After spending 3 hours at Kaeng Khoi Junction and a 30 minute ride on the 05:00 DMU service to Khon Kaen I arrived at Hin Lap station. When I arrived at Hin Lap it was still quite dark with only dull pre dawn light beginning to show to the east of the station. Photography conditions greatly improved over the next 60 minutes as the sun rose.
A little background on Hin Lap Station and curve.
Hin Lap station is located about half way up the Dong Phraya Yen Pass. On the busy Ubon Ratchathani Main line that links up some of the most densely populated parts of the Issan region home to close to 30 million people.
Hin Lap station doesn’t have any connecting transport services, the road outside the station is just made of dirt and mud. Hin Lap has no shops or food, there is no town water the people at Hin Lap rely on rainwater stored in large drums and ceramic jars for their water supply. This is a location that you must bring everything you need with you from food and water to soap. There is a very small and sparsely populated village close to the station. In the mountains north of the station is a temple with almost inaccessible caves where some monks stay.
The stopping train frequency at Hin Lap station is very low. The train is the only way in and out by mass transport no alternative bus or truck services exist.
From Bangkok departs at: 05:28 (ex Kaeng Khoi), 14.33, 18.51
To Bangkok departs at: 11:08, 17:23, 19:48 (terminates at Kaeng Khoi)
The 1st half of the Dong Phraya Yen Pass is more spectacular and mountainous than the second half due in part to retaining most of its thick forest cover. However it is not a pristine clean environment due to the massive TPI cement mine and cement products factory located just 3km down the line from Hin Lap station. This cement factory often sends thick clouds of orange dust billowing across the Hin Lap area. At times during the day blasts from mining operations can be heard.
Hin Lap station is located on a double curve which was cut into the side of the mountains back in 1898 when this section of the Ubon line was built. In 1965 the TPI cement company opened its mine and factory which also included a 3 km long system of private rail sidings that start right in front of Hin Lap station. The rail access to the TPI sidings is via the loop at Hin Lap station.
TPI cement have their own Chinese built locos which regularly run up and down the 3km long line preparing cement wagons to be shipped out by SRT rail at a later time.
The view from the sidings and kaeng Khoi end of Hin Lap station offers some spectacular views of the mountains and the double curve of the main line. This is where I spent the next 8 and half hours photographing SRT and TPI trains.
Hin Lap Station (144.29 km) at 5.30 am.
1. This is a shot looking east along the platform at Hin Lap. Taken about 5.30am in the pre dawn light.
2. This is a shot of the signal control board inside the station building at Hin Lap station. Note the black lines at the top these represent the TPI private sidings. The red phones are to contact the next signal control box either up or down the line.
3. This is an image of the basic office space inside the Hin Lap Station building. There is no air conditioning in any part of Hin Lap station or village. The staff here are very helpful with letting you know the next train movements.
4. This is a picture of TPI Loco CK5505 shunting some cement wagons up to the top of the TPI sidings opposite Hin Lap station. Taken in the pre dawn light from the platform at Hin Lap.
5. This is a general view looking towards Kaeng Khoi Junction. Note the mountains and the curves of the main line and sidings. Taken just on dawn.
6. This is a dawn shot of a TPI loco shunting up some more cement wagons to the top of the TPI sidings at Hin Lap. Taken from the platform at Hin Lap.
7. This is a shot of the platform timetable at Hin Lap station. There are only 3 return trips a day, of which only 2 return trips operate to Bangkok.
8. This is a general view of the station building at Hin Lap. This building would be over 100 years old and appears to be original from when the railway was built.
9. This is an image of SRT loco 4527 Taken as it has just rounded the Hin Lap curve at the Kaeng Khoi end of the station. SRT loco type newer GE.
10. This is another angle of SRT loco 4527 taken as it enters the back loop on its way to collect cement wagons.
11. This is another angle on SRT loco 4527 taken as it passes Hin Lap station and is about to entre the TPI rail sidings. Note the main line speed here goes up from 20 kph to 45 kph at Hin Lap Station.
12. This is a shot of TPI loco CK5004 shunting in some cement wagons. Taken from the back of the TPI sidings. This loco appears to be a Chinese import like most of the TPI cement wagons.
13. This is a shot of SRT loco 4527 with the TPI yard staff member hanging out the door ready to jump down to couple the cement wagons.
14. This is a short movie showing the SRT loco 4527 on its way to collect the cement wagons. Also can be seen is TPI loco CK5004. Note how the TPI staff member is hanging out the door.
15. This is a picture of TPI loco CK 5004 on its way back down to the main cement plant 3 km away. Taken looking towards the Hin Lap curve.
16. This is an image of SRT loco 4527 on its way out of the TPI yard with a Bangkok bound cement train.
17. This is a shot of the same cement train as it prepares to shunt on to the main line to re enter the SRT system. Note the TPI staff member hanging off the back of the train.
18. This is a shot of the cement train now ready for its trip down to pass to Bangkok. Taken as it was waiting in the back loop at Hin Lap.
19. This is a short movie of SRT 4527 as it hauls the cement train down the steep grades of the pass and as it passes though the Hin Lap curve.
20. This is a shot of a Bang Sue bound cargo train. Taken as it rounds the Muak Lek end curve at Hin Lap station.
21. This is another angle on the Bang Sue bound cargo train. Taken as it runs though the platform road at Hin Lap. SRT loco number 4023. Loco type older GE.
22. This is an image of the Bang Sue bound cargo train taken as it enters the Hin Lap curve.
23. This is a shot of the Bang Sue bound cargo train taken as it rounds the Hin Lap curve on its way down the pass.
24. This is a shot of the Daewoo DMU as it powers though the Hin Lap curve on a Special Express train to Ubon Ratchathani. This service uses a 3 car DMU.
25. This is close up shot of the Daewoo DMU as it rounds the second curve at Hin Lap station.
26. This is an image of the Daewoo DMU as it rounds the Muak Lek end curve to power up the ever steeping grades.
27. This is a shot of the working timetable board inside the station building at Hin Lap. This board lists every possible train that will pass though Hin Lap each day. However most of the trains were late and a lot of cargo trains did not run.
28. This is a shot of the rapid train to Ubon Ratchathani as it rounds the Hin Lap curve. This train is all non aircon seating.
29. This is another angle on the Rapid train to Ubon Ratchathani. Hauled by SRT loco number 4518 another GE loco. Note the length of this train it was at least 12 carriages long.
30. This is another shot of loco number 4518 as it powers though the platform road on its way to Ubon Ratchathani. Note the cement sidings to the right.
31. The largest crowd that Hin Lap station gets, waiting for the 11.08 Bangkok train. The platform waiting area really comes to life for this train as the people waiting turn the platform into a small vegetable market.
32. This is a shot of the 11.08 Bangkok intercity commuter train as it loads passengers at Hin Lap station. SRT loco number 4153. Loco type Alstrom. Note this train service is free and very busy i.e. crammed to bursting.
33. This is an image of SRT loco number 4153 imitating a steam engine as pulls away from Hin Lap station belching out a massive cloud of black smoke.
34. This is another angle on SRT loco number 4153 and the 11.08am Bangkok train as it rounds the Hin Lap curve still belching out a massive cloud of black smoke.
35. This is a shot of an SRT track workers rail trolley the workers where having a rest at Hin Lap station with lunch they had brought with them from down the line. I suspect they are kept very busy all day long repairing the poor condition main line. The rail trolley is powered by a small petrol engine.
36. This is a picture of TPI loco number CK5005 as it was running around some cement wagons in the TPI sidings. Taken from the TPI sidings looking east.
37. This is a close up shot of the TPI loco number CK 5005 as it rounds a curve in the rail yard on its way back down the mountain. Note the TPI staff member hanging off the front of the loco.
38. This is a shot of the Express Rail Car service to Bangkok as it ripped though the platform road at Hin Lap station on its way down the pass. SRT DMU number 2104. DMU type Hitachi from early 1980s.
39. This is another shot of DMU number 2104 as it rounds the Hin Lap curve on its way down the mountain pass. As it was close to midday the sun is very strong now.
40. This is an image of the Express Rail Car service to Si Sa Ket taken as it rounded the Hin Lap curve on approach to Hin Lap station. Taken from the Kaeng Khoi end of the platform.
41. This is another angle on the Express rail car to Si Sa Ket as it passes though the Hin Lap curve. SRT DMU type Hitachi.
42. This is an image of the Si Sa Ket DMU as it rips though the platform road at Hin Lap station. The temp by this time was around 36 C and very hot in the sun.
43. This is an image of the ordinary intercity train to Lam Chi taken as it rounds the Hin Lap curve. Note the massive clouds of orange cement dust following it up the pass from the TPI cement factory.
44. This is a shot of the Lam Chi ordinary intercity train as it just passed though Hin Lap curves on its approach to Hin Lap station. Note the orange clouds of dust can still be seen. This train is very full and has been traveling for close to 4 hours with a large standing load.
45. This is a shot of the Lam Chi ordinary intercity train as its approaches Hin Lap station being hauled by SRT loco 4147. Loco type Alstrom. This loco was seen at Kaeng Khoi on the 5.05am commuter train to Bangkok. This train is a free service and it’s the next train that I took to the last part of my journey.
46. This is an image of the “free tickets” for the overcrowded Lam Chi train that I took to Muak Lek. Note the zero for the price.
47. This is a short movie taken from the rear of the Lam Chi intercity train as it made its way up the Dong Phraya Yen Pass to Muak Lek. Note the tight curves and steep grades and mountain views. Also note the short rail lengths and crappy wooden sleepers at every track joint.
48. This is a shot inside the overcrowded intercity train to Lam Chi. Most of these people will have to stand for at least another 3 or 4 hours as more people get on than off before Korat. The overcrowding is made even worse by the free tickets.
Muak Lek Station (152.30 km) at 3.15 pm.
49. This is a general view shot of Muak Lek station looking east. Note the train to Lam Chi pulling away in the distance. This station has only one small platform that can only hold 4 carriages but trains up to 14 carriages long stop at this station.
50. This is a shot of the signal control board inside the station building at Muak Lek. This style control system is very common on main line routes in Thailand.
51. This is a general view image of the eastern end of Muak Lek station. Note the small siding next to the loop track this appears to be out of use.
52. This is a shot of the rather crappy Issan food market next to Muak Lek station. This area appears to be a support town for the surrounding mountainous region. Not far from the station are some nice water falls and national parks.
53. This is a shot of the Bangkok bound rapid train running about 80 mins late as it passes though a tunnel of trees on approach to Muak Lek station. Sometimes SRTs delays can work in your favor I was not meant to catch this train but another one 70 mins later however it was late enough that I could change my ticket and get home 2 hours earlier.
54. This is another angle of the Bangkok bound rapid train hauled by SRT loco 4555. Loco type newer GE. This train has 14 carriages but the platform can hold only 4. I was booked in carriage 10 so had to walk down most of the over crowded train to get to my seat.
55. This is an image of the original ticket for the later train to Bangkok. This trip costs 122 baht for 2nd class non aircon seat. This 14 carriage train only has 20 of these 2nd class seats the rest are 3rd class non aircon seats and very full.
So comes to an end 22 hours of rail fan action at the gateway to Issan and the Dong Phraya Yen Pass. I slept for 14 hours straight after I got home from this trip.
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.
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- After living and working in Thailand for over 5 years in October 2010 I relocated from Mahachai Thailand to Melbourne Australia. I have a wide interest in railways, ferries, metros, trams, buses and mass transit system planning throughout Thailand and the Asian region.
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Monday, November 03, 2008
Thai Mass Transport Topics List
- Welcome to the Thai Mass Transport Systems Blog
- The Buses of Rama 2 road
- The Buses of Wong Wian Yai
- SRT Mahachai Train runs with the doors wide open.
- A Trip from Wong Wian Yai to Bang Bon on the SRT Mahachai line.
- A Ride on Route 147 (Kanchana Phisek rd)
- A Ride on Route 146 (Kanchana Phisek rd)
- The New Southern Bus Terminal + Intercity buses.
- The Mass Transport Vehicles of Mahachai City.
- SRT: The Maeklong line and Maeklong railway market
- The Maeklong Bus Terminal
- The Modern Rail Based Mass Transit of Thailand
- The Modern Bus Based Mass Transport of Bangkok.
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Chao Phraya Express)
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Dao Khanong Klong Boat)
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Klong Saen Saep Boat service)
- The Mass Transport Boats of Bangkok (Phra Khanong Klong Boat Service)
- SRT: The Mahachai line a trip from Bang Bon to Mahachai.
- SRT: The Mahachai Rail Yard.
- SRT: The Eastern Line and the construction of the Airport Rail Link.
- SRT: The Main System (Hualamphong Station and rail yard).
- SRT: A trip on the Ayutthaya Commuter Line (Main North line).
- The Buses of Suvarnabhumi Airport and Suvarnabhumi Bus Terminal.
- SRT: Prachuap Khiri Khan railway station and night shots.
- The Mass Transport of Prachuap Khiri Khan.
- A Summary Bus Guide to Bangkok’s Mass transport bus system.
- SRT: Thonburi Rail Yard + Thai Steam Engine Fleet.
- The Buses of Nakhon Pathom and Bus Route 402.
- SRT: The Thonburi to Nakhon Pathom Commuter Line.
- The Mega Mochit 2 Bus Terminal.
- Mochit 2: The Metro Bus Terminal.
- SRT: Bang Sue Junction and Station.
- The Main South line: Bang Sue to Taling Chan link.
- The Mass Transport of Samut Chedi and The Temple in the Sea.
- The Mass Transport of Kheha Thonburi + Vans of Rama 2.
- The Buses and Trucks of Paknam City
- The Mass Transport of Phra Pradaeng.
- Free BMTA Bus and SRT rail travel.
- SRT: The Queensland railways SX commuter carriages.
- A little extra BTS and SRT.
- The Bangkok BRT (Bus Rapid Transit System) and Buses of Thaphra.
- SRT Cargo Trains and Chachoengsao Junction (Eastern Line).
- SRT: Kaeng Khoi Junction night shots and movies.
- SRT: Hin Lap Station and Curve + Dong Phraya Yen Pass.
- Alternative Travel arrangements for Bangkok Airport Passengers.
- The Mega Victory Monument Metro Bus Terminal.
- The Eastern Bus Terminal.
- SRT: Cab Ride Mahachai Line: Bang Bon – Wong Wian Yai.
- The Buses of Rangsit.
- The Rangsit Metro Bus Terminal and Bus Depot.
- The Buses of Pathum Thani.
- SRT Northern Line: Paknam Pho Station and Yard.
- SRT: Kaeng Khoi Junction in the Daylight.
- SRT: Bua Yai Line and Chong Samran.
- The Buses of Saphan Taksin.
- The Buses of Sanam Luang and Tha Chang.
- The Buses of Nonthaburi.
- Chao Phraya Express Boats – The New Pak Kret Service.
- The Southern Line: Hat Yai Junction Station and Yard.
- The new BTS Extension to Wong Wian Yai.
- The Tha Din Daeng cross river ferry + Route 20 terminus.
- The Buses of Chinatown.
- The Eastern Line: Kabinburi and Prachantakam.
- SRT: Khok Salung and Pasak Chonlasit Dam.
- SRT: Southern line the second attempt.
- The state of the Mahachai Line and Bang Bon "Track Lake".
- The Mass Transit of Vientiane Laos.
- Udon Thani's Mass Transit System.
- Thai VIP Intercity Buses + Thai - Lao International Buses.
- The Mass Transit of Mukdahan.
- SRT: Hualamphong Station by Night + Overnight Trains.
- SRT Northern Line: Thailand's Highest and Longest – Khun Tan.
- The Bangkok Airport Rail Link: The fastest train in Thailand.
- SRT: Maeklong Line – Ban Bo Station.
- Bangkok BRT System: Chong Nonsi BTS (Sathorn) to Ratchapruek.
- SRT: Mahachai Line + Buses of Wong Wian Yai during morning peak.
- The new BTS extension from On Nut to Bearing.
- SRT Northern line: Steam Locomotives at Bang Pa In.