Bang Sue Railway Cemetery is located deep within a vast tract of land on the northwest side of Bangkok owned by the State Railway of Thailand. This land is home to Phahonyothin freight yard, the largest in Thailand, as well as numerous maintenance depots, engine shops, and other railway facilities. It is also the future site of Bang Sue Grand Station, set to be the largest railway station in Southeast Asia when construction is completed in the coming years. For decades the train cemetery hidden within these grounds has been known to urban explorers, so I decided to swing by and take a look while visiting in 2019.
From the many posts I’ve browsed online it sounds as if accessing the site wasn’t so difficult in previous years. The security guards are occasionally amenable to responsible photographers perusing the railyard, or so I’ve heard. I wasn’t entirely sure how to get in so I just drove around on a rented scooter, navigating by instinct. Eventually I reached a muddy construction site beneath towering concrete columns, an elevated railway of the future. Here I continued on foot, wandered through a rundown warehouse, and found myself on the edge of railyard populated by an assortment of rusty engines, passenger carriages, and derelict tankers.
Although I am no train expert I did a little legwork to identify a few of the locomotives visible in these pictures. Several were made in America by the Davenport Locomotive Works prior to their dissolution in 1956; many of the others are from a series of more than two dozen Herschel DH 1200 diesel-hydraulic locomotives commissioned in the early 1960s1.
Escaping from the Bang Sue Railway Cemetery proved to be another new adventure: my scooter got stuck in the deep mud of the construction site on the way out. Not knowing what else to do, I used all my strength to try and pull it from the muck, to no avail. Suddenly I saw a pair of hands reach into view—a construction worker had noticed my struggles and came over to help! Soon we wrested the scooter from the mire and I was off, no questions asked about my presence on this worksite, just a parting smile and a friendly wave.
Naturally this site has already been well-documented in English and Thai. Dax Ward published the most widely known story about this railyard, and you can find more photos from some backpackers here. You may also have some luck searching for the name of this place in Thai (สุสานรถไฟบางซื่อ). But if you wish to visit be forewarned: construction on the new station may be so far advanced that access to the site won’t be possible!