Trang Railway Station and the Blue Train – I was happy to see it!
When I was an elementary school student, it was the end of 70’s, some kind of sleeper trains used to be popular among Japanese children. Those trains were colored blue apart from two white stripes on both sides. Those were called “Blue Trains”. At that time, I loved those trains too, so I often went to take pictures of them. This is the reason why I started to like taking pictures. Blue Train popularity didn’t last so long, and so my interest in trains also ended. Taking pictures has continued to be a hobby of mine, though.
Still, when I sew Blue Train on my way to work, it took me back to my childhood. However, in the autumn of 2008, I heard that the operation of Blue Trains to and from Tokyo Station would finish in March the next year. So I thought I should ride it. Otherwise I would not have another chance. Even though I thought that, I went to Thailand at the end of that year. At around that time, I went to Trang. I didn’t have any particular plan there. I just wanted to go somewhere I hadn’t been to before.
Trang is a province located in Southern Thailand. Actually, I wanted to go there by train from Bangkok, but it takes about 14 hours, so I finally went there by airplane. It takes about 1 hour. I stayed in this province for 3 nights and had a really good time. Actually, I had a scary experience, too. I almost died in a cave in this province. I’m going to write about that experience another time. Anyway, when I go to small towns in Thailand, I usually stop by at the train station because they have some information about the town. So, at that time, I went to Trang train station as usual. Then I saw a train which I was familiar with. It was painted blue, and had white thin line on both sides. It was definitely a Blue Train.
I’ve heard that the width of the railways in Thailand are the same as those of East Japan Railway Company. So Japan Railway Company could sell the train to Thai Railway, but I never thought that I would ever see Blue Train in Thailand. The Blue Train that I saw there was probably the one that used to be called “Asakaze” in Japan (Asamaze was donated to Thailand). It used to operate between Tokyo and Shimonoseki. It was just a coincidence, but I was really happy to see it. In the end, I couldn’t ride last Blue Train in Japan, but I want to ride a Blue Train in Thailand someday.