Mae Klong Railway Market,  Thailand  Oct.2018

The Mae Klong Railway was built in two separate stages. The Tachin Railway Ltd, founded in 1901 with a concession from the crown of Thailand to construct a line to Samut Sakhon from Bangkok, built the 33-kilometer Mahachai Line; it opened in 1904 with eight stations. A year later, The Maeklong Railway Company opened the 34 kilometer Ban Laem Line. The lines merged in 1907 to form the Maeklong Railway Ltd. It was originally opened as a goods line, transporting produce from the fishing ports of Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkram to the Bangkok markets. The Thai military gained control of the railway in 1942, during World War II, and the line was nationalized by the Thai Government in 1946. The line was operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) from 1952 and was fully merged into the SRT in 1955 The railway became famous for its route through the Maeklong Railway Market, nicknamed (Thai: Talat Rom Hup), meaning the "umbrella pulldown market". It is one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand and is centered on the Maeklong Railway's track. Whenever a train approaches, the awnings and shop fronts are moved back from the rails, to be replaced once the train has passed. Four trains run daily between Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram. The railway is one of the slowest in Thailand, and the average speed for the whole line is only 30 km/hr. There are no signals on the line. (

This railway market was a place I definitely wanted to see. In the morning, I came to the marketplace with a minibus from a bus station in the city. There were too many tourists who came to see it as well as those who came to the market for shopping. There was just enough width for the train to pass. Hundreds of people were shopping over the railway, and covered with awnings on the railway. It didn't take long for the train to arrive. All awnings were immediately retracted to where they were attached. The workbenches were also gathered inside the shops. The low ones have remained in their places. Even if the train passes over it, it did not damage. People hide somewhere and waited for the train to pass. The train passed almost 20 cm of me and stopped at the last stop just ahead. Life goes on like this throughout the day. 14.Oct.2018