|Kanchanaburi Historical Attraction | Infamous Thailand-Burma Death Railway|
Originally, the total distance of the railway link was 415 km whereby 304 km occupied the ground in Thailand and 111 km in Burma. Served to execute Japanese occupation plan to access Burma and India, Thailand government agreed to allow Japanese to construct the railway in Thailand with the condition that Thai government and Thai people would not participate in the railway project though some claimed that Thai government did form military alliance with Japanese in early 1942.
In June 1942, the construction of the railway was initiated concurrently from both ends namely Thailand and Burma. Both railway links in the end met at Kaeng Khoi Tha, about 18 km from Three Pagoda Pass in October 1943. The Death Railway took no more than 18 months to complete instead of the original estimation of three years.
Observed from geographically point of view, the railway link was built along a few rivers as they served as reliable sources to provide drinking water to the laborers and allied prisoners of war that worked on the Death Railway project.
One of the most challenging and dangerous works was the construction of wooden viaduct by the cliff alongside of River Kwai Noi near Wang Pho. Railway track was built about 100 m height of three-tiered wooden viaduct. This stretch of 400 m railway track only took 17 days to complete!
After the war, some link of the Death Railway was dismantled by British and 300 km of the railway track in Thailand was handed to Thai government in 1947. Due to costly maintenance, Thai government later decided to retain the original link only until Nam Tok (literally translated as Waterfall, Nam means water and Tok means Fall in Thai).
Province of Kanchanaburi offers the best place to witness the functional track of Death Railway. There are more than a couple sites to explore. One of the most popular sites is at the bridge over River Kwai. Alternatively, attempt the train ride from Tha Kilen to Nam Tok to experience journey into the past on the wooden viaduct.
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