eXtensions - Monday 18 June 2018


Digital and Film Photography Themes Around Mahachai and the Railway (1): The Journey

By Graham K. Rogers


Just behind where I live is a small line run by the State Railway of Thailand that is completely disconnected from the main rail system. The Tachin Railway originally ran from Mahachai to Klongsan: from the river port to the river through Bangkok, bringing fresh produce to the city when road transport was deficient.

The line was cut in the 1960s and now begins at Wongwianyai. Only passengers are carried these days, but it is a well-used link for commuters, including hundreds of students. Another less well-used (and separate) line, also set up to carry produce, runs from Banlaem, across the river from Mahachai to Maeklong, which is now famous for its Railway Market.

River view Mahachai

I take a trip two or three times a year along the line to Mahachai. It is always the same, but different. I went again this week and this time noticed how much building has taken place beside the line: industrial and residential, with several sections totally changed. If I have time, once I have had lunch at Mahachai and taken some photographs there, I visit the quieter side of Banlaem and make use of the pedalo service.

Banlaem pedalos

With its basic tour for 100 baht, I now ask for particular sites to visit. This time, the driver took me further than I had been before (and I paid more) and showed me a mangrove research station. That will be reserved for my next visit.

Banlaem mangrove

I used two cameras and an iPhone X: a Nikon D850 with 50mm and 85mm lenses; and a Hasselblad 503C with the 85mm Distagon lens. The film from that is being developed now. Sorting through the over-300 images, I first deleted almost half: focus, style, boring. Of the rest I selected around 60 which I thought worthy of editing.

While working, I sensed that instead of a chronological display, there were distinct themes that the images supported: the journeys, around Mahachai (railway terminal and food), the river and related ideas. In the two parts of this photo essay, 44 images are used, about 15% of the initial shoot, which is about right.

Journeys Back and Forth

A journey is often in two parts: going and a return, so I have included most images from the local station to Mahachai and back in this first section. Some were taken from the moving train, for good or bad.

Journeys Journeys

Taladphlu Station

The train stopped and the bush was outside the window

Journeys Journeys

Station activity - Rangpho

Journeys Journeys

Beside the track - good and bad

Journeys Journeys

Beside the track - on the way home

Underneath the highway

Mahachai Terminus

This has always been the main operating center for this line with its roofed station, the offices and its maintenance sheds. As well as the building along the line, the sidings here are being updated and a new building is being constructed.

Mahachai Mahachai

Mahachai Station area - old and current

Mahachai Station - Arrivals

Mahachai Station area - Construction

Mahachai Station - Arriving and preparing to leave

Mahachai Station - Train now Departed

Endnote 1

Working through the images and the themes I had settled on, it seemed more sensible to put this online as two separate, but linked items. The second part, Digital and Film Photography Themes Around Mahachai and the Railway (2) focuses on Mahachai market, Banlaem and the important marine links.

See also:

  • Digital and Film Photography Themes Around Mahachai and the Railway (2)

  • Digital Photography and Self-Improvement Over Time

  • Photographic Essay - Cartoon Role-Playing Teenagers at Siam Paragon<>/a>

  • The Wednesday File (58): Nikon D850 - A Month with the Beast

  • Moving up to Nikon D850 (3): Explorations

  • Moving up to Nikon D850 (2): Practicalities

  • Moving up to Nikon D850 (1): Rationale

  • A Selection of RAW Photo Apps for the iPhone: The First Rank

  • A Selection of RAW Photo Apps for the iPhone: A Worthy Second Rank

  • Thonburi Steam: DSLR and iPhone RAW

  • Nikon D850

  • Hasselblad Cameras

    Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)

  • advertisement


    Made on Mac

    For further information, e-mail to

    Back to eXtensions
    Back to Home Page

    All content copyright © G. K. Rogers 2018