Ordinary 280 is the morning SRT Eastern Line train from Ban Klong Luk Border, the new railway station just at the Thai-Cambodian border at Klongluk Boundary Post, to Bangkok Hua Lamphong, operated by NKF and THN diesel railcars. Coming in from the Royal Railway Phnom Penh – Poipet Line (PNH-PS-BB-SS-PP 07:15 AM) train, this was the smoothest connection to Bangkok possible, with an overnight stay at the border.
Exiting after checking out from @Border Hotel, the Klongluk Boundary Post is awake again in the morning light.
Here, I turned left at the junction to Ban Klong Luk Railway Station.
Heading left to where the pedestrian departure lane of Klongluk Boundary Post towards Poipet is also located.
Heading down the main road away from the foot path to Poipet. Locals sell lots of breakfast and snack options on their motorbike carts, or if you don’t fancy these, you can always go to 7-Eleven just around the corner to buy breakfast for the train ride.
The departure foot path into Klongluk Boundary Post to Poipet, Cambodia.
The entrance to Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station is located just before this level crossing.
Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station as seen from the level crossing.
Looking up towards Bangkok.
The entire Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station is fenced off, including the entrance by rail into the station. I’m assuming that the station will be completely sealed off when immigration and customs clearance is taking place.
I think I know which platform my train will be using already.
Heading into Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station.
The station sign of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station.
Heading into the platform of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station, which has an additional fence lining the perimeter of it.
Not sure where this driveway leads to.
Heading into the platform of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station.
The backdrop for the opening of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station still remains, featuring the new and historical Thai-Cambodian Friendship Bridge across the border.
The main platform of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station.
The station signs of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station.
The station sign with distances between the next stations from Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station. Poipet Railway Station is only 1.025km away.
The station name sign at the edge of the platform at Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station.
The waiting area at the main platform of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station.
The queue at the ticket counter of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station.
The timetables of the two pairs of train serving Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station.
The fare information from Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station. As all trains at Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station are Ordinary trains, the fare rate is the same regardless of which train you take.
A more permanent sign board is also available in front of the ticket counter.
And here comes the Empty Train 1035 from Aranyaprathet to Ban Klong Luk Border. The train is scheduled to arrive only at 6.53am, but it’s a lot earlier now. Instead of overnighting at Ban Klong Luk Border, the DMU overnights back at Aranyaprathet just like how it has been done before this extension.
Entering the premises of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station.
Handing over the Aranyaprathet – Ban Klong Luk Border token to the porter. Is this the newest token signalling line in the world? Wonder how much it costs to install this old (but reliable) system as brand new.
Arriving at Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station.
The Empty Train 1035 from Aranyaprathet arrived at Ban Klong Luk Border at 6.41am – 12 minutes ahead of schedule. This train will immediately form the Ordinary 280 to Bangkok Hua Lamphong.
Looking down the platform towards Poipet.
The other side of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station facing Cambodia is gated too.
The station name sign at the other edge of the platform. You can also see another gate just before the Thai-Cambodian Friendship Bridge, as part of the fence within Thailand just before the border.
There is also a fence along the platform that can be used to split passengers heading on separate domestic and international trains when operating the line with permissive working, or to separate those who have cleared immigration already or otherwise.
The stylish wooden station sign of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station, with the name painted in gold.
The empty immigration areas for now.
The destination plate of Ordinary 280, with a new purple background for the SRT Eastern Line.
Heading to the front of the train.
Seems like the train stopped perfectly at the platform fence. Argh.
What the view of the front of the train looks like when beside the station name sign.
To get a proper shot of the train, I decided to head back to the level crossing.
There we go. Ordinary 280 ready to head to Bangkok, a four-car set formed of 1 THN and 3 NKF diesel railcars.
A shot of Ordinary 280 with the station sign of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station and the Thai-Cambodian Friendship Bridge.
“Not the last station from the West, but the first station toward the East.”
Another of my typical shot with the train and station sign, but with the platform fence of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station blocking the whole shot.
Heading back to the ticket counter to purchase my ticket. I lost my spot in the queue when trying to capture the incoming Empty Train 1035 earlier on.
Lesser people queuing now that most of the passengers are already on board with their tickets.
The permanent fare chart at Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station ticket counter.
The station-specific timetable at Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station ticket counter.
Boarding the front THN diesel railcar.
The overall interior of the THN diesel railcar, manufactured by Tokyu, Hitachi and Nippon Sharyo.
The THN diesel railcar comes with padded seats.
My ticket for the Ordinary 280 from Ban Klong Luk Border to Bangkok. The fare from Ban Klong Luk Border to Bangkok is just 49 Baht (~S$2.23). That means you can get from the Cambodian border all the way to Bangkok for a little over 2 dollars. Amazing.
As I decided that sitting outside the toilet in the last bay of seat at the end of the coach was not going be comfortable in the long run with poor air flow, I headed back to the NKF diesel railcars instead to find a more airy seat for the long journey.
The overall interior of the NKF diesel railcars with hard, plastic seats.
Empty bays of seats were only found in the last car.
The last bay of seats in the main area is reserved for monks.
The end of the train was reserved for staff.
The station sign of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station as seen from my window.
At 6.57am, the bells of the platform were rung, and at 6.58am precisely, the Ordinary 280 departed from Ban Klong Luk Border right on time.
The station master of Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station giving the clearance to Ordinary 280.
Heading out of the station premises.
Crossing the level crossing of Ban Klong Luk Border.
Looking back at @Border Hotel.
Heading through vegetation almost immediately.
Running parallel to Route 33 or Suwannason Road, heading towards Aranyaprathet. Previously, travelling on this road would have been compulsory to catch the train from Aranyaprathet, but now, the train travels all the way to the border.
Suwannason Road curving left to Aranyaprathet town.
Entering Aranyaprathet Railway Station with many loop lines.
A new way to enter Aranyaprathet Railway Station from the east, from Ban Klong Luk Border.
Making a brief stop at Aranyaprathet where more passengers boarded.
The Aranyaprathet station sign showing the neighbouring stations has also been updated to reflect Ban Klong Luk Border Railway Station.
Departing from Aranyaprathet.
Here, the train conductor checks for tickets along with railway policeman who checks your checked ticket.
Making a brief stop at Huai Dua halt.
Heading on through the eastern Thailand scenery.
Making a brief stop at Ban Pong Kom halt.
Heading on with some flooded fields beside the railway track.
Making a brief stop at Watthana Nakhon Railway Station.
A maintenance trolley parking area after Watthana Nakhon Railway Station.
Reception along the railway line was quite good thanks to the many cell towers along the way.
Making a brief stop at Huai Chot halt. Must be annoying as a road driver for the platform to be split across a level crossing.
Passing by the second half of Huai Chot halt.
When the conductor walked back after checking everyone’s tickets, I asked to buy a 2 Baht on-board ticket as a souvenir, and he sold it to me with no problems.
Arriving at Sa Kaeo Railway Station.
A lot more people boarded the train here.
On-board vendors are also in full swing selling meals, snacks and drinks.
Making a brief stop at Sala Lamduan halt.
Making a brief stop at Ban Kaeng Railway Station. Yup, the platform still functions.
The station signs of Ban Kaeng Railway Station in the mud platform.
The fully-seated train.
Making a brief stop at Phra Prong halt with more passengers and vendors boarding.
Heading on through more fields.
Arriving at Nong Sang Railway Station.
More passengers boarding here.
Passing by a preserved locomotive at Kabin Buri Railway Station on a disused turntable.
More passengers boarded at Kabin Buri.
Making a brief stop at Ban Phrom Saeng halt.
Making a brief stop at Ban Dong Bang Railway Station.
Making a brief stop at Nong Saeng halt.
Crossing with the Ordinary 275 from Bangkok to Ban Klong Luk Border at Prachantakham Railway Station, using locomotive-hauled BTC coaches.
The Ordinary 275/276 is a longer train formed of airy BTC coaches, which makes for a more comfortable ride than this NKF.
The destination sign on the Ordinary 275 BTC coach.
Departing from Prachantakham Railway Station.
Hmm, looks somewhat like Cambodia again.
Arriving at Prachin Buri Railway Station.
Lots more passengers at Prachin Buri Railway Station.
By this time, the Ordinary 280 was looking more like a BTS instead.
Departing from Prachin Buri Railway Station.
Heading on down towards Bangkok.
Making a brief stop at Nong Nam Khao Railway Station.
Some red lotuses along the tracks in a flooded pocket of water.
Arriving at Ban Sang Railway Station.
A station dog learning the ropes from the station master of Ban Sang Railway Station.
Crossing the Bang Pakong River, marking the border between Prachin Buri and Chacheongsao provinces.
Lots of ballast before Klong Sip Kao Junction.
Arriving at Klong Sip Kao Junction Railway Station.
The 3 branches at Klong Sip Kao Junction Railway Station as shown on the station signboard.
Departing from Klong Sip Kao Junction Railway Station.
Making a brief stop at Bang Nak Prieo Railway Station.
Approaching Chacheongsao Junction, the track suddenly splits to a rather new alignment on the left.
Crossing the Tha Khai River.
Oh, I wasn’t expecting this.
The new alignment is part of a new elevated wye junction, to form a bypass from the Ban Phlu Ta Luang Main Line directly to the Aranyaprathet Main Line and Phra Phutthachai Line, reducing the burden on Chacheongsao Junction Railway Station for the train to change directions. Looks like this line is purely for the frequent freight trains on the line.
Leaving the new alignment.
Approaching the original junction at Chacheongsao Junction.
Looking down at the Ban Phlu Ta Luang Main Line.
Crossing over to Platform 1.
Entering Chacheongsao Junction Railway Station.
Making a brief stop at Chacheongsao Junction Railway Station, with lots of passengers waiting.
The announcement banner at Chacheongsao Junction Railway Station regarding the extension of trains from Aranyaprathet to Ban Klong Luk Border.
More passengers coming on board to head to Bangkok.
The Ordinary 280 looks like a typical Bangkok rapid transit train now.
Here, the line leads to familiarity.
Making a brief stop at Khlong Kwaeng Klan Railway Station.
Passing by some TPIPL cement silos.
Passing by some TPIPL cement wagons at Preng Railway Station. Unfortunately, no TPIPL locomotives were in sight.
Former JRF 10 foot containers, now used by TPIPL.
Heading on the last sights of rural Thailand.
Passing by the Lat Krabang Commemoration District National Library.
Making a brief stop at Hua Takhe Railway Station, the major station serving King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL).
Heading on beside long parallel sheltered linkway to Phra Chom Klao halt.
Crossing the level crossing on the road which cuts through KMITL.
Making a brief stop at Phra Chom Klao halt with a 3D sign for I♥KMITL.
More students boarding the train.
After Phra Chom Klao, rural Thailand scenery ends as the train bypasses Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.