Documentary Photographer Aydin Cetinbostanoğlu is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the project ‘Mae Klong Railway Market, Thailand’. To see Aydin’s body of work, click on any image.
The Mae Klong Railway was built in two separate stages. The Tachin Railway Ltd, founded in 1901 with a concession from the crown of Thailand to construct a line to Samut Sakhon from Bangkok, built the 33 kilometer Mahachai Line; it opened in 1904 with eight stations. A year later, The Maeklong Railway Company opened the 34 kilometer Ban Laem Line. The lines merged in 1907 to form the Maeklong Railway Ltd. It was originally opened as a goods line, transporting produce from the fishing ports of Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkram to the Bangkok markets. The Thai military gained control of the railway in 1942, during World War II, and the line was nationalized by the Thai Government in 1946. The line was operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) from 1952 and was fully merged into the SRT in 1955
The railway became famous for its route through the Maeklong Railway Market, nicknamed (Thai: Talat Rom Hup), meaning the “umbrella pulldown market”. It is one of the largest fresh seafood markets in Thailand, and is centered on the Maeklong Railway’s track. Whenever a train approaches, the awnings and shop fronts are moved back from the rails, to be replaced once the train has passed.
Four trains run daily between Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram. The railway is one of the slowest in Thailand, and the average speed for the whole line is only 30 km/hr. There are no signals on the line.
All images © Aydin Cetinbostanoğlu
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