Main line narrow gauge in Thailand

kevsmith Sep 20, 2008

  1. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Hi. I have just joined Trainboard and am principally engaged in building a Nickel Plate Road layout in Z but also when my eyes have had it do some Gauge 1 to give them a rest! I am modelling the Thai metre gauge system in 1nM.
    first pic is a scratchbuilt SRT C56 2-6-0 constructed in Nickel Silver and running on '0' gauge track. These locomotives were brought into Thailand by the Japanese during the second World war and are closely associated with the Bridge over the River Kwai [​IMG]

    There are literally thousand of these 4 wheel vans running around Thailand. This one is constructed from Plastic card and perspex (the red roof) and uses my own resin cast roller bearing axleboxes
    [​IMG]

    Some of these vans are being converted to container wagons to carry 20ft containers

    [​IMG]

    If you are interested I will post more pics when I have painted them and decalled them
     
  2. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow! Nice work! Beautiful locomotive too. :)
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm delighted to see models representing that region of our world. Wish we could view more of them!

    Boxcab E50
     
  4. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

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    WELCOME to TRAINBOARD!! Man, you are doing some GREAT work on a part of the world that few of us know much about. Please do post more pics and tell us the history of these lines :)
     
  5. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Wow! Now your asking. The State railways of Thailand are a massive metre gauge system that stretches all the way from the Malaysian border in the south to Cambodia in the east and to Laos and nearly to Burma in the north. I first discovered it when my wife and I went to meet our daughter in laws parents in the village she was born in in the north East of the country near a city called Khon Kaen. Of course the first chance I got I went down to the station and was blown away. first generation DMUs, 45 year old General Eletric Co-Cos and dual braked rolling stock. I was hooked
    [​IMG]

    One of the GEKs as they are known is seen here shunting the carraige sidings at the main station in bangkok 'Hua Lamphong' the action never stops here with very long passenger trains arriving and departing constantly.

    However better was to come the first time I went to Thonburi, Bangkoks other terminus. I got a taxi bike to take me early Sunday morning and thought I had died and gone to heaven. it is the base for the SRT's working steam fleet

    [​IMG]

    The staff are really freindly and don't mind you wandering about taking pictures I must have done wonders for shares in Kodachrome the first time I went there.
    First pic is japanese war reparation Pacific #850

    I got my feet wet to get this shot of 2-8-2 #950 waiting restoration
    [​IMG]

    The C56 I am modelling #713 was being prepped for the bridge over the River Kwae celebration train

    [​IMG]

    I will post some pics of the Davenport 500 h.p Bo-Bos later and also some modern stuff including the later G.E Co-Cos
    cheers
     
  6. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    The real living dinosaurs are the 500 horsepower Davenports that lurk around the system. I was overjoyed to find #516 moving the breakdown crane at Nakhon Rachasima (Khorat) when I visited there.

    [​IMG]

    At the other end of the timeline are the most recent imports from General Electric the GEA Co-Cos #4550 is seen here at Khon Kaen waiting to take the empty oil tanker train out[​IMG]

    The other modern traction around are the Hitachi HID Co-Cos

    [​IMG]

    #4515 backs onto its train at Hua Lamphong

    I mentioned that the activity at Hua Lamphong never stops , long after it was banned on British Railways SRT still loose shunt the main terminus platforms. The little Henschel 0-6-0DHs fire passenger coaches down toward the stop blocks and there is a loud clatter as the ABC couplers close up meanwhile the passengers oblivious to the danger wander about on the tracks

    [​IMG]



    you can see that Henschel #70 is far too busy to get a wash !

    more soon
     
  7. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    O.k just a few more pics ,perhaps closer to the hearts of typical narrow gauge fans . The Thai people haven't really taken rail preservation to heart yet like we have in Great Britain and the U.S.A but some of this neglect is unforgiveable!
    [​IMG]

    This is TRC no 21 a Krauss 0-4-2T of 1903 at the Ekkamai museum in Bangkok

    This is one of the Maeklong railway 2-4-0Ts at Kamphaeng road near Bang Sue
    [​IMG]

    In better nick are the exhibits in the privately owned Chatuchak museum

    [​IMG]

    Kyosan Kyogo 0-4-0T #10089

    and also Kyosan Kyogo 0-4-0T #33 looking at their website you can still order a new one of these!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    At least the ex Maeklong railway 2-4-0T plinthed outside Bang Sue Diesel depot is loooked after

    [​IMG]

    and who would have anticipated finding an ex Rhaetian bahn (Switzerland) 4 wheel tender from a 2-8-0 just lying about? a complete locomotive is plinthed at Chaing Mai
    and is on my list to photograph next time I am there

    [​IMG]
     
  9. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

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    I am in awe! And some GREAT modeling potential. I wish my son would hurry up and marry his Fiance as she is Thai and THAT means trips to Thailand!! :D

    Keep em comin and let's see more of the models too!
     
  10. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    If you can find out where she's from I can tell you where the best rail action is for when you get there. One thing to note when photographing trains in South East Asia. because Thailand is close to the equator it goes dark very quickly at tea time.

    For those of you interested in American built locomotives there are two survivng Baldwin locomotives out there, a pacific and a 2-8-2 dating from the twenties. I haven't been to see them yet but hope to next time I'm there.
     
  11. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    I mentioned the first generation diesel multiple units in my introduction. the first were supplied by Hitachi and are known as class RHN. you will hardly eve see one of these with the windows or doors shut as there in no air conditioning!
    [​IMG]

    #17 leads the consist into Khon Kaen. note the semaphore signals. The signalling system was supplied by Germany from the earliest days and in rural Thailand is still very much in evidence.
    The DMU is passing the Rok Tok shed. Rok Tok is the Thai nickname for what we would call speeders or gangers trolleys.
    The next DMUs to be suppled were the THNs with stainless steel bodies

    [​IMG]

    one gets a quick wash in Hua Lamphong station

    I'll post some pics of the might Alsthoms next, thses are the most common locomotive in Thailand and also the best sounding things I've hard in ages, on the flat plains of Issan you can hear these things coming for miles.
     
  12. JCater

    JCater TrainBoard Member

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    Great stuff! I will find out where she is from and send a PM.
     
  13. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    I mentioned the French Alsthom Co-Cos. These 2,400 hp were tasked with the heaviest trains both passenger and freight. They were delivered in 4 batches starting in 1974 and can be seen all over the S.R.T system

    the first batch was #4101-4154
    [​IMG]
    #4107 is seen here departing Khon Kaen with a long distance passenger train. The loco crew and gaurd communicate with green flags as the train sets off. The driver will also have picked up the token for the next single line section.
    The next batch was 4201-4230
    [​IMG]



    #4220 has just arrived at Hua Lamphong in bangkok and will wait for the Henschel shunter to pull out the carriages behind it to allow it to get out of the terminal platform

    The next batch were #4301-4309 these can be quite elusive to get sometimes
    [​IMG]

    #4303 waits to depart Pattaya with a Ban Plu Ta Luang -Bangkok passenger train

    The last batch were 4401-4420

    [​IMG]

    #4417 rests in Khon Kaen yard
     
  14. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    Mentioning Khon Kaen, this was my first encounter with Thai railways and I found it fascinating, particularly the very germanic signalling system
    As you arrive at any Thai railway station there are name boards identifying the location
    [​IMG]

    Khon Kaen was extensively rebuilt and modernised[​IMG]

    but retained it's water tower and water cranes for servicing steam locomotives!

    Platform 1 has platforms either side of the track, passengers just walk acroos the track to get to the other side
    [​IMG]

    The Hitachi RHN is ready to depart to Nakhon Rachasima

    A typical view at the south end of the station
    An Alsthom waits to leave with a Bangkok bound train as an RHN rests after arriving from Khorat
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2008
  15. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    On the north eastern line around Khon Kaen the railway architecture is very attractive

    The signalboxes , if they are not integrated into the station building are quite often elevated ones like the one at Khon Kaen
    [​IMG]

    Once you get out into the rural areas of Issan you find pretty stations like Tha Phra

    [​IMG]

    Many of the stations have beautiful gardens, shrines and animal statues to personalise them and the station masters show great pride in their buildings and staff

    Namphong, also near Khon Kaen shows the typical timber frame consruction
    [​IMG]

    Note the statuettes of the cows.

    Nakhon non Phayom is a larger station building
    [​IMG]

    and is situated to the north of khon kaen on the line heading up to the border with Laos.The locking frame and telegraph system for the signalling is in the bay section on the left of the building
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2008
  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    [​IMG]


    Looks quite modern. How recently was it built?

    Boxcab E50
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2008
  17. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    Great Station Shots!!!!!!!

    :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:​
     
  18. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Staff Member

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    Excellent set of pictures of todays railroading in Thailand. Those Alsthom Co-Cos box cab engines from France are really neat looking.

    Greg
     
  19. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    I think the rebuilding of khon Kaen was done in the nineties and I am sure my mates on the 2bangkok forum will correct me if I am wrong!

    A better view of the elevated signalboxes can be had at Muang Phon to the south of Khon Kaen
    [​IMG]

    This controls the passing loop in the station

    A much more substantial signalbox is the one at Makkasan. This is on the Eastern line and is the site of S.R.Ts main workshops

    [​IMG]

    The box sits at the east end of the station which is very busy with market traders coming into Bangkok. Yes they come by train and bring all their food and vegetables and livestock with them! When they get off the train at Makkasan the platform is total chaos

    [​IMG]

    The station is seen here at a much quieter time.

    The workshops at Makkasan are fascinating, full of old rolling stock, steam engines and wrecked diesels unfortunately everytime I have tried to get round I have been unceremoniously turfed out by the security guards! I will keep trying though. Even explaining that I work for a railway company in the U.K cut no ice. This is in direct contrast to the relaxed approach you find everywhere else on the system

    Here is an ariel view of the works
    [​IMG]

    for the key to the numbers go to a site called 2bangkok.com and find the SRT section there is a big photo essay on the works there.
     
  20. kevsmith

    kevsmith TrainBoard Member

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    carrying eastwards on the line where the line has been extended down through the resort of Pattaya to the port of Sattahip the architecture is more uniform and modern

    [​IMG]

    This is Pattaya from the road side
    Ban Plu Ta Luang is the terminus for passenger traffic just short of the port at Sattahip
    [​IMG]

    Much more interesting is the small workshops across the yard at ban Plu Ta Luang where they seem to be converting ex JNR Kiha railcars into loco hauled third class coaches. there are also a large quantity of very rusty salt wagons and goods vans, I shall return to them later when I describe the freight wagons on the system.
    [​IMG]

    One exception to the uniformity of the architecture is the spledidly titled Yansangvararam and it's exotic station building
    [​IMG]

    The shots a bit wobbly because the train was bouncing around a bit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2008

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