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SRT Northern Line: Thailand's Highest and Longest ? Khun Tan

 
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thaitransit



Age: 36
Joined: 07 Dec 2008
Posts: 40
Location: Mahachai City

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:41 am    Post subject: SRT Northern Line: Thailand's Highest and Longest ? Khun Tan Reply with quote

Over 2 days in late August 2010 I embarked on a rail photography trip to Khun Tan on SRT's Northern Line. Khun Tan is Thailand's highest railway station and is home to Thailand's longest railway tunnel. Khun Tan is located at the summit of northern line that connects Bangkok with Chiang Mai. It is 683.14 km by rail from Hualamphong station in Bangkok. By overnight special express train it takes approximately 12 hours.

A Little Background on the Northern line and Khun Tan.

The Northern line from Bangkok to Chiang Mai was constructed in many separate stages from 1901 to 1922 reaching Khun Tan station in 1918 after the opening of the 1362 metre long Khun Tan tunnel was completed. The tunnel took over 5 years to build and was overseen by German engineers. The Khun Tan allowed the northern line to summit Doi Khun Tan at a height of 572.58 metres. The Northern line was originally built as 1435 mm standard gauge track but the entire line was re-gauged by 1930 to 1000mm narrow gauge which was common throughout south east Asia at the time.

Nowadays the northern line is considered to have very slow transit times and has extremely steeply graded tracks over an extended distance that adds hours to travel time for both passenger and freight trains from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. The section of track leading up to and passing through the Khun Tan area does place limitations on train movements. Today it is common for locomotive hauled trains to need an assisting locomotive to complete the summit in a reasonable time. This locomotive is attached at Mai Tan Noi and runs though to Khun Tan where it is removed for the next train. Train speeds through this section of track can be as low as 10 kph when climbing the grade.

In the future this section of track will need to be duplicated for greater capacity on the northern line. However it is likely that a very costly base tunnel would need to be constructed to improve transit times and capacity. Current plans for the Northern line will involve double tracking of the line in stages from Lopburi to Sila At at the foot of mountains.

30. This is a shot of the other half of signal and point levers inside the signal room at Khun Tan station. Also a track and signal layout diagram is displayed.



39. This is another shot of Alstom locomotive number 4154 taken in rather wet conditions as it approaches Khun Tan station on its way to Bangkok.



48. This is a shot of a Daewoo narrow body DMU number 2521 taken as it powers up the final grade into Khun Tan as Special Express Diesel Rail Car 12 on its way to Bangkok.





52. This is a shot of Alstom Locomotive number 4209 and another Alstom locomotive approaching Khun Tan station just after exiting from the tunnel with very late running Special Express 13 to Chiang Mai. It was about 2 and half hours late.



56. This is another shot of NKF DMU number 1262 on its way to Nakhon Sawan as ORD 408. Taken as it stops at Khun Tan station for a cross with Special Express train number 13.



69. This is a video of Alstom locomotives 4202 and 4209 uncoupling at Khun Tan with locomotive 4209 running around the train and heading back down the line to assist the next train up the grade. Then locomotive 4202 heads off to Bangkok with Express train 52 via Khun Tan tunnel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDDhaTxUywk

If you would like to see more pictures and information regarding SRT Northern Line: Thailand's Highest and Longest ? Khun Tan then please visit:

http://thaitransit.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/srt-northern-line-thailands-highest-and.html

I hope you enjoyed the images and information on SRT Northern Line: Thailand's Highest and Longest ? Khun Tan. If you have any comments or questions about this topic please post some comments below.
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