The Siam - Burma Railway
The first picture shows the River Kwae Yai bridge shortly after the 1944 bombing which destroyed the 4th and 5th spans (counting from the east). The second picture shows the bridge in February 2003 along with one of the unexploded bombs. The replacement angular spans can be seen in the background. As is usual in Asia the railways are used as public footpaths between the trains and in this case a large number of tourists also walk across the bridge. We crossed in a train a few minutes after this picture was taken. The far bank to the left of the bomb was the site of the prison camp.
Below is a view of the area of the prison camp as seen from the train. Many of the items found in this area have been transferred to one of the nearby war museums.
Above left: One of the rocky outcrops which were cut through by hand to lay the railway. Above right: this appears to be a replica of one of the original watch towers. Below: another war museum on the site of an old prison camp near Thakilen.
Below: The remaining views show two of the wooden trestle bridges at Tham Krasae, much of which is still original although the concrete piers have been added and/or strengthened since the war. Trains still have to cross these bridges at walking pace.
The Bridge over the River Kwai
The following site includes pictures of two of the steam locomotives used in construction and operation of the Burma - Siam Railway and now preserved near the bridge.
Burma - Siam steam locomotives
Back to Steam 2003 index page.
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