The Ayutthaya line forms the backbone of the entire SRT main commuter system. There are 31 outbound trains a day from Hualamphong and Ayutthaya operating from 04.20am to 11.40pm. Also there are 30 inbound trains a day from Ayutthaya to Hualamphong operating from 01.14am to 07.14pm. This line was the 1st line that SRT built back in 1910. It is about 80 kilometers long and takes between 80 mins to 120 mins depending on the train.
Although the line runs to Ayutthaya the densely built up suburbs of Bangkok end a few kilometers north of Rangsit station. There is only 1 train a day that starts at Rangsit and this is a though route to Hua Takhe in the east of Bangkok. The main reason for why most trains run from Ayutthaya is that a large number of trains on this line are formed from long distance trains rather than a separate fleet of DMUs for commuter. Only during peak hour are there trains that operate as commuter only.
However by using long distance trains to form the commuter service do creates a few problems. Such as inbound trains often running very late some times by over 2 hours! Also this though route creates very extreme overcrowding on long distance trains.
In the future this line will be upgraded as part of the red line commuter project that runs from Mahachai to Rangsit via Hualamphong. This will allow a better commuter service and faster traveling times for both commuter and long distance passengers.
The train I took was the 11.40am Surin train this is an ordinary 3rd class all stations train. From Hualamphong to Rangsit it is a limited stop commuter train. I.e. skips the peak hour only stations.
1. This is a short movie of the departure of the 11.40am train to Rangsit. The train departed Hualamphong from platform 8. Note the length of the platform and the train guard. Also shown is the large rail yard north of Hualamphong station.
2. This is an image of the 3 track main line just north of the Hualamphong rail yard. Note how close the buildings are to the tracks and the size of the buildings thus making further increases in tracks very difficult.
3. This is a shot of the 3 track rail bridge over Klong Saen Saep. From this point is where the point work starts for Yommaraj junction for the eastern line. This area suffers from long delays.
4. This is a shot from the rear of the train showing the approach to Yommaraj junction. The diverge is in the middle of the busy 6 way road junction. Traffic jams often delay trains here as the level crossing is jammed solid. Also along the track is a railway village. These railway villages are built around the railway tracks and are very dense.
5. This is an image showing the inside of the Rangsit commuter train. This train is not very busy but it will get busier later as it continues on to Surin in the north east well beyond commuter distance.
6. This is a picture of a typical set of points on the main north line. Taken from the rear of the Rangsit train.
7. This is a movie of the Rangsit train passing though Yommaraj junction and Yommaraj station on the main north line. Note the railway village and the busy level crossing.
8. This is a shot of a typical 4 boom manual level crossing on the Rangsit line. Also shown is the northern side of the Chitralada triangle/junction. This line only has 1 passenger train a day using it. But a lot of cargo trains to the north.
9. This is shot of the disused Chitralada station. This rather nice platform is no longer used for passenger trains but was built for the Thai king to use the train. Opposite this nice platform is a small concrete platform with no shelter that is used by 1 train a day. SRT still maintains the station for the king.
10. This is a picture of the point work at the down end of Chitralada station. These points allow trains access to the eastern line without having to shunt at Hualamphong.
11. This is a shot of the double track steel rail bridge just south of Samsen station. The main north line is double track until Rangsit. There is a small rise in the line to allow extra clearance for the klong it crosses.
12. This is an image of an up train waiting to depart Samsen station. Road traffic often delays trains by blocking the level crossing.
13. This is an image of Samsen station. This is one of the most suburban looking stations in Bangkok in that it’s mostly residential around the station.
14. This is a shot showing typical track quality on the main north line. Also another inbound train passed the Rangsit train. Taken north of Samsen station.
15. This is a picture of Pradipat station and level crossing. Only 1 train a day stops here at the small concrete platform on the up side of the level crossing.
16. This is a shot of the up end of Bang Sue station. Note the nice gardens at this station.
17. This is a short movie showing the final approach to Bang Sue Junction. Note the rail bridge and station. This is the largest and busiest rail junction in Thailand.
18. This is a shot of the platform sign at the up end of Bang Sue station.
19. This is an image of the new and rather oddly placed video cameras all over the Main North line. They only have appeared in the last 6 months and the reason for installing them is unknown, as they don’t always seem to cover the entrances and exits to the station.
20. This is a shot looking towards the southern line Bang Sue station. The very old wooden carriage on the left is a small public library.
21. This is a general view of the Northern Bang Sue station. Note the shop on the platform don’t use it as they rip you off by charging double for food and drinks that are of lower quality.
22. This is a view of Southern Bang Sue station it is located on the north side of the Northern Bang Sue station and is used for trains heading to the south via the Nakhon Pathom line. Annoyingly at Bang Sue they make you buy tickets for the southern line the south station. Even though the computers are linked.
23. This is a view of the platform sign at Southern Bang Sue. This split was done as a way of increasing capacity of Bang Sue Junction.
24. This is a shot of the Bang Sue Diesel Locomotive workshops. This is where major repairs are undertaken on Locos and also is another location for refueling.
25. This is a shot of the diamond crossing just north of where southern line splits off from the main north. The single line that crosses the Main North line is well used by cargo trains heading for the Bang Sue freight yard.
26. This is a shot of the main north lines access to the Bang Sue freight yard. Also shown are the columns of the Bangkok Stonehenge. These columns are made of concrete and are the remains of a nationalized railway and expressway project.
27. This is an image of the platform at Nikhom Rotfai Khomo Sip-et Station. This rather rundown station services the huge railway workers village a few hundred meters to the left of the picture. Also Mochit 2 Bus terminal is accessible by bus from here routes 49 and 170.
28. This is a short movie showing the departure form Nikhom Rotfai Khomo Sip-et Station. Note the columns of Bangkok’s Stonehenge. Also note the railway village on the right. This is not the railway workers village.
29. This is a shot showing more of Bangkok’s Stonehenge. The columns where built by a company called Hopewell from Hong Kong in the mid 1990’s who failed to complete the project due to money problems. The Thai government nationalized the project and kicked them out of Thailand and to this day the columns are all that remain of the metro project.
30. This is a short movie showing what its like to pass under the Hopewell columns just north of Nikhom Rotfai Khomo Sip-et Station. Note the tunnel effect of the columns. These columns have been like this for over 10 years and are likely to fall down rather than be removed.
31. This is another shot of the Hopewell columns taken from the down end of Bang Khen station.
32. This is an image of Bang Khen Station. The station is built around the Hopewell columns. This is one of the busier commuter stations on the Main North line.
33. This is an image of Lak Si station. Like Bang Khen station before it this station is built around the columns. This is the station you get off at for Chaeng Watthana road. Cross the smaller road to the left of the station and Walk about 300 meters to take buses 150, 52 and 356 on Chaeng Watthana road.
34. This is a shot of the level crossing at the down end of Lak Si station. Like most urban Thai level crossings it has 4 barriers and is manually closed.
35. This is a shot of the peak hour only Khan Keha Khomo Sip-Kao Station north of Lak Si. This is very common style of peak hour only stations in Bangkok.
36. This is a shot of more Hopewell Columns just Up of Don Muang Station. These are of a different style and are off to the side rather than over the railway line.
37. This is a shot of Don Muang Station. This station was once much nicer but since the airport moved in 2005 a lot of the shops have been abandoned.
38. This is a shot of a typical next station sign on the outbound platform at Don Muang Station.
39. This is a general View of Don Muang Station. This station is unusual in that it has ramps to cross the track rather than a footbridge or level crossing. It was designed this way to allow easy access to the platform for passengers with large bags. The structure on the left is the Don Muang elevated toll way.
40. This is a short movie showing the end of the Hopewell columns and where the track curves away from the highway. Also shown is the railway signal system used on the main system.
41. This is a shot showing the up end of Rangsit station. Under the road bridge is the Bus stop for Rangsit station.
42. This is an image of the train guard flagging off the train at Rangsit station Taken from Platform 3. Note how narrow Platform 3 is.
43. This is a shot showing the general view at Rangsit station. Taken from Platform 2 looking north.
44. This is a picture of a sign on platform 2 showing the direction of travel for the line. Some of the signs at Rangsit station have lights inside them.
45. This is a shot of the market and station carpark just outside Rangsit station. It’s a 500 meter walk to the bus stop under the bridge.
46. This is a shot of the inbound train timetable at Rangsit station. Inbound is to Bangkok.
47. This is a shot of the outbound train timetable at Rangsit station. Outbound is away from Bangkok.
48. This is a shot of the signal box at Rangsit station. Note the nice garden outside it.
49. This is an image of the train controller’s computer for controlling the points and signals at Rangsit station. It runs on windows XP pro. I wonder how often it crashes?
50. This is an image of the radio and other equipment inside the signal box at Rangsit.
51. This is as shot of the 01.03pm Hualamphong Train approaching Rangsit station. SRT Loco Number 4151. This train was very full and also 25 minutes late!
52. This is a shot of the commuter train tickets used on the Ayutthaya Commuter line. Note they sold me a 1.15pm ticket for the return but that train was also hopelessly late too. There are point-to-point distance based 3rd class only monthlies available for daily commuters.
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.