Written in not-so-perfect English, a sign at the Bangkok Railway Station reads, “Travelling by Train is Comfort, Economical, Fast and Safe.” This nostalgic form of transport has long piqued the curiosity of Thai photographer, Watcharawit Phudork, who created his series, DELAYED, centered around the 19-hour train journey from Bangkok to his hometown of Hat Yai.

Phudork notes that whilst other forms of transportation excel both in speed and economically, there is a still a sizable demand for Thailand’s slowest form of domestic travel. With a mind full of questions and a camera in hand, he bought the cheapest ticket available and embarked on his near day-long journey home.

The subjects of DELAYED are noticeably from an older generation; commuters who likely accepted their longer journeys as the norm. The half empty, run down carriages inspired Phudork to explore the other side of railway travel; the inevitable abandonment caused by dwindling demand. His second series, Out of Service, lead him to visit Hat Yai train garage, where worn out train compartments are sent for repair or abandonment.

“Every compartment will be brought to a garage, even if they are in a completely bad condition,” he says. This includes the compartments that were near obliterated during a bombing by the South Thailand insurgency, the remains of which have been left behind alongside other trains to wither away with passing time. Today, Phudork works out of Bangkok and continues to tell stories of disappearing slices of Thai culture through his trusty lens.

Instagram: @watcharawitwat

Contributor: Whitney Ng

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