Bangkok-based American photographer Dax Ward only got his first DSLR camera six years ago, and has only been taking pictures seriously for the last two. However, his haunting images of Thailand’s abandoned trains, planes, mansions and other overgrown, forgotten places have earned him widespread acclaim.
He’s been featured in The Daily Mail, Lonely Planet, The Sun, The Weather Channel and Stuff NZ.
Here, we showcase a series of unusual images of abandoned trains that Ward found by accident. They sit on an unused bit of track on the way from Bangkok to Samut Sakhon.
He doesn’t know why they have been left there or who they belong to, but he knew that they touched something in him, and he returned several times to photograph the old cars, now covered in rust. His photographs reveal the greenery already starting to take over the cars.
The trend of photographing abandoned places is a worldwide one. Popular sites such as Abandoned America have spawned offshoots all over the world.
Ward said, “I think that people are drawn to abandoned places because they’re reminded of what once was, what might’ve been, and what happens when we forget. Also, film and TV has a role to play these days. In the past decade or so, there’s been a massive increase in popularity in the post-apocalyptic genre of film and TV. People are really curious about how things might be without people around.”
About Thailand specifically, a place that Ward has lived for the last nine years, he said, “If you consider the speedy development and gentrification that goes on in major cities these days, especially Bangkok, you realize how much of the past is being erased in terms of architectural and social history. I think that people are very aware of this and watch it happening around them all the time, so there’s a feeling of nostalgia or holding on to the past that leaves us curious and intrigued with such places.”