The Carr Family on an Away Day

in Thailand


Colin Carr




During September 2014, the Carr family took a Thai Awayday from Pattaya

to the end of the line at Ban Phlu Ta Luang, about 20 miles away.


The following pictures & captions document the journey:

Click the adjacent map

to view an enlargement

of a map of the Thai Rail Network


and other maps for Thailand & S.E.Asia


The top two tickets are my outward and return journeys,

that cost a huge 12p single (6 baht).


The bottom one is Pim's free outward ticket.




That should be RAMP, not lamp!


I've never seen a disabled passenger joining or leaving a train in Thailand,


but the vertical distance from platform to carriage floor

is much more than in the UK.


And what is the little upside down No Smoking symbol for?"







Well-away from seats and the station building,


there is a smoking area!






The notice on the booking office window

says you can book 60 days ahead on long distance trains.

Otherwise, you buy a ticket shortly before departure or on board the train.


Tickets bought on board cost more than if bought at the station,

except in the case of unstaffed halts.







Sat in the nice cool breeze

awaiting the train to Ban Phlu Ta Luang.







Some warning posters:

From the left

Beware pickpockets


Don't accept packages from strangers - they might contain bombs.

(This is a real concern down south where the railway is a regular target for separatists.)


No Smoking

Keep the train tidy


Don't throw stones at trains



More warnings:

No strong smelling food

(Will it offend the dog in the seat behind?...)


Only buy your ticket from the booking office.


Keep clear of the platform edge

Don't try to board a moving train


Take care of your luggage


I didn't get the lower posters translated,

but the bottom right one advises against riding on the roof!









Train 283 from Bangkok Hualumpong Terminus

approaches Pattaya only five minutes down.









The train is clearing the single line to stop on the platform loop.











Young Sonya Carr has a big smile on her face

as she watches the world go by from our 3rd class accommodation.


In the distance, you can just see some 2nd class seats.

Note the big, beefy (dare I say overweight?) railway policeman behind Sonya's mum, Pim.











I chose the front carriage so we could get the maximum roar, growl and general 'thrash' from the loco.

Soon after boarding, I walked to the front of the carriage to get a close look (and listen!) to the locomotive.


One of the multitude of train crew must have seen me enjoying myself,

because a few minutes later he roped off the front of the carriage,

presumably to stop me doing it again.


This only slightly limited my options as there were still loads of open doors and windows to lean out of.


You will be relieved to hear that I resisted the temptation.











These wagons in a siding at Khao Chi Chan Jn

have almost certainly found their final resting place.











The freight only line to the port of Map Ta Phut

branches east from Khao Chi Chan Junction.











After uncoupling, the Alsthom- built locomotive No.4108

waits to run round the train

at Ban Phlu Ta Luang


ready for the return to Bangkok in a couple of hours.











Carriage destination board











Some of the State Railway of Thailand's rolling stock

is in a very sorry state


- but it still gives a much better ride than a 142!











The station name board at Ban Phlu Ta Luang

peers out from behind the greenery.


The lower portion, indicating the next station away from Bangko,

is the commercial port of Sattahip - served by a freight only line.


In the other direction, the next stop is Khao Chi Chan Jn.











4108 has run round the train


and now awaits the scheduled 13:35 departure

back to Bangkok.











Another view of 4108 and her train.


Nobody minds if you wander around the track

- just make sure you don't get flattened by a passing train!











The locomotive-makers nameplate











A map of the local area around Ban Phlu Ta Luang station











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A new line from Map Ta Phut, would follow the Eastern (green) line north to Kaeng Khoi Jn,

then the North Eastern (yellow) line via Lam Narai to Bua Yai Jn and finally north to Nong Khai on the Mekong.

There it would cross the international Friendship Bridge into Laos.


A second standard gauge line would branch west at Kaeng Khoi Jn to Ayutthaya,

head north to Chiang Mai

and then northest past Chiang Rai to the Lao border

to join another line through to China.


Note that neither route actually touches Bangkok,

though it would be fairly simple to build south from Ayutthaya or west from Chacheungsao into the capital.


Both lines are described as 'high speed' lines and publicity material features TGVs.

Of course these are NOT Shinkansen 300 to 350kph routes.


At best the line speed will be 180kph (112mph) or the same as much of the WCML.

But compared to Thailand's existing metre gauge network with a linespeed of 105kph (about 65mph)

they are considerably faster.









South East ASIA