Last weekend I went on a rail photographing trip to Khok Salung north of Bangkok. This location is the only place in the whole of Thailand where a photograph of a train can be taken with water as a backdrop.
A little background on Khok Salung.
Khok Salung is located 176.55km from Bangkok on the Bua Yai – Kaeng Khoi line. The station and railway track is elevated about 10 meters above street level at Khok Salung. This is the only SRT station that is elevated. The station at Khok Salung was built in 1999 after the former route was lost to the rising water of the recently completed Pasak Chonlasit Dam.
Prior to 1999 there was no rail service to Khok Salung. The entire town of Khok Salung is below the water level of the lake and is enclosed on almost all sides by 10 meter high earth and rock embankments. The railway has to cross the lake of Pasak Chonlasit Dam in 5 locations on huge concrete rail bridges that stretch for a total length of 18.1km. Some of the these rail bridges are built as wide curves this makes the rail bridges one of a kind in Thailand as all other rail bridges in Thailand are straight.
The bridges are simple in design, consisting of hundreds of support columns and a flat concrete bridge deck on which a ballasted single railway track is laid. The rails are not bolted directly to the bridge deck as is common in many other parts of the world. The signal system for this new section of railway via Khok Salung was recycled from the old line thus this new section of railway has full semaphore signalling rather than computer controlled signalling as is the case on all new lines.
However the Bua Yai – Kaeng Khoi line is a fairly recently built line by SRT standards opening in 3 stages between 1956 and 1967. The line was built to allow faster cargo train access to Issan. Through the bypassing of a very steep 50 km long 1 in 24 grade on the main line to Korat. That even today still requires cargo trains to be split in half so they can get up the grade on the Korat line. Using the Bua Yai line greatly reduces the grades removing the need for train splitting.
In terms of passenger train movements the Bua Yai – Kaeng Khoi line is rather under used and has one of the lowest densities of population for any railway in Thailand. Most passenger trains on this line are in the form of DMU's rather than loco hauled trains. This means daytime train variety is some what limited and on weekends there are no daytime cargo trains.
Train Timetable at Khok Salung station.
ORD 433: 6.20am to Bua Yai Junction.
EXP 75: 11.16am to Udon Thani.
ORD 439: 12.39pm to Bua Yai Junction.
ORD 437: 5.52pm to Lam Narai.
ORD 438: 6.40am to Kaeng Khoi Junction.
ORD 440: 9.39am to Kaeng Khoi Junction.
EXP 76: 1.52pm to Bangkok.
ORD 434: 4.44pm to Kaeng Khoi Junction.
It takes about 3 hours to reach Bangkok from Khok Salung. However delays are common and the trip can end up being over 4 hours long. All of the ORD trains require you to change at Kaeng Khoi to another train to reach Bangkok. These rural commuter trains (ORD) get fairly good patronage on weekdays but are very light on weekends.
Now onto the photographs from Khok Salung and Pasak Chonlasit Dam.
Khok Salung 176.55km between 6am and 2.30pm.
1. This is a shot of the signal box at the southern end of Khok Salung station. Unlike a lot of other signal boxes on this line it is not part of the main station building.
2. This is a general view shot of the main station building at Khok Salung station. Taken looking north along the single platform. As per almost all other SRT station Khok Salung has well kept station gardens.
3. This is a general view of the northern end of Khok Salung station. In the background is the lake and the mountains.
4. This is a general view of Khok Salung town. The town area is fairly tightly packed in but is made up of free standing homes. The town is about 10 meters below the station due to the wall around the lake.
5. This is another angle on Khok Salung station. This time taken looking south from the northern end of the platform. Compared to other stations on the Bua Yai line this station is fairly modern.
6. This is a shot of the station timetable at Khok Salung. This timetable is for inbound trains.
7. This is a shot of the station timetable at Khok Salung. This timetable is for outbound trains.
8. This is a shot of the working timetable for both passenger and cargo trains inside the station office at Khok Salung station. It has had a few alterations recently as some of the times have been roughly painted over.
9. This is a shot of the signal control system inside the station office at Khok Salung. There is one machine for each direction. They are connected to the next station via telephone cables that run along the tracks. They are made by Westinghouse Brake and Signal but where produced in a factory in Calcutta. These machines date back to the days of British India.
10. This is an image of the numerous signal and point levers inside the signal box at the southern end of Khok Salung station.
11. This is a close up shot of the signal levers. Each lever controls an individual signal that are located north and south of the station. They are connected by steel wires to the signals and points.
12. This is another angle on the signal and point leavers inside the signal box at Khok Salung station.
13. This is an image of the signal diagram inside the signal box at Khok Salung stations. It shows the position and status of each signal that is controlled by the signal box.
14. This is a general view of the curved concrete rail bridge at the northern end of Khok Salung station. During the rainy season the water can be up to the grass area. This image was taken looking north at about 6am in the morning.
15. This is a shot of the 6.20am Bua Yai rural commuter train. Taken as it was crossing the curved rail bridge at Khok Salung. Train type RH DMU. Note the black smoke pouring out of it as it powers up.
16. This is another angle on the 6.20am Bua Yai train. Taken as it was passing the signal post on the bridge. Note: these DMUs where built between 1967 and 1971 in Japan and today are the oldest in service DMUs with SRT.
17. This is a shot of the 6.40am Kaeng Khoi rural commuter train crossing the curved rail bridge at Khok Salung. This shot was taken from on top of the embankment with a great amount of zoom.
18. This is another angle on the 6.40am Kaeng Khoi train. Taken as it was passing the signal post on the bridge. The signals in the background are set for this train.
19. This is another angle on the 6.40am Kaeng Khoi train. Taken as it was almost across the curved rail bridge. Train type RH DMU. DMU number 1013. Note the red cloth tied to the outside of the drivers cab.
20. This is a shot of DMU 1013 on approach to Khok Salung station. Taken looking south west over the town from the top of the embankment.
21. This is a shot of the 9.39am rural commuter train to Kaeng Khoi. Taken from the lower grass area near the curved bridge at the northern end of Khok Salung station. In the foreground people can be seen fishing.
22. This is a wider angle shot of the 9.39am Kaeng Khoi train. Taken from the edge of the lower embankment looking west. Train type RH DMU.
23. This is a short movie of the 9.39am train to Kaeng Khoi. Filmed as it was approaching Khok Salung station. Train type RH DMU made in Japan in the late 1960s and today are the oldest remaining DMUs still in service with SRT. Note the sounds of the engines as the train passes by.
24. This is a close up image of the outbound semaphore signal mast on the curved rail bridge. Taken from on the bridge looking north. This signal is connected by wires back to the signal box about 500 meters away. The speed for DMUs in this section is 120 kph and Loco hauled 90 kph which is the system maximum.
25. This is a close up shot of the inbound signal on the curved rail bridge. Taken from on the bridge looking south. This signal has two separate signals on the same mast. The speed for all trains in this direction is 105 kph if running express and 30 kph if stopping or using the loop at Khok Salung station.
26. This is a general view of the top of the curved rail bridge. Taken looking north west along the bridge. Note the ballasted track on this bridge and the signal and phone cables attached to the west side of the bridge.
27. This is a shot of the inbound distant signal. Taken from the bridge looking north west. This signal acts as an advanced warning that the next signal will be at stop. Thus giving the train driver a chance to slow down.
28. This is an image of the 11.16am Udon Thani Express train. Taken as it was starting to cross the curved rail bridge at Khok Salung. Train type DMU THN with Tokyu aircon carriages in the middle.
29. This is another angle of the 11.16am Udon Thani train. Taken as it was crossing the curved rail bridge at Khok Salung. The mountains can be clearly seen in the background. The aircon on this train is not very good and is often out of order leading to very stuffy carriages.
30. This is a shot of a local herding cows across the railway and down into a wooded area near the railway. This is a reminder of the very rural nature of the area.
31. This is an image of the 12.38pm Bua Yai rural commuter train. Taken from the rail bridge as it was about to cross the bridge. Train type RH DMU. Train number 1018.
32. This is a closer image of the 12.38pm Bua Yai train. Taken on top of the rail bridge just as it was about to pass by.
33. This is a short movie of the 12.38pm Bua Yai train. Filmed from on top of the bridge as it was crossing the bridge on its way to Bua Yai. Note the sound of the signal changing in the background and the trains engine.
34. This is a very wide angle shot of the 1.52pm Bangkok express train. Taken looking east from the embankment. Note how the sky and water appear to join in the background. Train type THN DMU with a Tokyu aircon carrage.
35. This is a another wide angle shot of the 1.52pm Bangkok train. Taken as it was crossing the curved rail bridge.
36. This is another shot of the 1.52pm Bangkok train. Taken as it was passing over the level crossing on approach to Khok Salung station. In the foreground the pumping station used to stop rain water from completely filling up the town of Khok Salung as it is below the lake level.
37. This is a short movie of the 1.52pm Bangkok train. Filmed looking east as it was passing over the curved rail bridge. The second half of the video is of better quality than the 1st so please skip to about 20 seconds. Note the sounds of the engine as the train approaches.
If you would like to see more images from this area please also visit this topic.
SRT: Bua Yai Line and Chong Samran.
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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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.