As you start nearing the end of the Death Railway, we should wrap up the story and say our goodbyes.
At the end of the war, the railway belonged to the British. The British pulled up 3.9km of track on the Thai-Burma border, and they deemed most of it unfit for peacetime commercial traffic due to its supposedly poor construction.
The line was actually sold to the Thai Railways and the entire stretch of iron that you have been rolling on was pulled up, and new rail lines were relaid over the old. Because there were no plans to rebuild a bridge crossing a major river at Moulmein in Burma, the Thai Railways felt that re-laying the rails further than Nam Tok onwards to Burma was not a wise investment.
However, new plans are currently underway to build a transport corridor a shorter distance directly West of here to the new deepwater port on the Indian Ocean at Dawei. Just as the Japanese thought during the war, the Thai and Burmese economic policymakers believe that this route will reduce the dependence on the Straights of Malacca and Singapore for getting goods to and from the Indian Ocean.
After the war, Colonel Phillip Hoosey returned to England to a family that didn’t know him. He returned to his job as a banker under the same supervisor that convinced him to enlist in the first place, himself a Brigadeer. Noticing his emotional trauma upon his return home, the supervisor sent him for a 6 month stint to its branches in tropical South America, hoping it would help the transition home to be less jarring. Three years after the war, Hoosey searched for Mr. Boon Pong of Bangkok, who had saved so many lives by smuggling medicines and money to the hospital, but was never able to locate him.
Pierre Boulle – author of The Bridge on the River Kwai – returned to Paris, where he wrote another book. Le Planet des Sange, or The Planet of the Apes.
We hope you’ve enjoyed your journey on the Death Railway with us. It is the first of hopefully many trips that will be available through our app, not only those in Thailand and Asia, but for all your journeys throughout the world. Because there are fascinating stories hidden everywhere, and we’d like to help you to find them. If you like what we’re doing, please let us know by rating our app, but also by connecting with us through WindowSeater.com. We’re really depending on your support for turning WindowSeater into a global project for all railways – not just the exceedingly remarkable ones like this one.