Travel by train is surely a pleasant way to travel around the country; Thailand takes pride in a excellent rail system which reaches almost every corner of the Kingdom, the railway system can be used for a number of evoking journeys such as rides to national parks, the route from the capital Bangkok to the South is a popular route for foreign visitors. The only train access to Thailand is from Malaysia.
If you have ever experienced the Bangkok traffic in the evening, the terribly jammed traffic, smog and loud noise everywhere. That might make people feel that no matter how large the roads are expanded, it's still not enough. Most of the time people feel sick of it and want to find the way out. Thus, I'm thinking of vehicle that is faster, make less pollution, and cheaper, train. In developed countries, train is the main transportation most people use unlike in Thailand that people use trains less.
Trains and railways in Thailand are quiet old, so it cannot travel as fast as expected, as well as the schedule that is not quiet exact. Although travelling by train in Thailand is not somewhat comfortable, it has its own charm that would make up for those uncomfortable points. If you are someone who wants to absorb the cold wind, the sound of the metal wheel running on the rail, and the nature along the way, you should not miss traveling by train.
Thailand started using steam locomotive-today, the locomotive train can be found at Thonburi locomotive garage, Bangkok-Noi District close to Siriraj Hospital. Later, the train had been developed to diesel locomotive. Now, there are about 4,346 kilometers railways available around Thailand. However, they have been used for 75 years already. Because of fierce animals and Malaria, unprofessional technicians and workers, the aged tools, and the not even surface of the path, it takes time to build the railways to reach the expectation.
From past to present, trains are mostly used for transportation. Right now, there are many types of traveling by train depend on the convenient and suitability. For more information www.railway.co.th
- Special Express for a long-distance trip. It will stop only the important stations.
- Excursion for the tourists who travel during weekend or official holidays. It will stop by only the tourist-spot stations. Recently, the State Railway of Thailand has offered a low cost trip traveling by train.
- Rapid for a long-distance trip, but it will stop by every station.
- Ordinary for the passengers who are heading out of Bangkok to other parts of Thailand. Again, it will stop by every station.
- Bangkok Commuter for passengers in and Bangkok who want to go for work or study. Anyway, it will stop by every station.
Thailand Train Classes
The state railway of Thailand operates three different train classes.
First Class contains one small private air conditioned compartment for two persons. Each cabin includes a sink and a stow away table. This class is available only on selected trains and tends to get booked out first. The compartment consists of two beds, one upper and one lower.
Second Class Fan or air-conditioned coaches are available in either seat or sleeper form with around 40 seats. Fan cooled sections tend to get a little hot at night and air-conditioning coaches are the more comfortable.
Third Class hard wooden bench seats suitable for only the more hardened traveller. Third class tickets are sold a few hours prior to departure. No pre-booking is possible in this class.
All classes of train have refreshment facilities and most have full catering cars with cooked meals at reasonable rates. At practically every station food vendors offer local delights from fried chicken to more exotic local delicacies. Thaifocus train reservation system can make arrangements on 1st and 2nd class services only.
Overnight train sleepers
First class sleepers consist of two full size bunk beds. Second class sleepers are assembled from two facing seats to form the bottom or lower bunk. The upper bunk is a pulled down and unlocked when the beds are made up. All beds use fresh cotton sheets, pillows with cases and laundered, sealed, towel-like blankets. Beds are set up by the train staff at around 9:00 pm and stored away again around 07:00 am. In both classes the beds are around 2m (6.5 ft) in length.
Luggage allowance on Thai trains
Bags are stored in 1st class passengers rooms. 2nd class coaches have racks beside the berths where luggage is placed. The State Railway of Thailand allowance is one large suitcase or similar and a carry on bag per passenger. Extra bags are generally not charged and the system is flexible as staff are mainly very helpful. Bicycles and other large items can be taken on the goods carriage.
Safety on trains
Travel police actively patrol every train and the incidents of robbery is extremely rare. State Railways of Thailand generally has a good safety record throughout the kingdom and the "train people" of Thailand are generally very professional about their given tasks. As with every form of public transport you should never leave valuables unattended. Bags are stored beside the seat in second class which is illuminated throughout the night.
Take your bike on the train
Take your bicycles and motorcycle carriage on Thai trains. Simply report to the luggage/baggage section in the train station. They will fill in a form and load your bike on the cargo car of the train just prior to departure. There is a small charge for this service which you can pay directly to the station staff. Though theft is unlikely to be a problem I recommend taking valuables as well as removable lights etc with you.
Additional Information :
Hua Lamphong station:
Telephone: +66 (0) 2223 3762, (0) 2224 7788, (0) 2225 0300 ext 5100
Hot line: 1690
Bangkok Metro Public Company Limited
Address: 189 Rama 9 Road., Huaykhwang, Bangkok 10310
Telephone: +66 (0) 2354 2000
Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Limited
Address: 1000 Phahonyothin Road, Chom Phon, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900
Telephone: +66 (0) 2617 7300
BTS Hotline : +66 (0) 2617 6000