"RVR Rail Gang"

at work


Ramsgreave & Wilpshire



Post Year 1999 - Filmed on location by Colin Carr


Ken Roberts



Ramsgreave & Wilpshire



Produced & Directed by Colin Carr

(RVR Member - "Our Man in Thailand")


An RVR - NBK Production






Columbia Tri-Star Release




Available on DVD









Quick link to 'Death Railway'


October 2014


or just scroll down









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Steam excursions on the line were withdrawn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 


October 2014


'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










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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