Turntable tales Nº 8

‘The two tales of Lamphun’

How you can enjoy the railway on a poetic manner without loosing the reality? Being a buff is one thing, spotting locomotives and making notes another. Actually for kids only with awakening passion, later they know what’s running but above all where and how!
Between Pa Sao and the next station there’s not much to see ad midday. In the distance shivering air makes the single track a bit blur, it lookes like dancing in a whirling wind. The sun is merciless and gives the rail a warm feeling.
Out of the mist of heat Mr. Taksin’s (former premier) plan to double the track for local transport purpose seems to be a dream and will be moreover while the dreamer hides in exil and counts his sin.
No hopes for the few who scattered near the line neither wild romance any longer. The tranquility and rhythm of an oxcarts, the era wherein coming forwards was a matter of patience, is long forgotten. The rail has seen it all, long live the rail.

Lamphun – km 729 + 213 meter and 5.432 from Pa Sao – four tracks and several sidetracks. One divided in another one and in use for transshipment of cement.
No sign of a semaphore, all electric devices. The personal style of the staff is bright yellow and almost fluorescent blue, not exactly a treat for the eyes by the way. Somewhat aside on the maintenance depot, the staff recalls the days they went inspect the track by lorry. The old fashion one with pump mechanism. Two men pushing up en down while on the front seat Mr. Inspector dressed in a spotless uniform surveyed the rail. The first platform is under a roof; all trains do stop here, so one gets some elegance on arriving. Leaving on the other hand unfortunate takes place in the open. A weighing machine with platform scale reminds on the German influences on this part of the network. ‘Schember waage’ (Schember & Son Ltd. – Vienna). The shape and size of the station proofs that there must be more behind the rural sphere of here foreground. As it happens elsewhere the building is tuck away in what seems to be an outer part of the village.
Walking towards the heart of the matter, it shows here fierce vibration. The centre of Lamphun is a bustling come together of people from around. A vivid market, for all purposes of live. Here’s everything one needs; from staple food till the more complicated things for cultivating the land, after all it’s Farmers County.
Real city live always have been a privilege for Bangkokians. The ‘Bang’ in ‘kok’ points to the old name; a similarity with: ban – small village – Bang Makorg. So who knows what Lamphun will looks like an eighty years from now, the high-rise and the outskirts almost touching the once of her sister city Chiang Mai?
Thailand on the turn of the next century, another generation shall celebrate!

Lamphun station

About Robert von Hirschhorn

Author / Performer or in Dutch: schrijver / dichter
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