On Tuesday afternoon I took a ride to Mahachai city via the Mahachai line to visit the rail yard located behind the station. I took a number of pictures and interesting Cab ride style movies. This is by far one of my favorite railway lines in the world. Mostly due to the way it operated and how it is isolated from the rest of the system.
This railway is 100% isolated from the rest of the rail system. This railway is part of the Maeklong commuter system that operates from Wong Wian Yai to Mahachai and Ban Laem to Maeklong. Takes about 2 hours to complete both lines.
A little background about these lines. The Mahachai line was built by the Thachin railway company about 107 years ago. Then at a later stage taken over by the local government and SRT rail. These lines have a 14 metre wide land reserve that is a lot narrower than the main system. Although buildings have been built right up to the edge the line. It appears today these lines are owned by the city of Mahachai and the city of Maeklong with SRT providing a contract service.
When the line was built it did operate to Klong San station but this was closed in 1963. It’s possibly due to the fact that track from Klong San station to Wong Wian Yai was shared with road traffic on Charoen Rat road. A rail bus (Route 57) provides the link now. If this occurred today the line would not be able to keep its timetable and train versus car accidents would occur often.
Up until 1963 Klong San to Wat Sing was electrified and tram like trains did run. A possible reason for de electrification is due to the removal of the on street running around Klong San. This would have cut off the overhead system from the power substation located at Klong San station. There appears to have been only one substation for the whole line.
Mahachai line train timetable:
Wong Wian Yai to Mahachai
05.30, 06.25, 07.00, 07.40, 08.35, 09.40, 10.40, 12.15, 13.20, 14.25, 15.25, 16.30, 17.05, 17.35, 18.35, 19.10 and 20.10. It takes about 1 hour to reach Mahachai.
Mahachai to Wong Wian Yai
04.30, 05.20, 05.55, 06.25, 07.00, 08.00, 09.35, 10.40, 11.45, 13.15, 14.25, 15.25, 16.00, 16.30, 17.35, 18.10 and 19.00. It takes about 1 hour to reach Wong Wian Yai.
1. This is an image of the station sign at Bang Bon station where I started this journey to Mahachai.
2. This is a short Movie showing what its like to ride on the Mahachai line. Note the track condition and the approach to Kan Kheha station. Taken from the front drivers cab.
3. This is Rang Sakae station. The sign is all that remains of the station. However 2 trains a day stop at this station. Note there is no platform or waiting shelter at this station.
4. This is a picture showing the track quality and the tunnel effect from the trackside trees and bushes. Taken near Rang Pho station.
5. This is an image of the train driver and the speedo showing the speed of the train in the above section. It was about 65kph or about as fast as the trains go on this line.
6. This is a shot of a relatively new rail bridge on the line. Some of the line has had resleepering done on the section down of Kan Kheha. Although the ride is still very rough despite this work.
7. This is a shot of the manually operated points at the up end of Rang Pho loop. Note the flagman he is the one who manually changes the points.
8. This is a picture of Rang Pho Station the halfway point of the line and the 3rd crossing loop on the line.
9. This is a short movie of a departure from Rang Pho station and passing though the points at the end of Rang Pho loop.
10. This is an image of Sam Yaek Station. This is a suburban station but it feels like countryside. Access to the station is via the bridge and along the track.
11. This is a shot of a section of better quality track and a small humpback bridge.
12. This is a shot of Phrom Daen station. The complex next to the station is Tharn Institute of Technology. It’s basically a technical school. This station is the 1st station in the “City of Mahachai”.
13. This is an image of the points at the up end of Bang Nam Jued loop. This loop is normally used during peak hours. It is the 4th loop on the line.
14. This is a shot of Bang Nam Jued station. All stations that have a crossing loop have a similar layout to this.
15. This is a shot of the points and rail bridge at the down end of Bang Nam Jued loop. This is a very typical steel rail bridge. The bridge also provides pedestrian access to the station.
16. This is a short movie of the train going over the points at Bang Nam Jued and the rail bridge. Note how the level crossing gate is broken off and laying in the klong.
17. This is a shot of the road bridges of Rama 2 road. This is not far from Mahachai Mai (new Mahachai city) Under this bridge is a very dangerous unprotected dirt level crossing that only about 3 metres wide. Trains always blast the horn and slow down here.
18. This is a shot of the flagman and the up end points at Khok Khawi loop. This is the 5th and last crossing loop on the line.
19. This is an image of Khok Khawi station. Note the rusty station sign. The loop here is only used at peak times.
20. This is a shot of the points and level crossing at the down end of Khok Khawi loop. Note the short guy manually operates these level crossing gates.
21. This is a picture of another small humpback steel rail bridge. Note the lovely wavy rail on the down side of the bridge.
22. This is a shot of some lovely track quality even on the concrete sleepers.
23. This is an image of a section of track that often has a lot of annoying monkeys sitting on it they slowly move off the track as the train passes.
24. This is a shot of Ban Khom station. This is one of the suburban stations of Mahachai city. This station is odd in that an up and down platform was provided even though only one is used.
25. This is another image of an unprotected level crossing. Thai unprotected crossings don’t even have signs to let you know there is a crossing there. Note the low overhead cables.
26. This is a picture of Klong Chak station the last station before Mahachai. This is a peak hour only station. Note the great lack of station facilities. The shelter is where you wait for the train.
27. This is a movie of the final approach to Mahachai station and the end of the line. Note the old rail cars and flatcar cargo carriages on the approach to Mahachai station. Also Mahachai station like most major stations on this line have a railway market next to the station.
28. This is a shot of the train I used to travel to Mahachai on and the middle door at the front is where I filmed. Train Number 1203 taken just after it had arrived in platform road.
29. This is an image of the train timetable at Mahachai station. There are 17 trains in each direction on this line. Making this the 2nd most frequent SRT commuter line.
30. This is a shot of the waiting room at ticket office at Mahachai station the most substantial station on the Mahachai – Wong Wian Yai line.
31. This is a shot of the nice wooden sign above the entrance to Mahachai station. This is a very common shot taken by rail fans that visit the station.
32. This is a shot of the market outside the station at Mahachai. You must walk though this market to continue on to the famous Maeklong line on the other side of the river at Ban Leam (Mahachai West). See this link for details of the Maeklong line
Please follow this link to access the pictures and details on the Mahachai rail yard.http://thaitransit.blogspot.com/2008/03/srt-mahachai-rail-yard.html
I hope you find the pictures and vehicles shown to be of interest if you view this please post some comments and feelings about the pictures.