Thai-Burma Railway

The Thai-Burma Railway, Burma Railway, or Death Railway, was a 415 km railway link between Ban Pong in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Burma (now Myanmar). It was built in the period from 1940 to 1943 by civilian labourers and prisoners of war taken by the Japanese.

Thai Railway plaque

Between 180,000 and 250,000 Southeast Asian civilians and over 60,000 Allied prisoners of war were subjected to forced labour during its construction, with around 90,000 civilians and more than 12,000 Allied prisoners dying in the process.

Thai railway bridge
railway bridge

The railroad bridge over the Khwae Yai River in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand

Railroad bridge over the Khwae Yai River in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand

Most of the railway was dismantled shortly after the war. Only the first 130 kilometres of the line in Thailand remained, with trains only running as far north as Nam Tok.

Train, Thailand
Wooden trestles, Thai-Burma Railway
Rickety section, Thai-Burma Railway
Thai-Burma Railway section
WWII relic, Thai-Burma Railway
Thai-Burma Railway in use
Thai-Burma Railway by the river

One would like to hope (or pray) that this didn’t still contain any explosive materials, but of course you never know…


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