• SRT: Hin Lap Station and Curve + Dong Phraya Yen Pass

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by thaitransit
After spending 3 hours at Kaeng Khoi Junction and a 30 minute ride on the 05:00 DMU service to Khon Kaen I arrived at Hin Lap station. When I arrived at Hin Lap it was still quite dark with only dull pre dawn light beginning to show to the east of the station. Photography conditions greatly improved over the next 60 minutes as the sun rose.

A little background on Hin Lap Station and curve.

Hin Lap station is located about half way up the Dong Phraya Yen Pass. On the busy Ubon Ratchathani Main line that links up some of the most densely populated parts of the Issan region home to close to 30 million people.

Hin Lap station doesn’t have any connecting transport services, the road outside the station is just made of dirt and mud. Hin Lap has no shops or food, there is no town water the people at Hin Lap rely on rainwater stored in large drums and ceramic jars for their water supply. This is a location that you must bring everything you need with you from food and water to soap. There is a very small and sparsely populated village close to the station. In the mountains north of the station is a temple with almost inaccessible caves where some monks stay.

The stopping train frequency at Hin Lap station is very low. The train is the only way in and out by mass transport no alternative bus or truck services exist.

From Bangkok departs at: 05:28 (ex Kaeng Khoi), 14.33, 18.51

To Bangkok departs at: 11:08, 17:23, 19:48 (terminates at Kaeng Khoi)

The 1st half of the Dong Phraya Yen Pass is more spectacular and mountainous than the second half due in part to retaining most of its thick forest cover. However it is not a pristine clean environment due to the massive TPI cement mine and cement products factory located just 3km down the line from Hin Lap station. This cement factory often sends thick clouds of orange dust billowing across the Hin Lap area. At times during the day blasts from mining operations can be heard.

Hin Lap station is located on a double curve which was cut into the side of the mountains back in 1898 when this section of the Ubon line was built. In 1965 the TPI cement company opened its mine and factory which also included a 3 km long system of private rail sidings that start right in front of Hin Lap station. The rail access to the TPI sidings is via the loop at Hin Lap station.

TPI cement have their own Chinese built locos which regularly run up and down the 3km long line preparing cement wagons to be shipped out by SRT rail at a later time.

The view from the sidings and kaeng Khoi end of Hin Lap station offers some spectacular views of the mountains and the double curve of the main line. This is where I spent the next 8 and half hours photographing SRT and TPI trains.

Hin Lap Station (144.29 km) at 5.30 am.

1. This is a shot looking east along the platform at Hin Lap. Taken about 5.30am in the pre dawn light.


2. This is a shot of the signal control board inside the station building at Hin Lap station. Note the black lines at the top these represent the TPI private sidings. The red phones are to contact the next signal control box either up or down the line.


14. This is a short movie showing the SRT loco 4527 on its way to collect the cement wagons. Also can be seen is TPI loco CK5004. Note how the TPI staff member is hanging out the door.


15. This is a picture of TPI loco CK 5004 on its way back down to the main cement plant 3 km away. Taken looking towards the Hin Lap curve.


16. This is an image of SRT loco 4527 on its way out of the TPI yard with a Bangkok bound cement train.


17. This is a shot of the same cement train as it prepares to shunt on to the main line to re enter the SRT system. Note the TPI staff member hanging off the back of the train.


19. This is a short movie of SRT 4527 as it hauls the cement train down the steep grades of the pass and as it passes though the Hin Lap curve.


21. This is another angle on the Bang Sue bound cargo train. Taken as it runs though the platform road at Hin Lap. SRT loco number 4023. Loco type older GE.

25. This is close up shot of the Daewoo DMU as it rounds the second curve at Hin Lap station.


33. This is an image of SRT loco number 4153 imitating a steam engine as pulls away from Hin Lap station belching out a massive cloud of black smoke.


37. This is a close up shot of the TPI loco number CK 5005 as it rounds a curve in the rail yard on its way back down the mountain. Note the TPI staff member hanging off the front of the loco.


44. This is a shot of the Lam Chi ordinary intercity train as it just passed though Hin Lap curves on its approach to Hin Lap station. Note the orange clouds of dust can still be seen. This train is very full and has been traveling for close to 4 hours with a large standing load.


47. This is a short movie taken from the rear of the Lam Chi intercity train as it made its way up the Dong Phraya Yen Pass to Muak Lek. Note the tight curves and steep grades and mountain views. Also note the short rail lengths and crappy wooden sleepers at every track joint.


So comes to an end 22 hours of rail fan action at the gateway to Issan and the Dong Phraya Yen Pass. I slept for 14 hours straight after I got home from this trip.

If you want to see more images and information from the Hin Lap curve please visit:

http://thaitransit.blogspot.com/2008/11 ... -dong.html

I hope you find the pictures and vehicles shown to be of interest if you view this please post some comments and feelings about the pictures.