Train derails after warmup

SA KAEO - An Aranyaprathet-Bangkok train derailed on Saturday morning after the driver started the engine to warm it up but forgot to put chocks in place to stop the wheels from moving.

The four-carriage train was scheduled to leave Aranyaprathet at 6.40am. About 10 minutes prior to the departure time, the driver started the engine. About 30 passengers had boarded the train.

The engine vibration caused the train to move backward slowly before it began to gather speed. It travelled for more than one kilometre along an unused track leading to the Rong Klua market and the Cambodian border. Finally it hit a tree and stopped at the road near the entrance of Kanchanapisek Park, according to Chakaphan Samrit, an officer with State Railway of Thailand.

Two carriages remained on the track and officers moved them back to the station to return them to service. The Bangkok train ended up being about one hour behind the schedule.

Mr Chakaphan said the passengers did not realise that the train was going in the wrong direction so they did not panic. No injuries were reported.

Krittitham Phocharoen, the Aranyaprathet station master, said the incident would be investigated.

He said the track used to be the link to Cambodia but has not been in service since before the civil war in Cambodia and parts of the track were damaged.

The Thai and Cambodian governments have agreed to rehabilitate the six-kilometre "missing link" between Kong Luek in Thailand and Poipet in Cambodia. Service is expected to start in 2015.

Related search: train accident, Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaeo, State Railway of Thailand, Cambodia, missing link

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