End of the line: Thailand’s railway police disbands after 72 years

Photo taken from Takaeshi Ch Facebook page.

After 72 years of service, the Thailand Railway Police Division (RPD), colloquially known as the train marshals, are bidding farewell today. These officers have been a stalwart presence on the trains coursing through Thailand since the modern railway system was established during King Chulalongkorn’s reign.

The decision to disband the railway law enforcement unit comes in the wake of the Royal Thai Police’s (RTP) recent restructuring. This change, implemented under the National Police Act 2022, will see the redeployment of the unit’s members to various other departments within the police force.

Originally a rail track patrol squad, the unit was relocated to trains to counter increasing instances of crimes committed onboard. The squad later underwent a rebranding in 2005, emerging as the RPD. Their primary responsibilities encompassed ensuring passenger safety and overseeing various sections along the railway tracks.

The RPD officers were stationed at numerous locations inside and outside of Bangkok, near the respective train stations. These included Noppawong, Makkasan, Hua Hin, Hat Yai, and Nong Khai railway stations.

Their collaboration with the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) was instrumental in detecting and handling criminal activities. Their jurisdiction was not confined to the trains but extended to the surrounding areas of the train stations as well.

The enactment of the revised National Police Act last year on October 16 necessitates the dissolution of the RPD. This move aims to streamline the police force and enhance its efficacy, reported Bangkok Post.

National police chief, Torsak Sukvimol, clarified that the RPD’s disbandment aligns with the restructuring of the Central Investigation Bureau. He added that some RPD officers might be reassigned to new units.

The safety responsibilities at the terminals, previously handled by the RPD officers, will be transitioned to the local police.

The SRT staff, who have demonstrated their competence in handling such duties, will now be entrusted with the authority to conduct onboard luggage checks.

To honour the RPD’s unwavering service and commitment, a recent celebration was held. The SRT governor, Nirut Maneephan, presided over the event, extending his appreciation to the officers who have ensured safe train journeys for countless passengers over the years.

Follow more of Thaiger’s latest stories on our new Facebook page HERE.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles