The locomotives and rolling stock used on the TBR were a mixture of items procured or provided by the Thais, those brought from Japan and other looted from conquered countries — particularly the island of Java. As part of agreement with the invading Japanese, the Thais provided some rail equipment for use on the TBR.
In the Burma sector, much of the iron rails as well as dozens of locomotives and thousands of wagons were looted from Malaya. Even far away Java contributed rolling stock and, of course, the iron bridge that stands today at Kanchanaburi. Because of transportation delays, the Burma portion of the TBR always lagged behind the Thai Sector. Whereas the Thais were able to complete the railway from NangPlaDuk to KAN in a matter of weeks, the line coming out of Thanbyuzayat was much slower in developing unto as usable railway.
Many of the heavy-duty locomotives were Japanese made in the C56 series. The most famous of these is C5631 which carried the Railway HQ staff to the TBR completion ceremony at Konkoita on 23 OCT 43. That engine was later repatriated to Japan and sits today at the Yasakuni Memorial.
Because of a shortage of locomotives, the Railway engineers converted diesel trucks to serve to move supplies — primarily rails and ties. A large variety of engines were used at various times. Many examples of these are on static display at various points across Thailand.