Bangkok’s Neo-Renaissance Railway Station

One of the busiest places in Bangkok has got to be Hua Lamphong Station which is located in the crowded and frequently jammed city center. Although most people refer it as Hua Lamphong, the station is officially named Bangkok Railway Station or Krungthep Station (with Krungthep being the Thai name of Bangkok). This station is the city’s main railway station which is said to serve over 130 trains and 60,000 passengers every day with destinations to other provinces in Thailand while some trains will even reach destinations out of the country. As it is located in the city center, it is quite easy for us to reach the station. The easiest and most convenient way is by taking MRT to Hua Lamphong station as there is an underground passage connecting both stations.

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The main entrance of the Bangkok Railway Station
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Construction of this station began in 1910 during King Rama V reign
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Passengers were waiting for their trains in the staation’s main hall

This century-old railway station is an iconic architectural landmark in Bangkok. During the hectic and hot day of my visit, I did not manage to capture a descent photo of the station’s exterior, which was quite shame. But fortunately we can easily find it in the web and it is quite wonderful. An Italian architect, Mario Tamagno, designed this station with a Neo-Renaissance influence with all the arches and colored glass windows. Similar style was also evident in his other works around the city including the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in Dusit district which is not too far away . The construction of this station took six years to complete before this station began its operation in June 1916. During those early days, when train was the leading mean of transportation, we can imagine how grand and crucial this station was as it become the arrival point for many visitors coming to Bangkok from other provinces of Thailand.

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One of the trains was going to leave the Bangkok station
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We can see the arch shape and glass window of the station here
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The trains were getting cleaning before embarking on the next journey

But after over a year of operations, the glory days of Hua Lamphong station is coming to its end. As the station cannot be expanded any further to service the ever-increasing number of passengers, the role of main transit station will be relocated over the next several years to a new Bang Sue Station in Chatuchak district. Then what fate will wait for Hua Lamphong? This historic station is going to undergo renovation projects to be transformed into a railway museum. I would say that it is an inevitable yet fitting end to an iconic landmark such as this Hua Lamphong station. But if you want to see the station while it is still operating, then you need to visit it soon!

 

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