There is very little of the Thai-Burma Railway still standing with only 118km of active line remaining from the Nong Pladuk Railway Junction to Nam Tok near Hellfire Pass.
If you’re wanting to visit the Thai-Burma Railway to experience and travel along what railway still remains there are tours that will bring you to Hellfire Pass Museum 72km north west from the city of Kanchanaburi by road transport then bring you back 26km to Nam Tok station.
The train trip will take you around the banks of the River Kwai Noi through Wampo cutting to Kanchanaburi. You can opt to get off the train at a pre designated point to be picked up by the tour van or do the whole journey back into Kanchanaburi city including crossing the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai then onto the War Cemetery and the adjacent Thai Burma Railway Research Centre after arriving back in town.
The steamy jungles along the remaining railway length are long gone and over the years have been replaced by sugar cane fields and tapioca crops. It has been reported that farmers when turning over the fields have occasionally uncovered mass graves of Asian force labourers buried along the length of the railway.
A public hearing was held recently in the western border province to hear the views of local residents, majority backing a proposal by a national committee on the protection of cultural world heritage sites to have the railway line recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
After a well deserved overnight stop in Nam Tok we cycled onto Thong Pha Phum today passing by the Australian War Memorial Museum at Hellfire Pass which is currently under renovations and soon to be unveiled in October during the official 75th Anniversary of the end of the Thai - Burma railway construction line 1943.
The mist was rising up from Hellfire Pass when riding by early hours. A slight down pour of rain cooled our hot bodies but did not dampen our spirits whilst ascending a steep hill to the old Malay Hamlet that housed Asian force labour above Hellfire Pass during the construction.
The sun suddenly broke out allowing beams of light to shine from above almost like rays of hope carrying a message that we were on sacred ground leaving us to only visualise the hundreds of POWs and Asian labourers who died just below where we were passing by.
Truck Sams and Co Riders on the long ride home along the Thai-Burma Railway