“Hua Lamphong Station”
Bangkok, Thailand. November 2019. (11 photos)
The main railway station in Bangkok is officially referred to by the State Railway of Thailand as Sathani Rotfai Krung Thep (สถานีรถไฟกรุงเทพ) in Thai, and Bangkok Railway Station in English. However many locals and tourists know it as Hua Lamphong Station (สถานีหัวลำโพง), the informal name for the station.
The station was opened on 25 June 1916 after six years of construction that started in 1910 in the reign of King Chulalongkorn (the Crown Prince in the musical, The King and I) and finished in the reign of King Vajiravudh.
“The main foyer”
The station was built in an Italian Neo-Renaissance-style, with decorated wooden roofs and stained glass windows, with the Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof in Germany as a prototype. The architecture is attributed to Turin-born Mario Tamagno and countryman Annibale Rigotti.
Bangkok Train Station has a simple layout. The entrance leads directly to the ticketing and waiting area. There are also a handful of food outlets and shops on the ground floor as well as on the mezzanine level.
Walk past the ticketing area and you arrive at the passenger galleries. Fortunately, non-passengers are allowed to go inside and onto the platforms.
“But first, sleep”
“Seen better days”
Hua Lamphong serves over 130 trains and approximately 60,000 passengers each day.
“Barber shop on platform 12”
“Time enough to sleep”
“Bangkok Railway Station”
I didn’t realise this when I was there, but the station is scheduled to be closed as the main railway station for Bangkok in 2021, when it will be converted into a railway history museum. The station will also change its official name to Hua Lamphong station. The State Railway of Thailand plans to move Bangkok’s central station to Bang Sue Grand Station.
I’m glad I spent some time there, enjoying the ambience of the station, as given the current world affairs, I am unlikely to see it as a working railway station again.