A trail from “The State Railway of Thailand” to…”Airport Rail Link” It has been more than a century that the King Chulalongkorn (King Rama the 5th) has established the Department of Railway, with his majesty’s great vision of viewing domestic communicationby train does not only benefit his people and the economy but also increase the capability to protect territory, increase the convenience for state administration in the remote provinces, to deal with colonial expansion of other nations into this region.
October 1890, King Chulalongkorn approved the establishment of the Department of Railway for the first time which belongs to the Department of Public Works until March 26, 1896; King Chulalongkorn launched Bangkok-Nakhonratchasima train service as the first route of Siam Kingdom. Therefore, the State Railway of Thailand regards March 26 of each year as the railway business establishment day until now. From the establishment of railway business in 1896 until the end of King Rama the 5th in 1910, there are 932 kilometers of railway in service and has later been extended routes to north and south.
In the reign of King Mongkut Klao, Rama 6th has changed “Department of Railway” to “Department of State Railway”, and has appointed Phrachao Nong Ya Ter Krom Phra Kamphaengpetchakkarayothin as the first head of Department of State Railway. At the time of his majesty’s reign, there were 2,518 kilometers of railway. However, when Thailand was in the midst of World War 1 and World War 2, railway was severely damaged and route extension was slow. The combined extended railway during the Rama 7th and Rama 8th reign was only 677 kilometers.
Railway business of Thailand reached its turning point again in 1951, which is during the period of General P. Pipulsongkram, which there was a legislation of the State Railway of Thailand Act. Therefore, the status of “Department of State Railway” has been changed to state enterprise under the name “State Railway of Thailand”. From then until the present time, the State Railway of Thailand has the total railway service that covers every region of the country of 4,131 kilometers.