Ordinary 258: Tham Krasae to Tha Kilen by Train over the Tham Krasae Viaduct

The iconic Tham Krasae Viaduct or Wang Po Viaduct is probably what you might picture when you think of today’s Death Railway in all its splendour. Running beside a cliff by the river on a wooden trestle viaduct, it is arguably the most picturesque section of the Death Railway in Kanchanaburi. As such, the section between Tham Krasae and Tha Kilen is the most-utilised section by tour groups bringing tourists on the train ride on the Death Railway.

The Tham Krasae Viaduct is open for visitors to walk on when trains are not running. This also allows you to get up close with the wooden trestle viaducts which the POWs and romushas built by hand under torturous circumstances.

The scenic view of the Khwae Noi River from the Tham Krasae Viaduct.

The Tham Krasae Viaduct is also used as pedestrian access to the Krasae Cave.

The Krasae Cave was once where POWs rested while building the railway – this was before the “Speedo” period. Today, it houses a Buddha image which Buddhist visitors come and pray to. However, do note that the Tham Krasae Cave is not a temple.

The view out of the Krasae Cave.

The Tham Krasae Viaduct in front of the Krasae Cave.

Tham Krasae Viaduct is also excellent for trainspotting, especially for westbound trains for Nam Tok.

The full length of the Ordinary 257 from Bangkok Thonburi bound for Nam Tok on the Tham Krasae Viaduct.

Alsthom (AHK) 4230 leads the Ordinary 257 on the Tham Krasae Viaduct, a rare sight as most trains are hauled by GE locomotives.

Tourists wave to tourists at the Tham Krasae Viaduct on this fun and scenic journey, not one that the POWs and romushas could have visualized when they were suffering while building the railway.

The Tham Krasae Railway Station is a simple facility with just two platforms, a short one on the vaduct-end of the station and a longer one on the market side of the station. The station is not manned by a station master and has no ticket counters. Tickets can be purchased from the conductor on board the train.

The modern Tham Krasae station sign.

The simple timetable as listed at Tham Krasae Railway Station.

The shorter platform on the viaduct-end of Tham Krasae Railway Station.

There is a short track stub to keep a light maintenance vehicle or wagon at Tham Krasae Railway Station.

My Ordinary 258 is formed of the same u-turned train of Ordinary 257 as spotted earlier on the Tham Krasae Viaduct.

Looking out for my car number as my train approaches.

Departing from Tham Krasae Railway Station.

A guard gives the clear signal for my train to proceed onto the Tham Krasae Viaduct.

The scenic view of the Khwae Noi River from the Ordinary 258 on the Tham Krasae Viaduct.

As this train ride was with a tour group, the ride was already included in the tour. However, I used my tour guide’s nationality in order to get myself an additional local ticket as a souvenir for this ride. The local fare for the journey from Tham Krasae to Tha Kilen is 3 Baht (~S$0.13). However, if you are purchasing a ticket normally as a foreigner, tickets will cost you 100 Baht (~S$4.27). This is the only SRT line which practices differentiated pricing for locals and tourists.

Arriving at Tham Krasae Bridge Railway Station.

Making a brief stop at Tham Krasae Bridge Railway Station.

From here, the train travels at the regular fast speed towards Tha Kilen, Kahanaburi and Bangkok.

As I was seated in the non-refurbished coach, only squat toilets were available.

However, the refurbished coaches have western-style toilets fitted in them.

The view of the ride towards Tha Kilen.

Arrived at Tha Kilen just under 20 minutes since boarding from Tham Krasae.

Heading out of the station.

Tha Kilen Railway Station houses token machines which is still in use today for the line’s signalling.

The exterior of Tha Kilen Railway Station.

Overall, a nice short and sweet ride across the Tham Krasae Viaduct (Wang Po Viaduct), though I recommend you to try out the full route from Nam Tok to Kanchanaburi and Bangkok in order to fully experience what’s left of the Death Railway in Kanchanaburi.

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