Video: in Thailand the train doesn't just go to the market, it goes through it

File this one under the wild world of transport.

Picture this: a bustling market brimming with exotic fruits and vegetables, overhanging canopies and vendors hawking their wares. It’s like a scene from your favorite adventure movie come to life. In the distance a train can be heard. Like clockwork the vendors begin folding up their canopies and pushing their fruit stands out of the way revealing what looks to be railroad tracks on the ground below.

Welcome to the Maeklong Market in Thailand. And yes, those are railroad tracks and trains still use them. Four times a day in fact.

According to the Hotel Club Travel Blog the market was there first, and when the train line was built in 1905 the market vendors remained – no such thing as eminent domain for these folks.  Since then it seems that the train and the vendors have lived in relative harmony, although in this video from celebrity chef Anthony Bordain the train does manage to snag a canopy and make a small mess of the marketplace.

A search of YouTube reveals many more videos of this unique from of transit oriented development.

By comparison, the seemingly narrow street running portion of the Gold Line in Highland Park ends up looking incredibly spacious. Check out a Metro safety video about that section of track after the jump.

Categories: World of Transport

5 replies

  1. I always complained that Marmion through Highland Park should had been trenched, this puts things into perspective….now back to complaining about the slow gold line!

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  2. Something in the Thailand clip that wasn’t mentioned in Fred’s text was the fact that the train was operating (even at the realitive slow speed) with all the entry doors open – almost giving the impression that patrons are allowed to embark/disembark while the train is moving…..

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  3. It’s true that people can board and jump off the train along the way, no problem. I live over there more than 30 years; it’s pretty common phenomenon. How’s that for joint use development!

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  4. Actually, an example closer to home would be the Saturday and Sunday Market in the Skidmore district of Portland…the site of the Market is bisected by MAX light rail tracks used by three different lines. Just shows how at-grade light rail can work fine when integrated with street design designed for pedestrians rather than cars…

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