We took the midnight train goin’ anywhere

Member first lines of this Journey Song (“Don’t stop believing”)?

“Just two german boys, living in a new world…” yada yada yada. But we weren’t about looking for love or whatever the point of this song is anyway. There was just a bag positioned in Bangkok and a lot to see on this side of the planet, we decided to settle on for a while.

The dining car of the night train

The dining car of the night train

Anyway, you get informations about ourselves and what we’ve done and seen from lots of other posts. Here are some historical backgrounds and facts about the railway line from Thanaleng to Bangkok (we took in the night from the 1.  to 2. of November).

Railway in Thailand

The history of trains in Thailand reaches back in the year 1855 when Queen Victoria gave King Rama IV of Siam (Thailand) a model train as a gift. In 1894 Paknam Railway was opened as the first line of Thailand and even 31 years later in 1925 it was the first electric railway service of Southeast Asia. In 1919 it was decided to standardize on 1000mm gauge (narrow-gauge), like e.g. its common in Africa or Antarctica, meanwhile the significantly larger 1435mm gauge is more common in the rest of the world.

Thanaleng – Bangkok

The first part of the railway crosses the Thai-Lao border on the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge over the Mekong river. There is a daily shuttle service with two coaches since 2009, it is about 5km long and the only active railway line in Laos anyway. It leads to the train station of Nong Khai where you have to enter Thailand and switch trains.

Night trains 2nd Class interrior

Night trains 2nd Class interrior

The second part is the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) line from Nong Khai to Bangkok. The line was opened in 1958 and is about 621km long and has about 100 stations. The night train ride takes more than 12 hours, even if he passes maybe 99 of them.  The train runs up to 100km/h average speed on the most of the time single-tracked line which feels even faster because of the narrow-gauge.

Maeklong railway

And there is another Thai railway to write about from first hand. Not because it runs with spectacular speed or its rather modern. Actually it is Thailands slowest railway with average speed of 30km/h and there are no signals all along the tracks.

Maeklong Railway train

Maeklong Railway train

But there is something else! Who ever came up with the idea to unite one of Thailands largest fish markets and this railway tracks he must be also the one who build the Pyramids and came up with the idea of Polar Lights. Whenever a train approaches, the awnings and shop fronts are moved back from the rails, to be replaced once the train has passed. Thats why the market is called the “umbrella pulldown market” (Talat Rom Hup).

Train Market "Talat Rom Hup"

Train Market “Talat Rom Hup”

3 Comments

  1. 😍 I like this story and fotos, could reed it again and again 😉 go on and have a good time, boys 😘

  2. Analyse

    Der Text von DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ schildert keine eindeutige Handlung. Allgemein lässt sich ein durchweg hoffnungsvoller Ausdruck feststellen. Zwei Deutungsmöglichkeiten legt der Text in besonderem Maße nahe. Einerseits thematisiert der Songtext den Wunsch, sich im Leben zu verwirklichen. Menschen verlassen ihr Zuhause und ziehen von der Vorstadt in die Metropolen, um ihr Glück zu versuchen und “entdeckt” zu werden. Andererseits handelt der Song auch über Liebe, die überall zu finden ist, gerade dort, wo man sie nicht vermutet. Beide Interpretationen schließen sich nicht aus. Der Songtitel DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ kommt im Text erst am Ende vor und appelliert daran, dass man niemals aufgeben soll seinen Traum zu verwirklichen oder die große Liebe zu suchen.

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