Old Khon Kaen railway station given new life

Old Khon Kaen railway station given new life

The 84-year-old Tha Phra railway station in Khon Kaen is one of hundreds of old depots slated for demolition under the State Railway of Thailand's double-track development plan, but local authorities are proposing to move the historic structure and preserve it. (Photo by Jakkrapan Nathanri)
The 84-year-old Tha Phra railway station in Khon Kaen is one of hundreds of old depots slated for demolition under the State Railway of Thailand's double-track development plan, but local authorities are proposing to move the historic structure and preserve it. (Photo by Jakkrapan Nathanri)

KHON KAEN: An 84-year-old railway station in tambon Tha Phra has been saved from demolition, but it will be relocated and turned into a learning centre and tourism landmark.

Pisut Anutra-angkul, the mayor of tambon Tha Phra municipality in Muang district, on Saturday unveiled plans for the development of the station.

He said he had proposed that the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) hand over the station, including residences of railway officials, locomotives and containers in the compound to the municipality, which will preserve it for new generations to learn from. Support from provincial authorities has also been sought.

The Tha Phra railway station and many other old stations in other provinces are scheduled to be demolished and replaced under the SRT’s double-track development plan.

The municipality has already sent a letter seeking approval from the SRT governor for the handover of the station to us. The SRT has raised no objection,’’ said Mr Pisut.

The municipality intends to relocate the 84-year-old station and other facilities to a vacant plot near the municipal office and develop the site.

Under the development plan, the old structure will be turned into a learning centre about the railway and the history of the community. A market selling locally made products will be held every Friday. Visitors will be encouraged to shop for local goods and take photos with the old station, said the mayor.

Last week, residents in Nakhon Ratchasima launched a campaign to save 10 picturesque old railway stations along the Chira Road-Khon Kaen route from demolition. Under its double-track plan, the SRT expects to demolish almost all 434 existing stations.

Conservationists have protested against the demolition and called for the preservation of the attractive old structures instead.

Video by Jakkrapan Nathanri


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