Thai Railway Museum at Bangkok Train Station

Most people who travel through Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Train Station are unaware that it houses the Thai Railway Museum. The entrance to the museum is located at the left hand side of the grand entrance to the station, opposite the entrance to KFC restaurant.

Entrance to the Thai Railway Museum at Bangkok Train Station
Entrance to the Thai Railway Museum at Bangkok Train Station

The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 to 18.00 (except public holidays) and admission is free. It is worth visiting if you have a few minutes to wait before your train leaves.

Small Museum

This museum, managed by the Thai Railway Foundation, is small but packed with artefacts dating back across more than 100 years in no particular order, and without explanatory signage.

Collection of old train tickets
Collection of old train tickets

The museum is not normally busy and the attendant is normally more than willing to take the opportunity to explain some of the items on display.

History of train tickets in Thailand

In 1951, the same year as the Royal State Railways Thailand (RSR) changed it name to simply the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), the first automated ticketing machine was brought into use for train tickets in Thailand. Before then all tickets were hand written, as is still the case with train tickets in Myanmar. Machines were ordered from Germany which stamped small rectangular tickets with the date and number of the train. In the picture above you will see that the tickets are a variety of different colours. The colour of the ticket related to the class: Yellow = 1st Class; Green = 2nd Class; and Orange = 3rd Class.

Early Thai points machine
Early Thai points machine

Amongst the other items in display are some antique railway related mechanical device. The points machine pictured above dates back to the 1950s and is one of a pair which still works.

Luxury travel on Thailand Trains

Travellers on today’s Thailand trains often associate travel on Thailand’s trains with basic facilities and great value for money. However, Thailand’s railway service has, since it creation, also catered to travel by royalty and other important people in elegant trains with fine dining.

Plates for elegant dining on Thailand's Prestige Trains
Plates for elegant dining on Thailand’s Prestige Trains

These plates would once have been used to serve food to some very important people. This tradition is still alive with the SRT’s Prestige Trains where diners are still served food on distinctive SRT china plates.

Hua Lamphong may become a museum

The Thai Railway Museum at Bangkok Train Station is small but well worth a visit if you are waiting for a train. Hua Lamphong Train Station is no longer the main train station and its future is uncertain. The building itself has significant historical architectural merit and the idea of turning it into a large museum is being considered.

SRT Prestige Trains
SRT Prestige Trains

This small museum is a great start to the process of developing a larger collection to fill the cavernous space of the current station building. We say go along and show some support and encouragement for the Foundation’s efforts to preserve Thailand’s train history.

How useful was this page?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.3 / 5. Vote count: 13

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.