It’s the end of an era as the State Railway of Thailand looks to ceasing train services to and from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong railway station. The expensive patch of land, where the famous station is located, is slated for a swish new commercial development. The decommissioning of the famous old station will happen at the end of the year.
Hua Lamphong, has been the start or end of millions of journeys for over a century and is a Bangkok landmark. Originally built in 1916, Hua Lamphong was designed by Italian duo Mario Tamagno and Annibale Rigotti. Style-wise, the iconic station is described as Italian Neo-Renaissance style – mostly seen in the balustrudes, arcades, decorative features and accents.
Now, the land’s new development is expected to attract 800 billion baht for the State Railway over the next 30 years. The SRT is currently 600 billion baht in the red.
But the Hua Lamphong railway station isn’t the only land the SRT are looking to redevelop with land where the Thon Buri station, Mae Nam station and the Royal City Avenue also being slated for redevelopment.
The redevelopments are being handled by SRT Asset Company, a privately operated subsidiary of the State Railway Authority.
But not everyone is happy. The much larger and brand new Bang Sue station, which will become Bangkok’s new railway and transport hub, isn’t as well located to some of the inner city’s most popular areas. For 105 years residential areas have sprung up around Hua Lamphong but the newer station is further out of town although the newer BTS and MRT networks link to the huge Bang Sue terminal.
For residents and families that settled near Hua Lamphong, because of the convenience and links to other inner city transport, the move will add to costs and time as they transit across Bangkok.
Local residents have been vocal opponents to the move away from the old station, claiming they’ve had little say in the transition to the new Bangkok railway hub.
For now, despite the Transport Minister’s insistence that everything is being done to make the transition as smooth as possible, a direct link to the new hub doesn’t exist. The Ministers says Bangkok Mass Transit Authority is being asked to add new services between the stations. At this time those plans don’t exist with the old station’s final trains less than 2 months away.
Bang Sue station has had its public debut, not as Bangkok’s new transport hub but as a mass vaccination centre for the capital’s Covid vaccine roll out.
PHOTO: The new, sprawling Bang Sue Railway hub for Bangkok
PHOTO: Hua Lamphong has been the start or end of millions of journeys for over 100 years
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