Bangkok Tram Routes

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Vintage
The Lopburi Lines

The Bangkok Lines
Tram route maps
Modern
1996 proposal for tramlike buses

All about the tram routes - December 27, 2005
From Tramways in Bangkok from Geography of Bangkok Circle by Mr. Thad Phrammanop, 1931 (2000 copies sold at 1 baht each)
Trams in Bangkok are a part of the Siam Electricity Corporation with registered capital of about 22 million baht. The company has the biggest capital in Siam.
There are two tramway offices at
1) Sam Yaek Office where Lamphunchai Road and New Road Intersects [now Lamphunchai Intersection].
2) Maen Sri Office on Bamrung Mueng Road, opposite to Bangkok Waterworks Office
There are four tram depots at
1) Bang Kholaem [near Thanon Tok]
2) Saphan Lueng [Rama 4 Road]
3) Maen Sri [Worachak Road, next to Bangkok Waterworks Office]
4) Bang Krabue [Saphan Kaew Road (now Samsen Road)]
There were seven important tram lines
1) Bang Kho Laem line
This line follows New Road to See Kak Phraya Sri Intersection and then turns right to Fueang Nakhon Road to See Kak Sao Chingcha intersection before turning left to Bumrung Muang, turns right to Asadaeng Road to go across Saphan Hok (Klong Lord - old city moat) and then to Lak Muang Road before terminating at City Pillar, next to the Ministry of Defense.
There was a bus service to Ratchawongse pier, at Sua Pa Road. This bus service is a replacement to the branch line after removing the track from Sua Pa to Ratchawongse in 1926-1927 to make the way for cars that park along Ratchawongse Road to enjoy Chinese cuisine in the restaurants nearby.
2) Samsen line
This line starts from Kiaw Khai Ka pier and then turns right to follow Saphan Kaew Road [now Samsen Road from Vajira intersection to Kiakkai intersection]. The line follows Saphan Kaew Road to Samsen Road all the way to Bang Lamphoo to interchange with Dusit line at Pratoo Mai [Bang Lampooo Intersection] and then go across Chakkraphoinse Road to Phan Phiphob Leela and then goes across the old city moat at Saphan Siaw. The line will go along Rachinee Road to interchange with Bang Kholaem line at Saphan Hok and turns left at Saphan Ubonrat to Phra Phithak Road. After that, the line goes along Phahurat Road to Saphan Han area before turning to Mahachai Road and passes B Grimm and Co. [now the building has been demolished to make the way for Thai Danu Bank before becoming DBS (Thailand) Bank] and turning left to Yowaraj to Sam Yaek. This will interchange with Ban Kholaem line before going along Lamphunchai Road and go to Rama 4 Road, passing Bangkok station before terminating the line at Wireless Road, the head of Sathon Road.
This line has a branch line to Samsen flea market behind Sukhothai palace constructed in 1910-1911 and another branch line from Saphan Ubonrat to Rachinee Pier for the motor boats along Bangkok Yai canal.
3) Bangsue line
This line started in front of Rachinee Bon School and then goes along Saphan Kaew Road before turning right to Chang Saeng Road [named after Royal Ordinance Dept--this road has become Tha Harn Road] to Saphan Daengh and then turns left to follow Techawanit Road to end up at Bangsue Station.
4) Dusit line
This has started at Siam Electricity Corporation in front of the Ministry of Education [now constitutional court] near Wat Liab and then follows Chak Phet Road to interchange with Samsen line at Saphan Han and the follows Phra Sumen Road, following the City Wall (or city moat) to Pratoo Mai [Bang Lamphoo intersection] and then passes Phra Athit Road, Rachinee Road, passing WWI monument (near the Ministry of Justice) and then follows Nah Prathat Road before turning right to Tha Prachan via Phrachan Road. After that the line turned left to Maharaj Road passing Tha Raj Woradit Royal Pier, Tha Tian,
Pakklong Talad, Chak Phet Road, the Ministry of Education, before going across Ong Ang canal (the City moat). After that, the line would pass Bophit Phimuk temple (the place for executing rebellious royalty by sandalwood clubs) and follows Chakkawat Road to Wat Tuek to interchange with Samsen line. After that the line would interchange with Bang Kholaem line at SAB intersection before following Worachak Road to Maen Sri Bridge (AKA Saphan Dam) to interchange with Hua Lamphong line. After that the line passes Chakkraphatdiphongse Road to Nangloeng (Nakhonsawan Road) before turning to Pitsanuloke Road at Royal Tuft Club and passes Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue to end up with Samsen line in front of Wat Thewaraj Kunchorn. This route is due to the merging of the city circle and Dusit line along with route modification by removing the track that passed Suan Kularb Road as well as the track from Wat Thewaraj Kunchorn to Sisao Thewet Intersection in 1926.
5) Hua Lamphong line
This line started at Charoen Sawat Bridge (in front of Hua lamphong Railway Station) and then goes along Krung Kasem Road to Krasat Suek Bridge before turning left to Bumrung Muang and then heads to Maen Sri Intersection to interchange with Dusit line. This line goes all the way to Saphan Sommati Amoramart [Samranrat Gate - AKA Ghost Gate for the Dead] to intersect with the Dusit line again and then head to the Giant Swing to See Kak Sao Chingcha and then turn right to follow Ban Tanao Road and pass Chao Pho Suea Chinese Shrine and Khok Wua Intersection to Wat Boworn Niwet Wiharn, and follow Sip Sam Hang Road to meet Dusit Line at Bang Lamphu and then follows Dusit line track to end up at Pratoo Mai (Bang Lamphoo Intersection).
6) Silom line
The lines starts from Bang Rak Intersection and then follows Windmill Road [Silom Road] to interchange with Samsen line at Saladaeng. After that, the line follows Rajdamri Road all the way to Chaloem Lok Bridge (Pratoo Nam Pier). This line was constructed in 1925 for the defunct Siam Exhibition of BE2468.
7) Pahumwan line
This line went from Chaloem Loke Bridge before turning right to Rama 1 Road to go across Krasat Suiek Bridge before heading up at Yotse to meet with the Hua Lamphong line. This line was constructed in 1925 for the defunct Siam Exhibition of BE 2468.
Notes for tram passengers:
1) The tram will stop at the red pedant with white stars and the stop sign with stop name along with previous stop and next stop. Dusit line would have special pedant on the single car tram. Red pedant with white star would terminate at Saphan Dam while the ones with red pedant without star would go all the way to Bang Lamphoo. There will also be a pedant for each tram to distinguish tram for Silom line from the Pathumwan line
2) There was a distinguishing sign to separate the Silom line from the Pathumwan line.
3) The tram service went from 6am to midnight.
4) Never look outside the car because you could hit other cars or power poles when the tram come close. Wait until the tram stops before boarding or going down from the cars or the trams can run you over.
5) Keep your ticket ready for intersection or you may have to pay twice. Better ask ticket conductors if you don't know how much to pay.

The Bangkok Lines
See also Sornsan Phaengsapha's recounting of the tramway lines of the 1920's and the 1930's

Line 1
City Pillar - Thanon Tok - 9 km

From City Pillar going along Lak Muang Road and the back of Ministry of Defense, crossing the Khoo Muang Derm canal (the old canal dug around 1771 at the eastern end of Thonburi) at Saphan Chang Rongsee (Elephant Bridge near the old Royal Rice Mill). After that, the line went along Bamrung Muang Road, passed the Ministry of Interior and turned right to Fuang  Nakhon Road to See Kak Phaya Sri (Phrya Sri Cross Intersection). After that, the line went along Charoen Krung Road (New Road) to Thanon Tok.

It was opened for service as a horse drawn tram on September 22, 1888 by a Danish company. However, the line ran at a loss so it was sold to a British company. However, the British company did no better than the old enterprise, so it was sold to Siam Electricity Company Co. Ltd. (an electric utility company founded by the Danes) around 1890. Siam Electricity Company decided to electrify the line and buy street cars from Belgian and Prussian companies. The electrified tramways were opened for service around 1894.  During the first months, it was free of charge to attract customers and reduce fear of electrocution.

After that period, the fees were:
    First Class (seats with pillows with covers in khaki and stuffed with hard coconut fiber) 24 Att = 16.74 US cents = 4.091 GB pence
    Second Class (wooden seats)   12 Att = 8.37 US cents = 8.182 GB pence

Exchange Rate (until the Decimalization in 1908 and before WWII)
    1 baht (Tical) = 64 Atts, US$ 1 = 2.24 baht, 1 Sovereign (1 Pound Sterling)  =11 baht
After the Decimalization and before WWII
    1 baht (Tical) = 100 Satang, US$ 1 = 2.24 baht, 1 Sovereign (1 Pound Sterling) = 11 baht
After WWII
    1 baht (Tical) = 100 Satang, US$ 1 = 20 baht, 1 Sovereign (1 Pound Sterling)  = 60 baht

Line 2
Samsen - Hua Lamphong

From Samsen Soi 23 (Tram Depot near Kiaw Khai Ka Pier and Rachinee Bon Girls School) going along Samsen Road (via Suan Dusit Palace and Thewet) and Chakkraphongse Road (via Bang Lamphoo). After that, turn left at Bademan Store (famous store at that time, now the corner near the Government Lottery Bureau) to Rachinee Road to Phra Phiphit intersection. After that, it turned left to Pahurat Road (Bangkok Little India) and turned left again to Jak Phet Road and then turned right to Yaowarat Road (Bangkok Chinatown). After that, it turned onto Traimit Road (Golden Buddha Temple) at Tian Fah Foundation Hospital (Chinese Hospital). The line ended up at Hua Lamphong next to Pak Nam Railway.  This line was constructed by Bangkok Tramways Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Siam Electricity Co. Ltd., the owner of City Pillar - Thanon Tok line.  This line intersected with the Lak Muang line at Samyaek (then Sam Yaek Ton Pradoo - Y intersection with angsana trees)

Line 3
Atsadang Line - 500 m

From Phra Phiphit Intersection to Pak Klong Talad flea market via Atsadang Road

Line 4
Rartchawongse Line - 800 m

From Sua Pa intersection to Ratchawongse pier via Ratchawongse Road. Ratchawongse pier was one of the most important piers in Bangkok since it was not far from Yaowarat. Both Atsadang and Ratchawongse lines belonged to Bangkok Tramways Co. Ltd.

Line 5
Bang Lamphoo - Hua Lamphong Line

The line began at Pratoo Khat (the half opened gate) near Simsam Hang Road and Wat Boworn Niwet Wiharn (the temple where King Mongkut became a Buddhist monk before becoming a king), Bang Lamphoo Area.  After that, the line went along Fuang Nakhon Road and then turned left to Bamrung Muang Road. The line passed through Chao Pho Suea shrine, the Giant Swing, Brahmin Shrine, Samran Rat (Pratoo Phee-Ghost Gate), Suan Mali or so. After that, the line turned left to Krung Kasem Road (a road parallels to Phadung Krung Kasem canal) at Yot Se area and passes through Wat Debsirin, Debsirin Boys School, Sai Panya Girls School. The line ended up at Hua Lamphong.

This line was founded by Prince Narathip Praphanphongse around 1905 as Siamese Tramways Co.Ltd. However, Bangkok Tramways Co.Ltd. became the majority shareholder and then merged the company into Bangkok Tramways Co. Ltd. around 1908. The streetcars of this line were painted red until it was merged to Bangkok Tramways Co. Ltd. After that, the street cars were painted yellow and red.

Bang Rambue-Hua Lamphong line was extended at the same period to Sathon (AKA Wireless Road) around 1926-30 after getting royal approval in 1925. It eventually reached Klong Toei. At the same time another extension from Yotse (the starting point of Rama I Road) to Bang Rak via Pratoo Nam, Ratchadamri, and Silom was started as well as one from Phisanulok Road (near Government House) to Bangsue Railway Station (via Rama V Road).

Line 6
Thewet - Wat Liab

The line started at Wat Thewerat Kunchorn, Seesao Thewet, and then went up to Wat Rachathiwat (another temple where King Mongkut was ordained as a Buddhist monk after moved from Wat Boworn Niwet Wiharn) and then turned left to Uthong Nok Road. After that, the line turned left to Ratchaseema Road at  Suan Kularb Palace (Rose Garden Palace) and then turned left to Phitsanulok Road at Wang Daeng (Red Palace which is now the Royal Crown Properties Bureau - a financial arm of the Royal Family). After that, the line turned right to Rama V Road at Government House. The line crossed Phadung Krung Kasem canal to Nakhon Sawan Road and then turned left to Jakkaraphatdiphongse Road and passed through the Golden Mountain, Metropolitan Water Authority at Maen Sri Intersection, Worajak Intersection, Wat Sam Pluem (Wat Chakkrawat Rachathiwat - a temple with a statue of Chaophraya Bodin Decha). The line ended up at Metropolitan Electricity Authority (the old Siamese Electricity Co. Ltd. - with Wat Liab Power Plant nearby. Wat Liab Power Plant was closed in 1965 after the Northern and Southern Bangkok Power Plant were opened for service).

Line 7
City Circle

This circle line started at Saphan Siaw (the foot of Pra Pinklao Bridge) and went along Phra Athit Road and Phra Sumen Road (the road along Sumen Fortress) via Tha Chang House and Wat Sangwet. After that it passes Phan Fah Bridge, Mahakarn Fort, Wat Rastchanatdaram, Wat Thepthidaram, Samranrat Gate (Ghost Gate), Bangkok Special Prison (AKA Khuk Mai - New Prison -> now Suan Rommaneenart -> Rommaneenat Park) via Mahachai Road. After that, the line went to Wat Liab Power Plant via Chak Phet Road. After that, the line went along Maharat Road to Tha Chang Wang Luang Pier (AKA Tha Phra) via Wat Po, Tha Tian, Tha Ratchaworradit (Royal Pier), Royal Navy Club, and the Grand Palace. After that, the line went along Nah Phra Lan Road via Silpakorn University  (originally the University of Fine Arts) and then turned left to go along Nah Phrathat Road via Wat Mahathart. After that, the line turned left to Tha Phrajan via Phrajan Road. After that, it went through Wang Nah (now Thammasart University) to Saphan Siaw. This is the last line to stay alive until it was closed in October 1, 1968.

Line 8
Pak Nam Railway 10 stations - 21 km

This line went along Rama IV Road from Hua Lamphong to Klong Toei (the end of Bangkok Province area at that time) via Saladaeng area.   After that, it went along Thangg Rotfai Sai Kao Road via Kruay Nam Thai (Sukhumvit 42), Bangjak Refinery, Naval Ordinance, Bang Na, Samrong Nuea, Samrong Tai. After Samrong Tai, it went along Sukhumvit Road to Samut Prakarn Provincial Hall via Bang Nang Kreng (now Royal Naval Academy).

The names of stations for Paknam Railway were as follows:
1) Hua Lamphong
2) Saladaeng
3) Klong Toei
4) Kluay Nam Thai
5) Bang Chak
6) Bang Na
7) Samrong
8) Sisa Jorakhe
9) Bang Nang Kreng
10) Pak  Nam
Opened for service as a Danish-Belgian railway company on April 11, 1893. Nationalized to Royal State Railways (the predecessor of State Railways of Thailand) after the concession ended in 1936 and turned into the electrified railway after that. The line went out of service on January 1, 1960 due to the traffic problems.

If you notice the routes of BMTA bus No.1 - No.7 (the ones without air con), you'll see that they closely (even though not exactly) follow the old Bangkok Tramway routes:

BMTA Bus:    No.1
From: Tha Tian (near Wat Pho)
To: Thanon Tok (end of new Road)
Corresponding to
Tram Line : Charoenkrung Line (City Pillar - Thanon Tok)

BMTA Bus:    No.2
From: Tha Chang (near Ratchaworadit Royal Pier)
To: Samrong (Samrong Tai)
Corresponding to
Tram Line : Pak Nam Line (Hua Lamphong - Samut Prakarn via Rama IV Rd. and Thang Rotfai Sai Kao Rd. -> the oldest railway in Thailand - opened for service in 1887, converted into an electric tram during the 1930's - stopped service on the New Years Day 1960)

BMTA Bus:    No.3
From: Km11. (SRT Community near Bangsue)
To: Klong San (the pier used to be the starting point of Mahachai Railway)
Corresponding to
Tram Line : Saphan Phut line - the line that went to King Rama I Memorial Bridge (the First Bridge across Chao Phraya)

Modern
There was a proposal to run a tram service (shuttle buses decorated like vintage trams) within Rattanakosin Island in 1996. A tramlike tour bus was eventually implemented that passes major tourist attractions.

Two lines

A. Grand Palace line 3.6 km - 8 stops
1. Giant Swing (BMA City Hall)
2. Mahardthai (Ministry of Interior on Bumrung Muang Road) and going along Rachinee Road
3. Wang Saranrom (Saranrom Public Park near Saphan Mon)
4. Wat Poh - terminal of Bus No. 1, 32, and 44.
5. Thai Tian - a pier to Wat Arun
6. Tha Chang - a pier to go to Nonthaburi, Paknam, Bangkoknoy Canal, etc.
7. Grand Palace - near Wisetchaisri gate and Silpakorn Bookstore
8. City Pillar and then across the city moat to Atsadang Road and turn left to Bumrung Muang Road to the Ministry of Interior and end up at City Hall -> Interchange at every station except Grand Palace

B. Thammasart line - 9 stops - 4.1 km
1. Giant Swing (BMA City Hall) - Maintenance center and terminal
2. Mahardthai (Ministry of Interior on Bumrung Muang Road) and going along Rachinee Road
3. Wang Saranrom (Saranrom Public Park near Saphan Mon)
4. Wat Poh - terminal of Bus No. 1, 32, and 44.
5. Thai Tian - a pier to go to Wat Arun
6. Tha Chang - a pier to go to Nonthaburi, Paknam, Bangkoknoy Canal, etc.
7. Thammasart - near Tha Phrachan Pier
8. Sanamluang - near Wat Mahathat and the corner of Thammsart University.
9. City Pillar and then across the city moat to Atsadang Road and turn left to Bumrung Muang Road to the Ministry of Interior and end up at City Hall -> Interchange at every station except Thammasart University and Sanam Luang

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