 1906
- September 16, 2003
Ric Francis sent in some frame grabs from a 1906 film of the Bangkok
for Phuket? - The Phuket Gazette, November
Serious consideration is being given to an electric tram service
around Phuket... What these studies usually find is that creating
a tram system is a lot more expensive and complicated than laymen
(and politicians) expect.
Tram maps - October
Check out this old map from the Royal Military
Survey Department, Royal Siamese Army (now the Supreme Command Headquarters)
|Bangkok streets in 1959!
Here they are! Stills from
the never-before-seen tram footage circa 1959. Wilf Watters
of Online Video (no website as of yet) brought the tape from England
to show to Dr. Sanpsiri at the Thailand
Railway Hall of Fame. The 16mm color film shows various trams
gliding through the city, workmen fixing tram wires, the tram depot,
and a trip out of Bangkok on a gleaming steam train. Even Dr. Sanpsiri
seemed surprised and excited by this wonderful footage. There are
plans to collect and issue all the tram footage on one tape. This
footage is sharper and clearer than any existing footage of trams
in the National Archive. |
the Trams Return? - June 17, 2001
Sumet Jumsai, a leading Thai architect recently elected to the Honorary
Fellowship of the American Institute of Architects, suggests in a Nation
article that the trams be brought back as a means of mass transport in the
Rattanakosin area. More on the Rattanakosin Island can be found here.