FRIENDS OF STATIONS

 

"RVR Rail Gang"

at work

 

Ramsgreave & Wilpshire
 
Langho

THE BRIDGE ON THE

RIVER KWAI

Post Year 1999 - Filmed on location by Colin Carr

 

Ken Roberts

'Friend'

of

Ramsgreave & Wilpshire

 

'THE BRIDGE AT R & W'

Produced & Directed by Colin Carr

(RVR Member - "Our Man in Thailand")

 

An RVR - NBK Production

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

 

 

 

Columbia Tri-Star Release

 

 

 

Available on DVD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick link to 'Death Railway'

 

October 2014

 

or just scroll down

 

 

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Hellfire Pass Memorial Plaque

June 2004

 

Hellfire Pass

June 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

The trackbed at Hellfire Pass

June 2004

 

Hellfire Pass Memorial Plaque

June 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

Broken compressor drill in the rock at Hellfire Pass

June 2004

 

A section of the original track

June 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

Hellfire Pass seen from above

 

June 2004

 

 

Timber trestle bridge

immediately southeast of Tham Krasae Station

June 2004


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

Creeping over an original wooden trestle bridge

at 10 km/h

on 'Death Railway'

June 2004

 

The Bridge on the River Kwai

 

The rounded spans are original,

June 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

Commonwealth War Cemetary at Kanchanaburi

November 1999

 

About 16000 POWs died building the line,

as well as 100,000 Asians.

 

Click here for further details of the statistics

 

A gravestone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

A Buddhist monk has no trouble

ministering to dead Christians

 

 

Kanchanaburi, train control equipment,

including token issuing machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

Crossing the River Kwai

behind a Japanese steam locomotive.

 

Steam excursions on the line were withdrawn

at the end of 1999

 

Paused for lunch at Wang Pho,

 

a few kilometres short of the end of the line at Nam Tok

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

It is believed that the locomotives were war reparations from Japan

 

 

Modern Traction - the Bangkok train

leaves Wang Po

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

Leaving Tham Krasae

running tender first

 

The trestle bridge near Tham Krasae

- speed limit 10 km/h

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

"The bearing's hot, but we'll make Kanchanaburi

 

with lots of thick heavy oil"

 

 

 

The Bridge on the River Kwai

with a steam train crossing it.

 

The RAF took out two centre spans

in February 1945

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
 

The second man collects the token

for the single line section

as loco No. 4050

leaves Kanchanaburi for Nam Tok

in charge of service no.259

 

November 2001

 

Kanchanaburi Train Spotters' Club?

 

Young monks watch a Nam Tok train

crossing the 'Bridge On The River Kwai'

 

 

November 2001 

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI
 

October 2014

THAILAND - BURMA RAILWAY

'Death Railway'

re-visited by

Colin Carr & Family

 
   

Train Routing Board

on a carriage

   

 

 

After World War Two, much of the infamous Burma Railway was torn up.

Local tribes people used the rails for building houses.

 

But in 1947, the line was re-opened from its origin at Nong Pladuk Junction

west of Bangkok to Nam Tok Sai Yok Noi (Sai Yok Noi Waterfall).

 

Trains terminate at the nearby Nam Tok station as there are no facilities for locomotives

to run round their trains at the end of the line. 

 

 

Currently there are two daily trains from Bangkok Thonburi  to Nam Tok,

and a daily return local service to Nong Pladuk.

There is no freight traffic on the line.



Kanchanaburi is the largest town on the route and features several historic sites.

 

Perhaps the most famous is the Bridge on the River Kwai.

This is actually a steel and concrete structure, not the wooden bridge

depicted in the famous film starring Alec Guinness.

 

Opposite the railway station there is the immaculately maintained Allied War Cemetary,

which serves as a memorial to the nearly 13000 Allied prisoners of war,

who died building the railway.

 

In common with many Thai stations, Kanchanaburi hosts a 'Gate Guardian';

in this case a 1926 vintage Henschel Beyer Garratt monster.



The Carr family took a trip from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok in October 2014.

 

The train from Bangkok arrived a few minutes late,

and the engine then spent time marshalling extra carriages onto the train.

 

These are for tourists, who can buy rather expensive (by Thai standards) tickets

to travel in 3rd class coaches bearing old photos from the Japanese military railway.

 

If you don't want to waste your money, as a foreigner you pay 100 baht (about £1.95)

for a 3rd single to Nam Tok. Thais travel free!

 

The journey is scheduled for two hours, and the distance is about 70 km (43.75 miles).



After picking up the extra coaches,  we left about 15 minutes late.

 

First stop was River Kwai Bridge , after which we crossed over the river

at less than the 10 kph (6.25 mph) line-speed.

 

The reason being that the bridge also carries thousands of pedestrians daily,

and train drivers are understandably reluctant to flatten them.

 

Once across the river, we picked up speed to 65 kph (40.6 mph),

which is the line-speed for most of the line.

 

As well as staffed stations, we made brief stops at several unmanned halts,

the briefest of which was only five seconds! 



Between the two stations at Tham Krasae are two wooden trestle bridges

known collectively as Wampo Viaduct, built during the war.

 

Although they do not actually cross the river, they parallel it alongside sheer cliffs.

Linespeed here is also 10 kph (6.25 mph).

 

Listening to the timbers creaking as the train slowly passes over them

conjures up thoughts of the Tay Bridge disaster!



Along the line we saw a large stock of new rails and concrete sleepers.

Having looked at the woeful state of the track at Nam Tok,

these replacements are urgently needed.

 

Indeed, in Autumn 2014, the luxury Eastern and Oriental Express

derailed on the line

after the rails spread under its weight.



There are no signals along the single line. Train control is exclusively by token.

If you have the token, you have the right of way.

Given the low traffic density, this is hardly a problem.



Somehow, we had lost more time en route,

so we were 35 minutes late arriving at Nam Tok.

 

From there it is a short bus ride to the waterfall for which the station is named.

 

By the time we had eaten lunch, there was not much time to see and play in the water,

a fact, which seriously displeased my young daughter!

 

The return train departed on time,

but somehow lost 30 minutes en route to Kanchanaburi,

so it was nearly dark by the time we left the train.


 

 

 

Ticket to ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kanchanaburi's Henschel 'Gate Guardian'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kanchanaburi Station building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kanchanaburi Station Nameboard

with adjacent stations shown.

 

We went to Wangyen and points northwest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train Routing Board

on a carriage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

River Kwai Bridge

Station Nameboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tickets please !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice on the (open) carriage door

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retired Steam Loco

at the end of the line

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nam Tok Sai Yok Noi

is disused

 

as locos cannot run round the train here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Details of the retired loco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nam Tok Sai Yok Noi Waterfall

at the end of the line

 

is a popular tourist attraction

for both Thais and foreigners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Token issuing machine

at Nam Tok Station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If these wooden sleepers at Nam Tok are still in use,

I shudder to think in what state

the replaced ones must have been!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4043 disappears into the long grass

while running round the train

at Nam Tok

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just about to couple up to her train

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commuter rolling stock

is surely a little out of place

on this route

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old 3rd class carriage with wooden seats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creeping over the Wampo Viaduct

alongside the River Kwai

at Tham Krasae

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonya Carr has had enough excitement for one day

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

Books

 
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Unfortunately the ISBN numbers are not listed in the above books

but it is just possible they may be purchased

via Amazon on the Internet,

 

which can also be used to locate other books

on this interesting and popular subject.

 

To search, use "The Thai-Burma Railway", or equivalent.

 

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