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  1. #126
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    At Sara Buri a consignment of hot food came aboard... for those in the know. Soon the carriage was filled with the rank smell of garlic and chilli. I had endless visitors after this as everyone stuffed their empties into my rubbish bag. (and yes AO... you can see the seats are filling up now. The big sleeping guy in blue was actually in the wrong seat and later asked to move, which made me very happy... especially as he made way for a couple of young girls!



    After Sara Buri the train started to ascend the Korat platuea and there were several small picturesque mountain stations that we briefly stopped at.



    The scenery became more mountainous and the route took us through many cuttings with shear rock faces either side which were interrupted by open green areas. I think the area between Sara Buri and Pak Chong could be a nice part to live in.



    And more and more there were signs of major construction work. The construction of the Korat-Bangkok motorway is well under way, but I was under the impression that it was nearing completion. I wonder if some of the works I was looking at are associated with the new Korat-Bangkok high speed rail? I certainly hope so.





    And then as we approached Pak Chong an elevated section of the new link being constructed. This certainly looks more like rail supports than motorway supports... a completely different design than the elevated motorway supports through the Lamtakong area (of which you will see lots... I promise!!!).







    ^ No way do these supports look wide enough for a four lane motorway to me... fingers crossed. I am so looking forward to the high speed bullet train between Korat and Bangkok. We've been promised 1 hour 40 minutes Korat - Bangkok, which could conceivably get me to a Sukhumvit bar less than three hours after a barney with the missus at home!

    And Pak Chong station.


  2. #127
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    Along with a couple of girls for me to gawp at, a couple of Railway Police came on at Pak Chong. I thought 'bladdy hell, I only sat in the wrong seat'...



    But they seemed more interested in getting the Ticket Inspector Nazis to take photos of them posing in the aisle... maybe just to assert their authority and make clear which way the hierarchy went?



    And then we approached Lamtakong... the huge reservoir I've been banging on about. This was the main reason I wanted to travel by train... and the reason I wanted a seat on the starboard side was to get an uninterrupted view of the new elevated motorway section above Mittraparp Road (Highway 2) along the south-east side of the reservoir. Since my first 'proper' job on the Channel Tunnel I've always been fascinated by major construction projects and this elevated motorway section is up there with some of the best in my opinion. Once the Thais throw money at something they get things done, that's for sure.

    I risked the wrath of the Ticket Inspector Nazis and got out of my seat to take a load of pics through the door window on the starboard side. They left me alone.

    A couple of shots near the south-west end of the reservoir.





    And as we headed north-eastwards the rail line converged with the edge of the reservoir which made for better views...







    These Y-shaped concrete supports are a lot wider than the supports I suspect of being for the high speed rail line before Pak Chong...





    And that was it... then into the boring rice paddy flatness so typical of my part of Isaan.

    Last edited by Mendip; 19-07-2020 at 11:32 AM.

  3. #128
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    That was pretty much it.

    There were more signs of road or rail construction alongside our train route...



    And on the approach to Korat... what appeared to be a huge building... a new station maybe? For me, more evidence of ongoing construction for the high speed rail link.



    Can't see why a motorway would need reinforced concrete supports where the ground is relatively level? Any construction guys know about this?



    And finally... the outskirts of Korat!



    The train came to a halt at Nakhon Ratchasima Railway Station at exactly 3pm, 4 hours 55 minutes after leaving Hua Lamphong in Bangkok.



    This was 33 minutes behind schedule, but to be fair I think the construction works along the route slowed things down a lot. And let's face it, only 33 minutes late for a train in the UK is a major achievement.

    Here is my daughter, looking well chuffed with herself having completed her first ever train journey! (or was she just glad to get off the bloody thing?)



    You can see the train behind her, backing out of the station the same way it came in, which I thought a bit strange. But I didn't linger on those thoughts for long, I was just glad to see the back of it, for ever I hope. I for one will be happy never to get on a train in Thailand ever again. The SRT can stick it's trains up it's arse.

    And as we left the station I needed a quick pee before getting a tuk-tuk.

    I was charged 3 Baht... it's only 2 Baht at the bus station!



    That was the final bit of convincing I needed...

    The bus... only 209 Baht, good aircon, reclining seats (sit back?), wifi, phone charger, one hour quicker, leg room, no stinking rubbish bin stuck on your lap and the main thing... you always get a bloody window!

    The train... well you decide!
    Last edited by Mendip; 19-07-2020 at 11:20 AM.

  4. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    Can't see why a motorway would need reinforced concrete supports where the ground is relatively level?
    The columns need to go down to the correct depth. The rebar ensures the columns don't vibrate and potentially crack and fail.

    Not desired on ant bridge, 45 mph train, super speed train or car/truck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    I even booked seats for the starboard side of the train to ensure a good view at Lamtakong, that's the level of planning involved.
    Were you not shown a diagram of the carriage?

    On our trips on the "big blue buses", when buying tickets, I'm always always shown a diagram, indicating the vacant seats available to select from.

    Ensures social distancing from any potential "odour" and partition problems and safety exit locations.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  5. #130
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    The rebar ensures the columns don't vibrate and potentially crack and fail.
    Oh right. I'd always assumed it was just an offering to the spirits.

  6. #131
    Custom user Neverna's Avatar
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  7. #132
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    Lovely thread, Mendip.

    Cheers.

  8. #133
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    ^ Nev... you wish Coco had come along as well!

    But I reckon even you'd struggle with a 'Where's Coco in Bangkok?' thread!

  9. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    The columns need to go down to the correct depth. The rebar ensures the columns don't vibrate and potentially crack and fail.

    Not desired on ant bridge, 45 mph train, super speed train or car/truck.



    Were you not shown a diagram of the carriage?

    On our trips on the "big blue buses", when buying tickets, I'm always always shown a diagram, indicating the vacant seats available to select from.

    Ensures social distancing from any potential "odour" and partition problems and safety exit locations.
    I was more wondering whether the reinforced concrete columns would be necessary for a motorway across relatively level ground versus a fast rail line designed for a 'bullet' type train. I'm assuming that a fast rail line has much tighter vertical (and horizontal) tolerances so maybe the entire track is supported by concrete columns, regardless of terrain? I can't really see why motorway design would require them unless for an elevated section across irregular terrain?

    Incidentally... with the billions being spent on new infrastructure to/from Korat I am convinced that this government has very big plans for the city's future.

    I was shown a diagram in the office, but it soon became apparent that the lady didn't understand my request for seats on the starboard side (kwa for right) instead of the port side (sai for left). I don't think it was just a case of my appalling Thai, as taxi drivers have no trouble understanding me saying leo kwa or leo sai). The problem with the diagram she showed me was that I couldn't get her to understand my question of which was front and which was back (this is easy on bus diagrams!). In the end I foolishly assumed that the numbers would increment towards the rear of the train... but it seems that these trains go in both directions and it set off in the opposite way to what I was expecting. Hence my careful planning was destroyed from the start.

    Just for the record if anyone else is considering this trip... Seat Nos. 45 and 46 would be perfect. Starboard side... with window!

    Is it over fussy to request seats on a certain side? Whenever I used to fly into Perth from KL or SIN I always booked seats on the port side of the plane... the views along the NW Aussie coast and on the approach to Perth are stunning.

  10. #135
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    Just for the record if anyone else is considering this trip
    ...sure...thanks for the tip...

  11. #136
    I'm in Jail

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    Mendip, yes that is the new high speed line.

  12. #137
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    ^^ No problem TC (although I sense sarcasm...) and thanks for the Pala tip... will use it next week!

    ^ That's great news... so it's all definitely going ahead.

  13. #138
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mendip View Post
    Just for the record if anyone else is considering this trip... Seat Nos. 45 and 46 would be perfect.
    thanks for the effort - nutter

    should have let your daughter handle it - she could have probably joined the teak rail forum and found out all the secrets

  14. #139
    splendid and tremendous
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    Thanks for a great thread, Dipski - a marvellous father/daughter journey that she will remember with pizza-tinted spectacles forever.

    I agree with Nampiktoot (tootles) though, the best days of train travel in Siam are sadly behind us. The days of getting involved in a good book, a six-pack of Chang and smoking the occasional tab out of the window are gone. Many's the time I've made the journey back into Isaan; sun setting, semi-pissed, dose of clap courtesy of some hip-thrusting harlot called Jenny (she ain't from the block but she's been round the fucker a fair few times). And I soak myself in those memories; there's little else more poignant than the fading traces of sunlight shimmering over a paddy field. But maybe I'm looking back with beer chang-tinted specs.

  15. #140
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond View Post
    Lovely thread, Mendip.

    Cheers.

    Yep. Most certainly is an enjoyable thread.
    Great distraction for the disconnections and negativity that perpetuates throughout the venue.

    Well done, Mendy!!!


  16. #141
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    1.5 liter carton of grape juice, the grape juice replaced with Laughing Bird.


    Sorted.

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