Last weekend I went for a rail photographing trip on the eastern line. However this trip was very different to all other rail photographing trips. As I didn't actually ride the train to get to the stations. Instead I went by private car directly from my condo to both of the stations. Although this is a far more costly way of doing these rail photographing trips but it was much more comfortable than spending hours upon hours in 3rd class non aircon trains.
A little background on Kabinburi and the Eastern line.
The railway to Kabinburi opened in 1925. On the 8th august 1926 the line was extended to Aranyaprathet on the Cambodian border. In the1940s the eastern line was further extended across the border and formed the main line between Cambodia and Thailand. The line opened and closed a number of times between Aranyaprathet and Poipet in Cambodia. The closures were mostly related to internal conflict in Cambodia making it very dangerous to operate trains across the border. Since 1994 the cross border section of the eastern line has remained closed despite the border areas being quite safe these days. There are plans to reopen the Cambodian section of the line in 2011 thus allowing cross boarder train services. But it will probably take many more years to reopen.
Kabinburi is located 161.26 km from Hualamphong station in Bangkok. Kabinburi is a rural town that provides support for the farming areas around it. In the past Kabinburi used to provide a larger role in freight operations but today this has long since stopped. Kabinburi station is situated on a curve next to an urban lake in the centre of Kabinburi town. The station is made up of a single platform with a run around loop and a 2 track yard. There used to be a larger yard in the past with a functioning turntable. Today the turntable is inside a local park east of the station and is not connected by rail.
Eight trains a day operate out of Kabinburi station. It is considered the 3rd busiest station on the eastern line outside of Bangkok. The fares for trains on the Eastern line are the lowest per km in the whole of Thailand with an end to end trip coming to a total of 48 baht per person.
Kabinburi Train Timetable:
Depart Kabinburi: 6.30am, 8.23am, 12.25pm, 3.39pm.
Arrive Bangkok: 10.15am, 12.05pm, 4pm, 7.55pm.
Depart Bangkok: 5.55am, 8.00am, 1.05pm, 3.25pm.
Arrive Kabinburi: 9.48am, 11.35am, 4.12pm, 6.20pm
All trains are 3rd class non aircon and stop at almost all stations. In addition to the trains there are 1st class aircon buses operating between 4am and 8.30pm every 40 minutes.
The second station that I visited on the eastern line was Prachantakam. This station is located 137.65km from Hualamphong in Bangkok. Prachantakam station consists of a single platform with a crossing loop. The station is orientated east – west. This station is rather minor and doesn't get a huge amount of use. The crossing loop at Prachantakam station is locked out of use. The local area is very rural and thus is very quiet most of the time. Prachantakam station and loop does not have any signal system installed but instead relies on radios and a system of metal tokens to control the movement of trains on the line.
Now onto the photographs of Kabinburi and Prachantakam. Due to the almost east – west alignment of both stations some pictures may have unusual shadows because of the angle of the sun early and late in the day.
Kabinburi Station 161.26km from Bangkok (between 7.50am – 12.40pm).
1. This is a shot of a water tank wagon and a covered cargo van in the sidings at Kabinburi station. Taken looking south west from the platform. It appears these wagons are no longer used. Cargo trains no longer operate through Kabinburi.
2. This is a general view of Kabinburi station looking west from within the sidings. Note the water tower in the background. Also like a lot of SRT stations there are well kept platform gardens. A number of people are waiting for the next Bangkok train.
3. This is an image of the 8.23am train to Bangkok. Taken looking west from within the yard as it was arriving at Kabinburi station. Train type Hitachi (THN) DMU.
4. This is another angle on the 8.23am train to Bangkok. Taken looking along the platform at Kabinburi station as it loads a number of passengers. Train type Hitachi (THN) DMU.
5. This is a shot of the Hitachi (THN) DMU on the 8.23am train to Bangkok. Taken looking west as it was departing from Kabinburi station. Note the amount of long grass covering the tracks.
6. This is a movie of the departure of the 8.23am train to Bangkok. Note the sounds of the DMU as it passes by. DMU type Hitachi (THN). This type of DMU is very common around thailand. But is rare on the outer section of the eastern line. The grass makes the train appears as its not running on rails.
7. This is a close up image of the actual train timetable at Kabinburi station. The 3rd column are the departure times from Kabinburi. The 4th column are the arrival times in Bangkok.
8. This is a shot of the ticket window and waiting area at Kabinburi station. All the trains on the Eastern line are currently free therefore “free tickets” are handed out instead from this window.
9. This is a shot of the signal control system inside the ticket office at Kabinburi station. There is one machine for each direction and they indicate if there is a train on the track before and after Kabinburi station. This system was installed when the line 1st opened in the 1920's. At some point in the future they might be replaced with a centrally controlled signal system operated by computer.
10. This is an image of the signal levers at Kabinburi. They are located in a small shelter outside on the platform. It appears they control the points and level crossings on both sides of Kabinburi station. Most stations on the the outer section of the eastern line use a simple token system rather than lights or semaphore signals.
11. This is a shot of the signal token holder at the western end of Kabinburi station. A small metal token is placed in a holder on a hoop which is placed on this pole to allow fast exchange with the train driver.
12. This is a shot of the next station sign on the platform at Kabinburi station. Most SRT stations have a sign like this to indicate the distance to the next station in each direction.
13. This is an image of the eastern end of the loop at Kabinburi. Taken from the track looking west. A lot of tracks in this area are very overgrown with thick grass despite regular train movements.
14. This is a shot of the former turntable at Kabinburi station. It is now cut off from the railway and has been turned into a small park. An old SRT steam loco has been placed on top of the turntable bridge.
15. This is another angle on the former turntable at Kabinburi. Taken looking west along the turntable bridge. The make of the steam loco is unknown.
16. This is a general view of the station lake at Kabinburi. Note the nice landscaped area around the lake and the shop houses of Kabinburi in the background.
17. This is an inside shot of the track work trolley storage shed at the western end of Kabinburi station. Like many things on the SRT system it is slowly falling apart but is still in daily use after decades of neglect.
18. This is an outside shot of the track work trolley storage shed at Kabinburi. Taken looking west from the end of the platform. Next to the track is a small path that is used by people on there way to the wet market a few hundred meters from the station.
19. This is a general view of the western end points at Kabinburi station. Taken looking east from the tracks.
20. This is a shot of the unusual level crossing system used through out the eastern line. The barrier on this level crossing lifts up and consists of two heavy steel cables with some metal signs hanging off them. This style of level crossing gate covers both sides of the road and is rather dangerous for motorbike riders due to the risk of decapitation from high speed impact with the cables.
21. This is a shot of a track work trolley in action. Taken from the western end of Kabinburi station. Throughout the SRT system these trolleys see very regular use when there are gaps between trains. They are powered by a small petrol or diesel engine that is connected to the axle of the rear wheels.
22. This is an image of a station officer placing a signal token in the token exchange pole at the eastern end of Kabinburi station. The token is kept in a small pouch at the bottom of the hoop.
23. This is a shot of the 9.48 am Aranyaprathet train. Taken as it was pulling into Kabinburi station. SRT loco number 4210. Loco type Alsthrom. This type of loco is very common around the SRT system as hundreds of them where produced.
24. This is another shot of the 9.48am Aranyaprathet train. Taken looking west from the track side at the eastern end of Kabinburi station. This train is the longest loco hauled train that services Kabinburi.
25. This is a movie of the departure of the 9.48am Aranyaprathet train. Filmed from the eastern end of the platform at Kabinburi station. SRT loco number 4210. Note the sounds of the engine and the horn.
26. This is a general view of the Kabinburi rail yard. Taken looking east towards the former turntable. It appears that in the past there was a much larger rail yard at Kabinburi. It was possible that a small workshop might have existed at Kabinburi in the past.
27. This is a shot of SRT loco 4407 just after it had arrived from Bangkok. Taken looking west along the platform. This train terminates at Kabinburi at 11.35am daily. The loco will run around the train and form the 12.25pm Bangkok train.
28. This is a short movie showing the uncoupling of SRT loco 4407 at Kabinburi station. The loco will run around the train using the loop track. Within seconds the loco is uncoupled and the run around has begun.
29. This is a shot of SRT loco 4407 taken as it was running down the loop track towards the western end of the loop.
30. This is an image of SRT loco 4407 taken as it was about to pass the 3rd class non aircon carriages of the train it was hauling. The loco is actually driven backwards down the loop track. The driver only changes end once it is re coupled to the train.
31. This is a shot of SRT loco 4407 taken as it was approaching the western end of the carriages where it will be re coupled to the train.
32. This is a movie of SRT loco 4407 re coupling to the carriages at the western end of Kabinburi station. Note how they have to try a couple of times to get the carriages to attach to the loco properly.
33. This is a front on shot of SRT loco 4407 taken from the track looking east along the train just after it had been coupled to the train. Note the signal lever wires next to the platform face.
34. This is an image of the 12.25pm Bangkok train. Taken looking north east from within the rail yard. The large tree was very helpful for blocking out the direct sunlight thus allowing me to take a reasonable photo.
35. This is a shot of the 12.25pm Bangkok train as it was powering up on its departure from Kabinburi station. Taken from 400 meters west of Kabinburi looking east.
36. This is a movie of the departure of the 12.25pm Bangkok train from Kabinburi. Filmed as it was powering up towards the level crossing. Also the operation of the cable style level crossing can be seen towards the end of the film.
Prachantakam Station 137.65 km from Bangkok (between 2pm and 4.30pm).
37. This is a shot of the ticket window at Prachantakam station. This station is rather quiet throughout the day. However it gets the same number of trains per day as the much busier Kabinburi station.
38. This is a close up shot of the station timetable at Prachantakam station. The train times in the lower right section of the timetable are the trains that terminate at Kabinburi station 30 minutes down the line.
39. This is an image of the signal control system inside the ticket office at Prachantakam station. There is one machine for each direction and they indicate if there is a train on the track before and after Prachantakam station. All stations in this area that are or were crossing loops have these machines.
40. This is a general view of the eastern end of Prachantakam station. Taken looking east towards the local temple.
41. This is a close up of the next station sign and platform sign at Prachantakam station.
42. This is a shot of the track work trolley storage shed at Prachantakam station. Unlike the one at Kabinburi it is reasonable condition. To get the track work trolleys on to the railway track they have to be rolled out and lifted on to the track. This is heavy work for the staff involved.
43. This is a general view shot of Prachantakam station. This time looking west with a storm approaching from the south. The light at this station was very difficult for photographing due to the mix of dark heavy cloud and light cloud.
44. This is a shot of the eastern end points at Prachantakam station. The loop at Prachantakam appears to be booked out of use as the track is rusty. But the points are still usable.
45. This is a shot of a wooden block locked over the rail on the loop track to indicate that the loop is not in use. As to why this loop is not in use remains unknown.
46. This is a shot of the cable style level crossing at the western end of Prachantakam station. The black disk rotates to indicate when the level crossing is closed.
47. This is an image of the western end points at Prachantakam station. Taken from the track looking east. Note the sky was becoming increasingly cloudy as rain was getting closer.
48. This is a shot of a kid playing on the railway track directly in front of the ticket office at Prachantakam station. It is quite common for young children to use the railway as there playground in Thailand.
49. This is a shot of the 3.39pm Aranyaprathet train. Taken looking west along the loop as it was departing from Prachantakam station. SRT DMU number 1223. Train type Hitachi (THN) DMU.
50. This is another angle on SRT DMU 1223. Taken looking east as it was powering up on its way to Aranyaprathet. This train is the only DMU service that operates beyond Prachinburi station.
51. This is an image of the 4.11pm Bangkok train. Taken looking east as it was approaching Prachantakam station. SRT loco number 4210. SRT loco type Alsthrom. The light mist toward the rear of the train is due to dust coming up from the track.
52. This is a shot of the train tickets that would have been used on this trip if it was done by train instead of private car.
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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- ▼ 2009 (14)
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.