Hua Lumphong (Bangkok Railway) Station is currently Bangkok’s central railway station that was opened in mid 1916, making it over 100 years old, and it certainly looks it’s age 🙂
Hua Lumphong’s history will come to an end quite soon, as all services will move to the new Bangsue Grand Station, opening in July 2021. After renovation works, Hua Lumphong should reopen as a railway museum, and possibly for special train journeys like steam engine rides, etc. People say now is a good time to come and relive “historical” times, whatever that is supposed to mean. But what brought me here was because I needed to get home, and I was tired of taking the subway or skytrain back, so I thought I’ll try the commuter diesel train…… of course, I wasn’t thinking properly as I had to wait one hour for the train to arrive followed by a very sweaty, smelly 30-minute ride to a station near my home.
During the journey I was trying hard to take my mind back to yesteryear, 5 kings ago, when on June 25th, 1916 this station was opened to the public, bet it was a grand ceremony with everyone praising someone for their great achievement.
Fast forward to the present day, blink once, blink twice, and you can’t get your head around the fact that modernization in terms of railway technology doesn’t seem to have moved forward, ….. well not until you’ve visited Frankfurt Main station, the original prototype of Thailand’s Hua Lumphong station. What went wrong you may ask? Just about everything, corruption, mismanagement, unions, governments, etc., etc., etc..
Generally, I like trains, it’s great for commuting, short to afar, and you can get work done en route or simply look out the window to relax. But in Thailand, a simple train journey from Bangkok to Hua Hin, for example, takes 5 hours, twice as long as a car, whilst an interprovincial bus manages the same route in under 4 hours, plus or minus a couple of minutes for traffic, and since nobody wants to lose time commuting, trains are not popular nowadays, except for the poor, and who cares about the poor, they can take their couple of baht journey and shove it up their arse (being sarcastic).