Fire on Singapore-Bangkok luxury train

A LUXURY tourist train travelling from Singapore to Bangkok had to stop in Kanchanaburi yesterday |after the front locomotive caught fire, but there were no casualties among the 200 or so Western passengers.

Train 951, or Orient Express, has 17 carriages plus locomotives at the front and rear.

Firemen supported by six fire trucks fought the blaze when the train stopped in Muang district, while cars were pulled back by the rear locomotive to nearby Don Rak train station, 500 metres from the scene.

Most passengers were reportedly unaware of the fire, which broke out at around 8.30am, until the train was pulled away from the scene.

But they were told of the accident later, according to Phichitsamart Suntharanusorn, one of the two train drivers.

It took fire-fighters about 45 minutes to put out the blaze, estimated to have caused damage of around Bt100 million, Phichitsamart said he told the police.

Local police said the front locomotive had been in use for about 30 years.

They speculated that the cause could have been an electrical short circuit, or fuel leaks, judging from black oil found behind the train at the scene.

The State Railway of Thailand had not made a statement about the accident as of press time yesterday evening.