1916: A Major Railway Station Makes its Debut in Bangkok

June 25, 1916

A major railway station was opened in Bangkok, the capital of the Southeast Asian country known at the time as Siam. (The name of this country was officially changed to Thailand in 1939.) Bangkok Railway Station, which is located in the Pathum Wan District in the center of the city, has also long been widely and informally called Hua Lamphong Station in reference to a name for the immediate vicinity in which the facility is located.

The origins of Bangkok Railway Station can be traced to a tour of Europe that was undertaken by King Rama V of Siam in 1907. While visiting Germany as part of that tour, the king found himself very impressed with the central railway station in the city of Frankfurt. He subsequently authorized plans to build a similar station in Bangkok.

Construction on Bangkok Railway Station began in 1910. In designing this new facility, Italian architects Mario Tamagno and Annibale Rigotti incorporated several key features of the station in Frankfurt. These features included open-air passenger galleries; decorated roofs; stained glass windows; a half-dome façade; and – on the front gable — a huge clock.

In the time since it was opened, Bangkok Railway Station has functioned as the central station for Thailand’s capital and a key entry point for millions of people visiting the city. This station is a major link for the region’s rapid transit system (the Metropolitan Rapid Transit) and leading public buses operator (Bangkok Mass Transit Authority). Bangkok Railway Station has also been a terminus for the Eastern & Oriental Express luxury trains serving Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia; and the International Express trains likewise connecting Thailand with Malaysia.

On June 25, 2019, Google LLC commemorated the 103rd anniversary of Bangkok Railway Station with a temporary modification of the logo appearing on that multinational technology company’s homepages. The altered logo (known as a Google Doodle) on display throughout that day featured the exterior of Bangkok Railway Station.

Photo Credit: Supanut Arunoprayote (licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 International license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en)

For more information on Bangkok Railway Station (also known as Hua Lamphong Station), please check out https://www.google.com/doodles/103rd-anniversary-of-hua-lamphong and https://bk.asia-city.com/city-living/news/bangkok-train-station-celebrates-100-years

A video about this station is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df4KTFphQnQ

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