The Thonburi line is the original terminus for the main south line until the 1920’s when the Rama 6 rail bridge was built across the Chao Phraya River. Thus creating a link between Hualamphong and the south of Thailand. This link connected up the 2 isolated halves of the SRT rail system and somewhat made Thonburi station and its 6 km long commuter line redundant.
Even though the Thonburi line is past its prime it doesn’t mean that no trains operate from there. In fact Thonburi station is quite useful for short trips on the main south line as there are 6 trains a day departing from Thonburi station and these trains make up the commuter service. If you’re heading to the Kanchanaburi area using Thonburi station is a must as all trains to Kanchanaburi depart from Thonburi station.
The commuter service on this line is rather basic and is not heavily used. This is partly due to low frequency of services and the fact all trains are 3rd class non aircon. One of the biggest problems for increasing the usage of the Thonburi commuter line is the lack of onward mass transport from its rather temporary looking station in Bangkok Noi district.
The Thonburi line used to be easier to use and connect with when its original 1930’s station was next to the Chao Phaya River thus allowing onward traffic free boat services to the BTS and other points on the river. Today the station is situated 800 meters further from the river to allow for an expansion of the Royal Siriraj hospital. This move has left the line unconnected to other mass transport in Bangkok. In fact Thonburi SRT station is the worst connected mass transport railway station in Thailand. The bus stops for the station are around 800 to 1000 meters walk away.
As on most other SRT commuter lines the short distance commuter service is made up of long distance trains and not dedicated commuter trains. This leads to very poor on time running on inbound trips. On the day I visited Thonburi station the 09.59 train from Nakhon Pathom was 100 minutes late.
With around 12 trains a day heading direct to Bang Sue instead of Thonburi now. The future for Thonburi station and its 6km section of track looks bleak as all resent plans for upgrades to the main south line and the Thonburi commuter service involve running direct to Bang Sue.
The timetable for the Thonburi commuter line:
From Thonburi to Nakhon Pathom:
07.25 (Lang Suan), 07.45 (Nam Tok), 13.05 (Prachup Khiri Khan) 13.55 (Nam Tok), 17.40 (Rachaburi) and 19.15 (Lang Suan).
Most of these train stop all stations to Nakhon Pathom then travel onwards. The only exception is the 19.15 Lang Suan train this is a limited stop train to between Thonburi and Nakhon Pathom.
From Nakhon Pathom to Thonburi:
04.50 (Limited stop), 06.03, 08.51, 09.59, 14.40 and 16.24
The trip takes 70 minutes to complete from Nakhon Pathom to Thonburi.
1. This is a shot of the platform at Thonburi SRT station. Note the rather temporary look of this station. All trains depart and arrive on this platform.
2. This is an image of the ticket office at Thonburi station. Note the arrival train timetable in the foreground.
3. This is a shot of the train timetable on the platform at Thonburi station. There are 6 trains a day each way.
4. This is a shot of one of these oddly placed video cameras all over the SRT system. This one on the platform at Thonburi station just looks at the platform sign.
5. This is a movie of an UP train arriving very late into the platform at Thonburi station. This is a loco hauled train using SRT loco number 4519. Note the steam whistle sound of its horn.
6. This is a movie of the 13.05 train departing Thonburi station. Filmed from the on train perspective. Note the station and rail yard on departure. Also the SRT shunter 79 can be seen moving carriages in the yard as the train passes.
7. This is a shot of Charan Sanitwong Station. Taken from the rear of the train. This station is an easier place to board Thonburi line trains as there are a lot of bus connections here but there is no ticket office and tickets must be purchases on board.
8. This is a short movie of crossing the steel rail bridge above the weekend Taling Chan Floating Market. If traveling from within Thonburi this train can be used to access the market.
9. This is an image of Bang Ramat station. Note the nice flowers next to the station despite the station being not much.
10. This is a shot of the highway bridges that cross the Thonburi commuter line. Taken near Bang Ramat station. This section of track also has a railway village.
11. This is a picture of the complex point work just before Taling Chan station. The double track line to the left heads to Bang Sue and the twisty single line on the right heads to Thonburi station.
12. This is a shot of the platform sign at Taling Chan station. This sign indicates the 2 lines that split here. Directly in front of the sign is a concrete sculpture of birds in a tree.
13. This is a general view of Taling Chan station. Note this station has 3 platforms and a small set of sidings. Again the platform has small trees on it.
14. This is a shot of the rail replacement workshop in the yard of Taling Chan station. Seeing this line was only upgraded in the last 10 years. It seems rather soon to replace the rails when other lines are in a much poorer condition that this one.
15. This is a shot showing down end of the Taling Chan rail yard. Note the quality of track on this line. This line is some of the smoothest track on the whole SRT rail system.
16. This is an image of Ban Chim Phli Station. This is a smaller commuter station on this line. From this station westwards most of the urban devolvement is 2 to 5 km south of the railway thus giving it a rural feel even though it’s suburban.
17. This is a picture of Phutthamonthon Sai 2 station. This is the smallest and lowest use station on the line. It is really only a peak hour stop. This station doesn’t even have a down platform but trains still stop there.
18. This is a shot of one of SRT’s fastest section of track Max speed for loco hauled trains is 90 kph and 105kph for DMUs. This section is just west of Phutthamonthon Sai 2 station and looks rather rural.
19. This is a general view of Sala Thammasop station. The main platform at this station has a nice flower garden.
20. This is a rather poor quality image of the recently introduced Route 388 Salaya to Pak Kret bus service. Bus number 388-1. This route has both aircond and non aircon buses on it.
21. This is a shot of Salaya Station. This station is one of the few points where urban development is close to the railway. This station also serves the major medical university of Thailand (Mahidol University). This station considered the end of Bangkok’s suburban area.
22. This is an image of Wat Suwan Station. Note that this station they retained the old station building when upgrading the line.
23. This is a general view of Klong Mahasawat station. This is another station where the old station building was retained.
24. This is an image of the rail replacement welding workshop near Wat Ngiu Rai station. It appears lengths of rail are brought to here by train and its welded together for use later.
25. This is a shot of Wat Ngiu Rai station. This station is just before where the railway crosses the Thachin River. The bridge is the second longest on the Thonburi commuter line.
26. This is a movie of crossing the long steel rail bridge near Nakhon Chaisi station. The darker bridge is the original single track bridge from when the line opened and the new silver bridge was added when the line was upgraded to double track.
27. This is a shot of the steel rail bridge just after the train takes the curve before the station at Nakhon Chaisi.
28. This is a general view of Nakhon Chaisi station. This station appears to have once been a more major station due to its larger building that is original from the lines opening.
29. This is a shot of Tha Chalaep station. This station appears to have been completely rebuilt when the line was upgraded. This station has a nice platform garden.
30. This is a shot of Ton Samrong station. This is the 1st commuter station for Nakhon Pathom city. This station appears to have been relocated a few hundred meters closer to Nakhon Pathom when it was upgraded.
31. This is a shot of Nakhon Pathom station’s platform sign. Taken looking back towards Thonburi. This station is the end of the commuter line. But it is a very major station for long distance trains.
32. This is a picture of the main platform at Nakhon Pathom. Note how busy it is with people waiting for inbound trains and other long distance trains to the south of Thailand.
33. This is an image of the elevated signal box in the sidings at Nakhon Pathom station. This station is the end of the double track main south line. From here onwards for the next 1100 km it’s all congested single track.
34. This is a shot of the ticket office at Nakhon Pathom station. This station doesn’t have any fixed platform timetables like most SRT stations. Note: this is the only SRT station where the staff are not very helpful and are rather rude to passengers.
35. This is a shot of the commuter train that used to travel to Nakhon Pathom on. It will continue to Prachuap Khiri Khan. Note the old GE loco SRT unit number 4034.
36. This is a movie showing the departure of the Prachuap Khiri Khan train and the general view around the station area. Towards the end of the video has got to be the strangest trains I have ever seen. It’s just a loco and a very long section of rail held up on small wheels.
37. This is a shot of the rather unusual train with its loco and long section of suspended rail. The rail is held up on sets of wheels. This is used to transport long lengths of rail around the SRT system. The railway workers sit on top of it as it travels along.
38. This is a shot of the street entrance to Nakhon Pathom station. This station I feel is one of the more ugly modern SRT station designs.
39. This is an image of the motorbike taxi stand just outside the station entrance. Passengers use them to travel short distances around the inner city of Nakhon Pathom.
40. This is a shot of the typical train tickets used on the Thonburi commuter line. The tickets are similar to most other SRT commuter lines.
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.