Known among locals as the Museum of Chong Khao Kad, it is a part of the Death Railway that was built cruelly by prisoners of war during the World War II. Hellfire or Chong Khao Kad is spot where the railway needed to cut through the mountain, which was really impossible but the prisoners of war (POWs) and labors were forced to use hand drills, picks and shovels to carve the rock so that a train could pass. The 500-meter-long pass was incredibly completed in six months in 1943, with many lives were sacrificed. The pass is no longer in use and it becomes the museum to exhibit related tools and photographs about the historical event to remind people the importance of world peace. Hellfire Pass is so called because the sight of emaciated prisoners labouring at night by torchlight was said to resemble a scene from Hell.
The Death Railway was built during World War II by the labor of the war prisoner and the Asian labor forced by the Japanese troop. During that time, Thailand was the alliance of Japan and also gave a big support to the Japanese army. The Death Railway was a route to pass Myanmar and to invade India. Japan was aware that by using the sea troop to fight with England, their armies would be attacked by the alliances. From this reason, they decided to build this railway. The railway was named after the event in the history. There is a saying that the numbers of the railway is equal to the numbers of the death labor used to build this railway.
The Death Railway starts from Nong Pladuk station, Amphur Baanpong, Ratchaburi to Kanchanaburi crossing the Kwai Yai River to the west, passing Chedi Sam-Ong to the destination at Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar, which is 415 kilometers altogether with 37 stops. This railway was completed on 25th October 1943. During the building period, there were many labors who sacrificed their lives with sickness and by the torturing of the Japanese army. The bridge here was named River Kwai Bridge. This construction built a big motivation for the Japanese armies and also a big scar in the labors’ heart. The history was still unforgettable among the people’s heart.
Nowadays, the Death Railway was opened for the tourists to visit. However, there are some parts that were deserted since Japan lost the war. The State Railway of Thailand has offered the Thonburi-Namtok line for the tourists who wish to visit this place and a special line Bangkok-Namtok on the weekends and holidays. The most popular point is the River Kwai Bridge and the Krasae Cave, which is a curve bridge that follows the bank of Kwai Noi River. The train stops at Krasae Cave at 1:30 p.m. The tourists can travel in advance in order to be on time to see the picture of the train arriving at this station.