AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Kanchanaburi: The Death Railway

The Death Railway was built by POWs and Asian labourers during the Second World War for the Japanese, so they could get supplies into Burma. It was 400km long and was in use until the end of the war. After the war it was disconnected near the border by the British who were paranoid about some separatists using it to force the British out. The Thai government then decided in 1947 to close the uppermost section of the line near the Burmese border. The rest of the line, from Bangkok to Nam Tok was left in service and is still in use today. There is a short extension to a waterfall which is now the end of the line, but only one train goes there and only on a Saturday and Sunday.

As luck would have it we were in Kanchanaburi over the weekend so we got tickets onto the 909 special train to the waterfall at the end of the line.

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The purpose of the journey was simply to ride over the bridge and ride the death railway. The waterfall at the end was little more than a bonus for the trip. The train journey was very slow moving at about 20 mph most of the time and much less when we went over wooden sections.

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When we reached the waterfalls it’s lucky they weren’t the main reason for the journey. They were small and picturesque, but they were full of Russian tourists who seemingly came out of nowhere and were now climbing on every available inch of stone. There was one reasonably large waterfall which Annemarie went to a paddle under but mainly we rested and ate ice cream.

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All the photos from our trip on the train and the waterfall can be seen here.

Posted from Tha Sao, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

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