Tham Krasae Bridge also known as the Wampo Viaduct, is the forgotten section of the death railway. Many people visit Kanchanaburi to visit The Bridge on The River Kwai and Hellfire Pass but they fail to take the little extra time and walk an amazing part of the Death Railway which is the section called the Tham Krasae Bridge or Wampo Viaduct, between Thamkrasae Station and the Tham Krasae Bridge Stations.
Granted, the Hellfire Pass and Hammer-and-Tap cuttings were an amazing achievement but the Wampo Viaduct was also an amazing achievement.
In March and April 1943 the 2,000 POW and Rōmusha (Japanese word for laborer) built this double viaduct in just 17 days. It is 400 meters long.
It hugs the cliffs along the Kwai Noi, and in places is 8 to 9 meters high.
If you take a train from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok you will traverse this section of the track. The rail service is still running twice-daily.
Alternatively, (or additionally), you may wish to walk the section of track between the two stations and get a better feel of what the POW and Rōmusha endured in the blazing heat of this tropical climate.
Almost all the wooden bridges on the railway have disappeared, the notable exception is the Wampo Viaduct. The viaduct is still used today and maintained by the State Railway of Thailand. It has, however been extensively repaired and strengthened.
If you do the walk, take an extra few minutes to see inside the Krasae Cave. The longer walk is from the Tham Krasae Bridge end which takes you the full length of the double Wampo Viaduct. When we visit this attraction we will normally stop for lunch near the Tham Krasae Bridge Station and walk the Wampo Viaduct to the next station. This is only a 10-15 min walk but the drive between the two stations is about 13 km. For those that prefer not to walk the viaduct, we take by car to meet the group at the other end.
Note: If you are scared of heights, or a little paranoid about safety, then you probably should not walk this section. There are no handrails, and many places to trip.