Thailand Train FAQ (types, classes, options and photos)

1. What is the railway like in Thailand?

2. Where can I find train schedules?

3. What are railway stations like in Thailand?

  1. Hua Lamphong railway station in Bangkok.

  2. Bang Sue train station

  3. Chiang Mai train station

  4. Chumphon train station

  5. Surat Thani train station

4. Can we leave things at the station for storage?

5. How does the boarding work?

6. How long in advance can I book a ticket?

7. How can I get on the train coming from the airport?

8. Traveling with Children

9. Where is the luggage kept on the train?

10. Is there a baggage limitation?

11. Is it possible to transport a bicycle/motorbike?

12. Will the train arrive on time?

13. What types of trains are used in Thailand?

14. What kinds of classes are available?

  1. First class

  2. Second Class

  3. Third-class carriages

  4. Ladies only!

  5. Disabled passengers

15. Railway Lines departing from Bangkok

  1. Bangkok to the North (Chiang Mai)

  2. Train # 9 / 10 "Bangkok - Chiang Mai"

  3. Train # 7 / 8 "Bangkok - Chiang Mai"

  4. Train # 13 / 14 "Bangkok - Chiang Mai"

  5. Train # 51 / 52 "Bangkok - Chiang Mai"

  6. Train # 109 / 102 "Bangkok - Chiang Mai"

16. From Bangkok to the Northeast (Nong Khai)

  1. Train # 75 / 76 "Bangkok - Nong Khai"

  2. Train # 25 / 26 "Bangkok - Nong Khai"

  3. Train # 133 / 134 "Bangkok - Nong Khai"

17. Bangkok to the Northeast (Ubon Ratchathani)

  1. Train # 21 / 22 "Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani"

  2. Train # 23 / 24 "Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani"

  3. Train # 67 / 68 "Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani"

  4. Train # 135 / 136 "Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani"

  5. Train # 139 / 140 "Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani"

  6. Train # 141 / 142 "Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani"

18. From Bangkok to the East (Aranyaprathet)

  1. Train # 275 / 286 "Bangkok - Aranyaprathet"

  2. Train # 279 / 280 "Bangkok - Aranyaprathet"

19. From Bangkok to the South

  1. Chumphon special!

  2. Train # 261 / 262 "Bangkok - Hua Hin"

  3. Train # 171 / 172 "Bangkok to Sungai Kolok"

  4. Train # 45 / 46 "Bangkok to Padang Besar (Malaysia side)"

  5. Train # 37 / 38 "Bangkok to Sungai Kolok"

  6. Train # 169 / 170 "Bangkok to Yala"

  7. Train # 83 / 84 "Bangkok to Trang"

  8. Train # 173 / 174 "Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat"

  9. Train # 167 / 168 "Bangkok to Kantang"

  10. Train # 85 / 86 "Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat"

  11. Train # 39 / 40 "Bangkok to Surat Thani"

  12. Train # 43 / 44 "Bangkok to Surat Thani"

20. Bangkok to the Islands (Phuket / Phi Phi / Samui / Koh Phangan / Koh Tao)

21. Bangkok - Kanchanaburi - River Kwai - Nam Tok

22. What is the history of the railways in Thailand?

23. The Eastern and Oriental Express

What is the railway like in Thailand?

All railway tracks in Thailand belong to the state-owned company State Railway of Thailand (SRT). The tracks go across the country, using a narrow railway width of one meter. In many areas, there is only a single-track line, which can result in train delays in the course of your journey. Passengers stay on the train during the stops, which usually last less than ten minutes. The total length of the railway track is about 4,180 km. The main hub of the railway network is Bangkok. Click here to see the map of all routes: Railway Lines departing from Bangkok

Where can I find train schedules?

Of course, all information about popular train schedules can be found on our website (which in some cases is more up-to-date than SRT's official website). Here you can get all the information on the movement on train schedules, costs, travel times, and train types by entering the point of departure and your desired destination.

What are railway stations like in Thailand?

When compared to European stations, the railway stations in Thailand are a bit more sparse. Stations often consist of a roof but no walls except for an office where you can buy your tickets. In most places, there is a small waiting area where you can find a seat. Restaurants and snack bars are also available at some stations.

The stations in Bangkok and Chiang Mai are larger and more modern. They offer small shops, travel agencies, coffee shops, etc. In Chiang Mai, boarding passes for tickets are booked with 12Go.Asia has to be picked up at the Bossotel next to the railway station unless you booked an e-ticket or selected the shipping of your tickets to your hotel. If you ordered your ticket for pickup, let’s say in Chiang Mai, it is printed and kept there - hence it can not be picked up in Bangkok, and vice versa.

Hua Lamphong railway station in Bangkok.

Most of the trains in Thailand depart from Hua Lamphong - which is the central hub of rail traffic in Thailand. In its significance, it may be compared to Suvarnabhumi Airport.
At the station, you can find many different services:

  1. Information window This is where you can get a printed schedule of all trains in English and Thai. The staff will also try to answer all your questions.

  2. Cash Counters. If you need a ticket for the same day you can visit any of the counters located on the left side under the portrait of His Majesty The King. An available counter is an odd number. The tickets will be issued in your name, so please bring your passport or a similar form of photo ID.

  3. Pre-sale Counters Tickets can be bought between 1 and 30 days before the planned date of travel. Very short routes (such as Bangkok to Ayutthaya, Hua Hin, or Pattaya) can be bought only one day in advance, and short routes (like Bangkok to Chumphon, Phitsanulok, or Korat) can be booked 30 days in advance. Trips starting in Bangkok with a duration of more than six hours are usually released 30 days before the departure date (there are some exceptions). The office is open every day from 08:30 to 16:00.

  4. Luggage Storage If you have nowhere to leave your luggage, you can use the luggage room in the right corner opposite the entrance to the tracks, which is open daily from 04:00 to 23:00. The price varies from 20 to 100 baht per piece per day. There are installed storage boxes close to the luggage room... Unfortunately, we can not keep your luggage inside our office in the DOB Building.

  5. Restaurants There are no restaurants in the station. If you are looking for a restaurant please enter the subway station and take exit number 3. There are some restaurants, coffee shops, and a 7-eleven convenience store nearby. Inside the railway station are an Amazon and a Black Canyon coffee shop.

We do not recommend crossing the road, it's dangerous. Please take the air-conditioned underpass through the subway station.

  1. A Taxi service is located on the left side of the station. Avoid tuk-tuks. They charge you ludicrous prices and often do not know your destination, so they bring you somewhere else. Somewhere else is usually a tailor or gem shop where they get a commission. Metered taxis are safer, cheaper, and come with air conditioning.

  2. WC is located in the corner of the lobby behind the information desk. As always in crowded public places, it is better to avoid this area if you can.

  3. The 12Go office is located directly opposite the Hua Lamphong Railway station, but not inside the station. Please take the MRT (Subway) exit number 1. Do not try to cross the road, please take the air-conditioned underpass from the subway. Our office is 30 meters from subway exit number 1 inside the DOB Building on the ground floor. We operate from ~ 10:00 - 20:00 every day.

Some trains depart from Thon Buri - but that's a whole different story.

Bang Sue train station

State Railway of Thailand has announced that Bang Sue Grand station will be the new central station in 2022. But this station is still not officially launched and is currently only available for the SRT Dark Red Line only.
State Railway of Thailand still has not announced the official opening date for this station.
The tracks are behind the large main building, known as Bang Sue Junction station. This station is the hub for all trains going to any route (Northern, Southern, and Southeastern).
Passengers can purchase food or beverages at local stores around this station.
Passengers can get to the train station by MRT subway, the SRT dark red line Skytrain, or by taxi.

Chiang Mai train station

Chiang Mai train station is located on Charoen Muang Road, approximately in the middle between the Ping River and the Superhighway. It is the main station for northern Thailand. While parking is a problem at Bangkok's stations there is plenty of parking space available at Chiang Mai. You will also find street vendors and a couple of local restaurants there. The Bossotel, where the boarding passes for tickets booked with 12Go have to be picked up, is located on the other side of the street.

Chumphon train station

Chumphon train station is mainly a stopover station to go to Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. It is also used for refueling gasoline and adding water on the southern route. The station (and the parcel room) are open 24 hours every day of the week.

Surat Thani train station

Surat Thani train station, unlike many others, is open 24 hours, including the parcel department. It is the main transport hub connecting the South to Bangkok, so trains pass by around the clock. Most of the trains you will be interested in departing in the evening. Trains on this route are often not on the schedule.

Can we leave things at the station for storage?

Every major railway station offers luggage storage. Anyone can use it, but it may be necessary to present a train ticket (and usually it is not free of charge). Please note that the luggage office closes with the departure of the last train (or even earlier).

How does the boarding work?

Access to the trains is controlled in different ways. First and second-class tickets are checked before boarding the train. In the third class, you take a seat and the conductor comes around and checks the tickets. If you did not have time to buy a ticket in advance it can be purchased from the conductor on the train at the same price as at the counter.

How long in advance can I book a ticket?

The best time to book a ticket is the moment your travel plans are finalized. In general, it is better to book as early as possible. The most popular trains are the sleeper trains that connect Bangkok with Chiang Mai, Surat Thani, and Nong Khai.

During public holidays, vacation periods, and long weekends there is a very high chance that the required train may not be available. The most difficult dates are around the New Year (roughly from December 30 to January 3), Songkran (the Thai New Year from April 11 to 16), and Loy Krathong (the first full moon night in November), when tickets are sold out within hours after they are released to the public one months before the travel date.

If you want to travel during the peak periods you should book your tickets more than 90 days in advance. If you choose to travel on a popular route, there is a high chance that all the good seats will be sold out quite a few days before the trip.

If you are traveling in a group and want to be seated together you should also plan.

At 12go.asia we will purchase your tickets on the first day they are released to the public. Our employees will wait at the counter when it opens, buy the tickets in your name and keep them secured until you come to collect them at our counters in Chiang Mai or Bangkok's Hua Lamphong station. If a collection in person is not possible you can select the shipping option that we offer. The printed tickets (on official Railways paper) are the boarding passes. Please keep it until you show it to the conductor when they require the ticket. 12go.asia is the best solution to book tickets in advance and from abroad.

To have tickets sent to your hotel or home you need to provide a proper address, especially the postal code and the check-in date in case the address is a hotel. For shipping, we use the EMS post and after many thousands of tickets sold we have never experienced problems with them. The only headache from time to time is that hotels accept the document shipment and then cannot find it when guests arrive and ask for it. In case your tickets vanished into thin air or got lost during the shipping process a passport copy is needed to make a police report about the lost tickets. With a copy of this police report and a picture provided by 12Go of the original tickets, the passenger can go to the railway counter and get a new ticket. If the customer wants 12Go to make the report for them, a copy of the passport has to be provided to us.

Update 2017: we no longer send tickets to the islands in the South. Instead, we can send them to the parcel office at the train station you wish to depart from. Please contact us about the working time of the parcel office. Some parcel offices are working 24 hours but others are working only during office hours. Please take a look at the information below.

Hua Lamphong - 04:00 - 22:00
Bang Sue - 08:30 - 20:30
Don Mueang - 08:00 - 17:00


Ayutthaya - 03:00 - 22:00
Chiang Mai - 05:00 - 17:00
Chumphon - 24 hrs


Hat Yai - 08:00 - 17:00
Hua Hin - 08:00 - 17:00
Lopburi - 08:00 - 17:00


Nong Khai - 06:00 - 10:00/15:00 - 19:00
Phitsanulok - 05:00 - 22:00
Suratthani - 24 hrs
Trang - 08:00 - 17:00


Updated September 2022

How can I get on the train coming from the airport?

If you arrive at Suvarnabhumi International Airport the easiest way to get into town is to proceed to the ground floor and get a public taxi. Go to the taxi counter where the English-speaking staff will ask for your destination, write it on a form and hand one part of it to the driver, while you keep the other part for your reference. Keep in mind that tolls have to be paid by the passenger in cash when the car reaches the tollway station and that there is an additional airport fee of 50 baht on top of the amount shown on the meter. Recently a ticket machine was installed where you can now get your queue number. There you can also select if you need a normal taxi or one with more than 4 seats.

If you arrive at Don Mueang Airport again the easiest way is to take a taxi. The same 50 baht airport surcharge has to be paid on top of the meter price and tollway fees are to be paid by the passenger when arriving at the booth. Please note that if you arrive at the same time as many other flights, the queue at the taxi line might consume 30 minutes or more.

Traveling with Children

Children under the age of 3 with a height of less than 100 cm travel free of charge if they can share a seat with an adult. Children under the age of 11 with a height of less than 150 cm can get a discount, based on the type of the train, the class, and the carriage. The discount is 10 percent (approximately). Discounts for students or elderly people are not available for foreigners.

Where is the luggage kept on the train?

You can carry your luggage into the cars and keep it next to you or on special racks. In a sleeping car, the luggage might be stored in a compartment nearby. Some travelers secure their bags to the rack with a bicycle lock.

Is there a baggage limitation?

Each passenger is entitled to carry one large and one small piece of luggage, but this rule is not strictly enforced. No one will weigh or check your suitcases. In the first class you are entitled to bring 60 kg per passenger, in the second class it is 40 kg per passenger and in the third class, it is 30 kg per passenger.

Is it possible to transport a bicycle/motorbike?

Depend on trains because some trains have no cargo compartment. It is possible to bring your bicycle or motorbike. Please check in advance to ensure your train has such a compartment. While it is much easier with bicycles, motorbikes require a bit more attention. The engine capacity of a motorbike that is allowed for transporting cannot exceed 150 cc (ask the staff before departure 3 hours in advance).

It is advised to arrive at least 3 hours before the train departure at the cargo terminal, where you have to prove that the bike is registered in your name (bring your passport and the green book of the bike). Take your time and watch how your bike is loaded and secured on the train. It might speed up the process to tip the staff, preferably the person on the train who will secure it properly and monitor it. At most of the stations, your bike will be lifted by hand by the station staff onto the train.

The charge depends on the weight of the bike, so make sure you know the weight to avoid being overcharged. The price of a small bike or scooter should be between 1000 and 1500 baht and the price does not depend on the distance.

When you arrive you can try to get your bike right away. It may require some additional payment to speed up the process.

Will the train arrive on time?

Thai trains do not always depart or arrive on time. Often there is a delay, sometimes several hours. Do not plan your connecting flight without a significant break of at least 6 hours between train arrival and your flight departure. If you are booked with a combo ticket to one of the islands you do not have to worry. The ferry operator will accept your ticket on the next available boat in case the train is delayed.

What types of trains are used in Thailand?

In Thailand, there are seven types of trains. The type of train defines the travel time, number of stops, speed of travel, and available classes, as well as the quality of cars that are hooked to the train. The train number indicates the type of train.

  • Special Express trains have a number from 1 to 48. Trains of this type are the fastest and run almost non-stop but are also the most expensive. These trains normally have first and second-class carriages except for special express train # 37 which also includes third-class carriages on the Bangkok-Sungai Kolok route.

  • Diesel Railcar The DRC letters next to the train number indicate that it has special self-propelled diesel railcars. These trains generally consist of only 2 or 3 carriages in the second class, wherein the first carriage is the one with the engine. Almost half of all Thai trains run on diesel.

  • Express trains have numbers from 51 to 98. They differ from special express trains in that they make more stops and therefore need more time on the same track. The trains have carriages of first, second, and third class.

  • Rapid trains have numbers from 101 to 198. They are the most common type of train in Thailand and include carriages in second class (usually without air conditioning) and third class. They make a stop at almost every station.

  • Ordinary trains have numbers from 298 to 300. These are very slow trains that make the maximum number of stops. The trains have only third-class carriages and run only during the day over distances of not more than 500 km.

  • Commuter trains are suburban trains with numbers from 301 to 398. They have all the same features as ordinary trains.

  • Local trains have numbers from 401 to 498. They also have the same features as ordinary trains and run along shorter distances.

What kinds of classes are available?

There are only 3 main types of carriages: first, second and third class. Each class has sub-types that affect the quality of the trip and the cost.

First class

First class is the most comfortable way to travel. You will enjoy a separate compartment with individual air conditioning and a private washbasin. The ticket price includes fresh bed linen and washing accessories: bed sheet, blanket, soap, and towels. At the end of the car is usually a toilet and a shower with cold water. Traveling together in one room is no problem for couples.

If you are traveling alone but did not pay for single occupancy, you will find yourself in a compartment with another passenger of the same gender. If you want privacy and the whole room for yourself, please let us know by opening a support case referring to your booking id.

Please note that on the first class air-conditioned carriage, you cannot bring your animals with you as it is against the State Railway of Thailand’s policy. The animals will only be allowed on fan carriages.

Compartment cars are usually quickly sold out. It is advised to book them at least a month before the start of intended travel, and booking more than 90 days in advance gives you the best chance to get your compartment. First-class carriages are usually found in the special express type of trains.

There are different versions of first-class carriages. Please note that VIP compartments in the old trains do not offer the same standards as you might expect from your home country or from the newer trains State Railways of Thailand offers on certain routes.

VIP sleepers usually consist of 12 double compartments (with upper and lower berths). In the evening a steward will convert the seats into comfortable beds.

Second Class

The second class is the most common and popular in Thailand. In these cars, the seats/berths are arranged along the walls on both sides of the carriage. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy. Second-class sleepers are available in two versions: air-conditioned and with fans. Air-conditioned cars are usually newer and cleaner, but the cars with open windows are perfect for a photo/video shooting trip. The upper berth is slightly cheaper than the lower one, but it is smaller in size and a bit shorter. If your height is less than 185 cm (6'1") you will have enough space in the upper berth. If you are taller, you should reserve a lower berth with a length of 190 cm (6'3") where you can sleep comfortably lying diagonally.

Your luggage can be stored on special racks and for your peace of mind, you can secure them with a bicycle lock to the luggage rack. You can also secure zippers with a small padlock. At the end of the carriage, a restroom with a toilet can be found.

Please note that on the second-class air-conditioned carriage, you cannot bring your animals with you as it is against the State Railway of Thailand’s policy. The animals will only be allowed on fan carriages.

The seats are similar to seats in a plane: soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Please note that air conditioning in Thailand is usually running at full capacity and set to a temperature that would make a polar bear smile, so be prepared and bring warm clothing. You can ask for an extra blanket or simply use your big towel.

The following types of carriages can be found in the second class:

  • second-class sleepers with air conditioning come with 36 or 40 beds.
  • second-class sleepers with fans come with 32 beds.
  • second-class sleepers for women only are for women and girls only. Boys up to the age of 8 years are allowed to travel with their mothers. The rules are strictly enforced and a male passenger with a reservation for this carriage will not be allowed to board and will face serious problems with the authorities.
  • second class seater with fan come with 48 or 64 seats.
  • second class seater with air-conditioning come with 58 or 64 seats, but they are different from the carriages with fans, especially the ones on a special express train. In these cars are also seats comparable to those in an airplane, but even more comfortable. The carriages have a steward who announces stops and serves food and drinks that are either included in the fare or have to be paid separately. Double-check if they are complementary; there have been unpleasant surprises for travelers who thought (or were initially told) they were included.



Third-class carriages

This type of carriage is good for short trips, such as from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi or from Bangkok to Ayutthaya. Prepare for a small car with seating areas along the walls. Some seats can be very hard. These cars are usually equipped with fans (that do not always work). The windows can be opened. At the end of the car, you might find a toilet and wash basin. The third class is preferred by locals and is often overcrowded.

On short routes, it can be a new experience to travel with locals, and through the open windows, you might have the chance to shoot some really impressive pictures.
You can bring your dog with you when you travel to the third class. The fee is between 90 and 150 baht depending on the size of the animal and your 4-legged companion has to be in a travel cage the entire time. Cages are not provided; you have to bring your own. A much better way to travel with your pet is to book a private van transfer with us. Please understand that our operators will not accept farm animals, dangerous or endangered species. Please contact our support for more information.

Ladies only!

The following trains have a special carriage reserved solely for female passengers and their children: 9 / 10 (Chiang Mai), 31 / 32 (Hat Yai), 37 / 38 (Surat Thani), 67 / 68 (Ubon Ratchathani), and 25 / 26 (Nong Khai). Boys up to the age of 8 years and a height of less than 100 cm are allowed to travel with their mothers.

The rules are strictly enforced and a male passenger with a reservation for this carriage will not be allowed to board and will face serious problems with the authorities.

Disabled passengers

In general, the State Railways personnel are very helpful to those in need. If passengers have any disability there will be someone to help. Blind people will be guided to their seats and passengers who need a wheelchair may be able to use a special entrance/elevator to board the train. This does not apply to all trains, however. Before booking, please check what type of special equipment is available on the train you plan to take. If you have any disability please contact our support on the website and we will do our best to help you.

Railway Lines departing from Bangkok

  • Northern Route Bangkok - Chiang Mai.

This is the oldest railway line. The first section was opened in 1894. The length of the branch is 751 km and the trains cross this distance in 11-14 hours on average.
Two Express trains and three Special Express trains connect the Rose of the North (Chiang Mai) with the Big Mango (Bangkok). The night trains take a little longer, but their seats are converted into comfortable sleeping berths when night falls. The scenery when leaving Bangkok in the evening is not that exciting, but when the sun comes up in the morning the train will have reached the mountains that surround Chiang Mai, and passengers are rewarded with fantastic views.

  • Eastern Route Bangkok - Aranyaprathet (with a branch to Pattaya).

This line ends at the border with Cambodia. In the past, the track went through the border and into Cambodia. However, during the civil war in Cambodia, the connection was interrupted and has not yet been restored. At the moment the only construction activities are for buildings and casinos in the border area in Poi Pet. There is a plan to restore the rail link between the two countries, but it is only at the planning stage. The journey between Bangkok and Aranyaprathet takes about 4-5 hours. Tickets can be bought only one day in advance (hence online booking is not feasible) and many people think it is more convenient to take a bus to Rong Klua Market, which is located directly at the border. Locals can enjoy the casino buses which provide free transportation for those who just cross the border to visit the casinos. This service is not available to tourists.

  • North-Eastern Route Bangkok - Nong Khai (at the border with Laos)

Up to Ban Phachi Junction, the track also serves the northern line, but after that, the line is separated from the northeast line. The track length is 624 km. The journey between Bangkok and Nong Khai takes an average of 10-12 hours; between Bangkok and Ubon Ratchathani you can expect 8-10 hours.

  • Southern Route

SRT trains are no longer allowed to cross or pass the Malaysian border to Butterworth Train Station. The new disembarkation station is Padang Besar (Thailand Side). Passengers can continue their journey to Butterworth via Padang Besar train station (Malaysian Side) by pre-booking a KTM train ticket or direct purchase of a ticket at the station.

Bangkok to the North (Chiang Mai)

On this route run 5 trains: Special Express trains # 7 / 8, # 9 / 10 and # 13 / 14, express # 51 / 52 and trains # 109 / 102.

If speed is important to you, we recommend that you take train # 7 / 8, but keep in mind that you will have to sit for all 11 hours. This train is a seater train, not a sleeper train.

If you want to get to Chiang Mai in the morning and more comfortably, you should take train # 9 / 10. They leave Bangkok in the evening and arrive in the morning. Thus, you will have the whole day to enjoy Bangkok and then be able to sleep in the car. This way you also save the cost of a night in a hotel. Both trains take 13 hours.

The comfy trains are usually fully booked a long time in advance. It is strongly recommended that you book more than 90 days in advance, but this is still no guarantee to be lucky enough to get a seat in first class. It has happened (very rarely) in the past that the State Railways of Thailand did not release tickets to the public, for example when groups of Government officials were traveling on an official trip.

The express trains # 51 / 52 and # 109 / 102 take 14 hours for the roughly 700 km distance. Take train # 51 to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the mountains that surrounds the plateau on which Chiang Mai rests.

In the summer of 2015, State Railways of Thailand upgraded the engines of three trains, which resulted in faster travel times on this route. With almost the same departure times the arrival is now about one hour earlier. The biggest change was train # 52, which now departs two hours earlier than before and arrives three hours earlier at 05:25 in the morning.

Train # 9 / 10 "Bangkok - Chiang Mai"

The type of this train is Special Express and to travel between the cities takes about 13 hours. The train is quite convenient because it departs from Bangkok at 18:10 and arrives at the terminal station at 07:15 in the morning. The old train was replaced in November 2016 by new carriages and has a dining car and only sleeping carriages:

VIP Sleepers usually consist of 12 double compartments (with upper and lower berths). It is pleasant to be able to close the compartment and have individual air conditioning control and a private washbasin. In the evening a steward will convert the seats to berths. The ticket price includes bed linen and washing accessories: bed sheet, blanket, soap, and towels. At the end of each car is a toilet and sometimes a shower with cold water. If you are traveling alone but did not pay for single occupancy, then you will find yourself traveling in a room with another passenger of the same gender. If you're traveling in a group, then you can request for your convenience adjacent compartments with an inner connecting door (between 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and so on).

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing privacy. Please be prepared that it can get quite cold on the train at night, especially on the upper berth.

Train # 7 / 8 "Bangkok - Chiang Mai"

The type of this train is Special Express with a travel time of about 11 hours between the end stations. This is the minimum travel time for that route. The train leaves Bangkok in the morning at 08:30 and arrives at 19:30. The train consists of diesel cars with second-class air-conditioned seats and no berths. The seats are soft and reclining, similar to those in an airplane. Tickets for these cars are sold with a seat number. Meals are included in the ticket price, but there is also a restaurant car on the train.

Train # 13 / 14 "Bangkok - Chiang Mai"

The type of this train is Special Express and the travel time between the end stations is again about 13 hours. This is convenient because the train leaves Bangkok at 19:35 and arrives at Chiang Mai in the morning at 08:40. The train has a dining car and the following classes:

VIP sleeper: This carriage comes with 12 double compartments (with upper and lower berths). It is pleasant to be able to close the compartment and have individual air conditioning control and a private washbasin. In the evening a steward will convert the seats to berths. The ticket price includes bed linen and washing accessories: bed sheet, blanket, soap, and towels. At the end of each car is a toilet and sometimes a shower with cold water. If you are traveling alone but did not pay for single occupancy, then you will find yourself traveling in a room with another passenger of the same gender. If you're traveling in a group, then you can request for your convenience adjacent compartments with an inner connecting door (between 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and so on).

Second-class Sleeper with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged in groups of 2 on both sides of the train. It is perfect if you travel in a group of 4. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Train # 51 / 52 "Bangkok - Chiang Mai"

The type of this train is "Express" and the travel time to Chiang Mai is about 14 hours. This train has second-class sleeping cars with air conditioning and fans, seating carriages with air conditioning and fans, and third-class carriages.

Second-class Sleeper cars are the most common and popular ones. In these carriages, the seats/berths are arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy. Second-class sleeping cars come with both air-conditioning and fans. Air-conditioned cars are usually newer and clean, but the cars with open windows are perfect for a photo/video shooting trip.

Second-class seats with fan - The seats are comparable to seats in a plane. They are soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Third-class seats with fan - This is a carriage with seats only along the walls. Seats can either be very hard or soft; it depends on which type of carriage is used. If you are unlucky and you get a hard seat you will not forget the long trip to Chiang Mai. These cars are usually equipped with fans and some of them even work. This train usually has an on-board restaurant.

Train # 109 / 102 "Bangkok - Chiang Mai"

The type of these trains is "Rapid." The travel time between the end stations is calculated as 14h and 20 minutes. Dispatched from Bangkok at 13:45 it arrives in Chiang Mai early in the morning at 04:05. This train makes a stop at almost every station. This train consists of the following cars:

Second-class sleeper cars with fans have berths arranged along the walls on both sides of the carriage. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class seats with fan are quite soft and reclining, but not recommended for the whole route. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a seat number.

Third-class seats with fan - This is a small car with seating areas along the walls. Seats can either be very hard or soft. It depends on which type of carriage is used.

From Bangkok to the Northeast (Nong Khai)

The terminal station of this route is close to the border with Laos and its distance is 621 km. If you continue your journey to Laos you can walk on foot (2 km) to the border, or you can take the tuk-tuk inside the station to Vientiane. The most convenient connection to Nong Khai is train # 25 / 26 - it is the fastest and it is a sleeper.
There is a rail from Nong Khai to Laos directly but still does not provide the service. They are used for parcel service only.

Train # 75 / 76 "Bangkok - Nong Khai"

The type of this train is "Express" and the travel time between end stations is around nine and a half hours. Train #75 departs at 08:20 in the morning and arrives at Nong Khai at 17:45. These trains have only seater carriages:

Second-class seats, air-conditioned The seats are similar to those on an airplane. The seats themselves are soft and slightly recline, but are not recommended for long distances. Tickets are available at specific locations only, not at every station.

Third-class seats on trains in Thailand are not made for tourists. They are mainly used by local passengers on short legs of the route.

Train # 25 / 26 "Bangkok - Nong Khai"

The type of this trains is Special Express . The time to get to the terminal station is 10h 45min. Dispatched from Bangkok at 20:00 the train arrives at its destination at 06:45 in the morning. This train has only sleeper cars.

VIP Sleepers consist of 12 double compartments (with upper and lower berths). It is pleasant to be able to close the compartment and have individual air conditioning control and a private washbasin. In the evening a steward will convert the seats to berths. The ticket price includes bed linen and washing accessories: bed sheet, blanket, soap, and towels. At the end of each car is a toilet and sometimes a shower with cold water. If you are traveling alone but did not pay for single occupancy, then you will find yourself traveling in a room with another passenger of the same gender. If you're traveling in a group, then you can request for your convenience adjacent compartments with an inner connecting door (between 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and so on).

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class sleeper cars with fans - The berths are arranged along the walls on both sides of the carriage. In the daytime, the lower berths are arranged in a way that they form seats facing each other. By nightfall, the stewards dismantle the bottom seats and build up upper and lower berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Air-conditioned cars are usually newer and clean, but the cars with open windows are perfect for a photo/video shooting trip.

Train # 133 / 134 "Bangkok - Nong Khai"

The type of this train is "rapid." The travel time between Hua Lamphong in Bangkok and Nong Khai is 11h 50min. Dispatched from Bangkok's main station at 20:45 it arrives at 08:35 in Nong Khai. It stops at almost every station. This train has a dining car and the following classes:

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class seats with fan - The seats are similar to seats in a plane: soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Third-class seats Are you ready for an adventurous trip? The benches on this train will be quite hard after a while and are not divided into specific seats. The car has fans and if you are lucky they will even work, but you can always open the windows.

Bangkok to the Northeast (Ubon Ratchathani)

The distance from Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani (in the north of Thailand near the southern border of Laos) is 575 km. On this route runs one special express and three fast express trains. If you are in a hurry choose the fastest train, # 21 / 22, but you will have to spend the whole way sitting. If you prefer comfort, choose the sleeper train # 67 / 68, and # 23 / 24.

Train # 21 / 22 "Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani"

The type of this train is Special Express and the travel time between end stations is 8h 15min. Dispatched from Bangkok early in the morning at 05:45 it arrives at 14:00. This train consists of only second-class seats, air-conditioned and the seats are soft and slightly recline. Tickets are available at specific locations only, not at every station.

Train # 23 / 24 "Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani"

The type of this train is Special Express and to travel between the cities takes about 10 hours. The train is quite convenient because it departs from Bangkok at 20:30 and arrives at the terminal station at 06:15 in the morning.

VIP Sleepers usually consist of 12 double compartments (with upper and lower berths). It is pleasant to be able to close the compartment and have individual air conditioning control and a private washbasin. In the evening a steward will convert the seats to berths. The ticket price includes bed linen and washing accessories: bed sheet, blanket, soap, and towels. At the end of each car is a toilet and sometimes a shower with cold water. If you are traveling alone but did not pay for single occupancy, then you will find yourself traveling in a room with another passenger of the same gender. If you're traveling in a group, then you can request for your convenience adjacent compartments with an inner connecting door (between 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and so on).

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy. Please be prepared that it can get quite cold on the train at night, especially on the upper berth.

Train # 67 / 68 "Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani"

The types of these trains are "Express" and the travel time is 10h 55min. The train departs from Bangkok at 20:30 and arrives in Ubon Ratchathani in the morning at 07:25. This train has a dining car and carriages of the following types:

VIP Sleepers consist of up to 12 double compartments (with upper and lower berths). It is pleasant to be able to close the compartment and have individual air conditioning control and a private washbasin. In the evening a steward will convert the seats to berths. The ticket price includes bed linen and washing accessories: bed sheet, blanket, soap, and towels. At the end of each car is a toilet and sometimes a shower with cold water. If you are traveling alone but did not pay for single occupancy, then you will find yourself traveling in a room with another passenger of the same gender. If you're traveling in a group, then you can request for your convenience adjacent compartments with an inner connecting door (between 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and so on).

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class seats with fan - The seats are similar to seats in a plane: soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Train # 135 / 136 "Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani"

The type of this train is "rapid." The travel time between the end stations is 11h 20min. You will spend the whole day on the road between 06:40 in the morning and arrive when it is almost dark at 18:00. The train stops at almost every station and has a dining car. It also has the following cars:

Second-class seats with fan - The seats are similar to seats in a plane: soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Third-class seats Are you ready for an adventurous trip? The benches on this train will be quite hard after a while and are not divided into specific seats. The car has a fan and if you are lucky it will even work, but you can always open the windows. 11+ hours of your life you won't forget easily.

Train # 139 / 140 "Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani"

The type of this train is "rapid." Travel between the cities takes 11h 20min. The train makes a stop at almost every station, has a dining car, and consists of the following cars:

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class seats with fan - The seats are similar to seats in a plane: soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Third-class seats Are you ready for an adventurous trip? The benches on this train will be quite hard after a while and are not divided into specific seats. The car has a fan and if you are lucky it will even work, but you can always open the windows. We recommend this class only for short distances.

Train # 141 / 142 "Bangkok - Ubon Ratchathani"

The type of this train is "rapid" . Travel between the cities takes 11h 55min. The train makes a stop at almost every station, has a dining car, and consists of the following carriages:

Second-class seats with fan - The seats are similar to seats in a plane: soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Third-class seats Are you ready for an adventurous trip? The benches on this train will be quite hard after a while and are not divided into specific seats. The car has a fan and if you are lucky it will even work, but you can always open the windows. Truly a very special trip. Are you ready for that?

From Bangkok to the East (Aranyaprathet)

Aranyaprathet is located 255 kilometers from Bangkok and just 6 km from the Cambodian border post Poi Pet, from where buses depart to Siem Reap and other cities in Cambodia. On this route are two regular trains, but they can not be booked in advance.

Train # 275 / 286 "Bangkok - Aranyaprathet"

This is an "ordinary" train. It takes 5 hours and 40 minutes from Bangkok to the terminal station. The departure is early in the morning at 05:55 and the arrival time at the terminal station is 11:35. This train consists of several third-class seater carriages. The benches are usually hard and are not divided into individual seats. The car has a fan that does not always work, but it is possible to open the windows.

Train # 279 / 280 "Bangkok - Aranyaprathet"

This is also an "ordinary" train. A bit faster than the other one it takes only 4 hours and 20 minutes to get to the terminal station. This train consists of several third-class seater carriages. The benches are usually hard and are not divided into individual seats. The car has a fan that does not always work, but it is possible to open the windows.

From Bangkok to the South

The track between Bangkok and Hua Hin is just 229 km long and very well developed. Through Hua Hin, one of the oldest resorts in Thailand, a lot of trains pass that will end up somewhere in the South.

Chumphon special!

Attention: tickets to and from Chumphon can only be confirmed 30 days in advance. By that time most of the seats are already sold to people who travel a longer distance and booked their tickets 90 days in advance. If you do not want to take any risk please book your tickets from/to Lang Suan station instead. Of course, you can still board or hop off in Chumphon. The price difference per seat is currently (August 2017) only 42 Baht for second class trains and 68 Baht for the first class. Booking the longer distance gives you a much better chance to get the tickets you need.

Train # 261 / 262 "Bangkok - Hua Hin"

This is an "ordinary" train. It is very slow and it stops everywhere. Conventional trains run only during the day. The time to Hua Hin is 4 hours and 15 minutes. This train consists of several third-class seater carriages. The benches are usually hard and are not divided into individual seats. The car has fans that do not always work, but it is possible to open the windows.

Train # 171 / 172 "Bangkok to Sungai Kolok"

The type of this train is "Express." It is the most common type of train in Thailand. The time to Hua Hin is approximately 5 - 6 hours. The final station is Sungai Kolok. It makes a stop at almost every station. This train consists of the following additional cars:

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class sleeper cars with fans - The berths are arranged along the walls on both sides of the carriage. In the daytime, the lower berths are arranged in a way that they form seats facing each other. By nightfall, the stewards dismantle the bottom seats and build up upper and lower berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Air-conditioned cars are usually newer and clean, but the cars with open windows are perfect for a photo/video shooting trip.

Second-class seats with fan - The seats are similar to seats in a plane: soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Third-class seats Are you ready for an adventurous trip? The benches on this train will be quite hard after a while and are not divided into specific seats. The car has a fan and if you are lucky it will even work, but you can always open the windows.

Train # 45 / 46 "Bangkok to Padang Besar (Malaysia side)"

The type of this train is Special Express - travel time to Hua Hin is 5 hours. The final station is Padang Besar (Malaysia side). Trains of this type are the fastest and are almost non-stop, but they are also the most expensive.

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Train # 37 / 38 "Bangkok to Sungai Kolok"

The type of this train is Special Express - travel time to Hua Hin is 5 - 6 hours. The final station is Sungai Kolok. Trains of this type are the fastest and are almost non-stop, but they are also the most expensive.
The following cars:

VIP Sleepers consist of up to 12 double compartments (with upper and lower berths). It is pleasant to be able to close the compartment and have individual air conditioning control and a private washbasin. In the evening a steward will convert the seats to berths. The ticket price includes bed linen and washing accessories: bed sheet, blanket, and 2 water bottles. At the end of each car is a toilet and sometimes a shower with cold water. If you are traveling alone but did not pay for single occupancy, then you will find yourself traveling in a room with another passenger of the same gender. If you're traveling in a group, then you can request for your convenience adjacent compartments with an inner connecting door (between 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and so on).

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class sleeper cars with fans - The berths are arranged along the walls on both sides of the carriage. In the daytime, the lower berths are arranged in a way that they form seats facing each other. By nightfall, the stewards dismantle the bottom seats and build up upper and lower berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Air-conditioned cars are usually newer and clean, but the cars with open windows are perfect for a photo/video shooting trip.

Third-class seats Are you ready for an adventurous trip? The benches on this train will be quite hard after a while and are not divided into individual seats. The car has a fan and if you are lucky it will even work, but you can always open the windows. It is a great way to get in contact with local people.

Train # 169 / 170 "Bangkok to Yala"

The type of this train is "Express." It is the most common type of train in Thailand. The time to Hua Hin is 5 - 6 hours and the terminal station is Yala. The train makes a stop at almost every station and consists of the following carriages:

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class sleeper cars with fans - The berths are arranged along the walls on both sides of the carriage. In the daytime, the lower berths are arranged in a way that they form seats facing each other. By nightfall, the stewards dismantle the bottom seats and build up upper and lower berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class seats with fan - The seats are similar to seats in a plane: soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Third-class seats this train comes without seat numbers. Just hop on and find some space. While the trip to Hua Hin can be survived in this class we would not recommend it for longer distances.

Train # 83 / 84 "Bangkok to Trang"

The type of this train is "Express" - the travel time to Hua Hin is 5 - 6 hours and the terminal station is "Trang". Because of a larger number of stops this connection takes its time. This train has a dining car and carriages of the following types:

VIP Sleepers consist of up to 12 double compartments (with upper and lower berths). It is pleasant to be able to close the compartment and have individual air conditioning control and a private washbasin. In the evening a steward will convert the seats to berths. The ticket price includes bed linen and washing accessories: bed sheet, blanket, and 2 water bottles. At the end of each car is a toilet and sometimes a shower with cold water. If you are traveling alone but did not pay for single occupancy, then you will find yourself traveling in a room with another passenger of the same gender. If you're traveling in a group, then you can request for your convenience adjacent compartments with an inner connecting door (between 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and so on).

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class seats with fan - The seats are similar to seats in a plane: soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Third-class seats Are you ready for an adventurous trip? The wooden benches on this train will be quite hard after a while and are not divided into individual seats. The car has a fan and if you are lucky it will even work, but you can always open the windows.

Train # 173 / 174 "Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat"

The type of this train is "rapid." It is the most common type of train in Thailand. The travel time to Hua Hin is 5 - 6 hours. The terminal station is Nakhon Si Thamarat. The train makes a stop at almost every station. The carriages of the following types:

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class sleeper cars with fans - The berths are arranged along the walls on both sides of the carriage. In the daytime, the lower berths are arranged in a way that they form seats facing each other. By nightfall, the stewards dismantle the bottom seats and build up upper and lower berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Air-conditioned cars are usually newer and clean, but the cars with open windows are perfect for a photo/video shooting trip.

2nd class seats with fan are reclining and will be good enough for a trip to Hua Hin. Anything further away you won't reach with a smile on your face, even if you have taken the opportunity to walk up and down the train a couple of times. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Third-class seats Are you ready for an adventurous trip? The benches on this train will be quite hard after a while and are not divided into specific seats. The car has a fan and if you are lucky it will even work, but you can always open the windows.

Train # 167 / 168 "Bangkok to Kantang"

The type of this train is "rapid." It is the most common type of train in Thailand. The time to Hua Hin is 5 - 6 hours. The terminal station Kantang. The train makes stops at almost every station and has carriages of the following types:

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class sleeper cars with fans - The berths are arranged along the walls on both sides of the carriage. In the daytime, the lower berths are arranged in a way that they form seats facing each other. By nightfall, the stewards dismantle the bottom seats and build up upper and lower berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Air-conditioned cars are usually newer and clean, but the cars with open windows are perfect for a photo/video shooting trip.

Second-class seats with fan - The seats are similar to seats in a plane: soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Third-class seats Are you ready for an adventurous trip? The benches on this train will be quite hard after a while and are not divided into specific seats. The car has a fan and if you are lucky it will even work, but you can always open the windows. Snacks and soft drinks are sold during the journey.

Train # 85 / 86 "Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat"

The type of this train is "Express" - travel time to Hua Hin is 5 - 6 hours. The terminal station is Nakhon Si Thammarat. Because of a larger number of stops, this train takes more time to arrive at its destination. The train is quite long in service already, but it has a dining car and carriages of the following types:

VIP Sleepers consist of up to 12 double compartments (with upper and lower berths). It is pleasant to be able to close the compartment and have individual air conditioning control and a private washbasin. In the evening a steward will convert the seats to berths. The ticket price includes bed linen and washing accessories: bed sheet, blanket, and 2 water bottles. At the end of each car is a toilet and sometimes a shower with cold water. If you are traveling alone but did not pay for single occupancy, then you will find yourself traveling in a room with another passenger of the same gender. If you're traveling in a group, then you can request for your convenience adjacent compartments with an inner connecting door (between 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and so on).

Second-class sleepers with air conditioning have seats/berths arranged along the walls on both sides. In the daytime, the lower berths are converted into seats that face each other. By nightfall, the steward dismantles the seats and makes up the berths (clean bed linen is included in the ticket price). Each berth is enclosed by a curtain, defining personal space and providing some privacy.

Second-class seats with fans are used for medium distances. These are fine for trips of several hours, but for longer distances, we recommend a sleeper berth. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Third-class seats Are you ready for an adventurous trip? The benches on this train will be quite hard after a while and are not divided into individual seats. The car has a fan and if you are lucky it will even work, but you can always open the windows.

Train # 39 / 40 "Bangkok to Surat Thani"

The type of this train is Special Express - travel time to Hua Hin is 4 - 5 hours. The final station is Surat Thani. Trains of this type are very fast and travel nearly without interruption. The composition of the trains is entirely diesel car seaters in second-class with air-conditioning. The seats are similar to seats in an airplane: soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number.

Train # 43 / 44 "Bangkok to Surat Thani"

The type of this train is Special Express - travel time to Hua Hin is 5 hours. The final station is Surat Thani. Trains of this type are very fast and travel nearly without interruption. The composition of the trains is entirely diesel car seaters in second-class with air-conditioning. The seats are similar to seats in an airplane: soft and reclining. Tickets for these carriages are sold with a reserved seat number. Meals are included in the ticket price and there is a dining car on the train. Some diesel exhaust may get into the carriage through the open windows.

Bangkok to the Islands (Phuket / Phi Phi / Samui / Koh Phangan / Koh Tao)

The islands are not accessible by train alone, but the combo ticket (with train or bus & the ferry) is very convenient. The train first takes you to the Surat Thani station, and then passengers are transferred to a bus and taken to the pier. This transfer is included in ferry tickets from 12go.asia. These trips can only be confirmed 30 days in advance, but you can book them much earlier. We recommend train # 83 / 84 as it is the fastest and most comfortable and comes with a convenient arrival time. If you want to visit Koh Tao or Koh Phangan you should leave the train in Chumphon. Booking the longer distance gives you a much better chance to get the tickets you need.

Trains that go to Chumphon and Surat Thani:
(scroll up to see the train details)

  • Train # 171 / 172 "Bangkok to Sungai Kolok"
  • Train # 37 / 38 "Bangkok to Sungai Kolok"
  • Train # 169 / 170 "Bangkok to Yala"."
  • Train # 83 / 84 "Bangkok to Trang"
  • Train # 173 / 174 Bangkok to "Nakhon Si Thammarat"
  • Train # 167 / 168 "Bangkok to Kantang"
  • Train # 85 / 86 "Bangkok to Nakhon Si Thammarat"
  • Train # 39 / 40 "Bangkok to Surat Thani"
  • Train # 43 / 44 "Bangkok to Surat Thani"

The trains that connect Bangkok with Surat Thani and arrive close to the first departure times of the morning ferries are very popular and the first-class compartments of trains #85 and #83 often sell out very quickly. Alternative connections are trains #167 and #173, which both have second-class sleeper carriages with and without aircon.

Bangkok - Kanchanaburi - River Kwai - Nam Tok

In 1943 Japan built a bridge over the River Kwai (spoken: kwaehr - pronounced a bit like 'square' without the 's') in Kanchanaburi to support their troops fighting in India. The bridge was part of a 415 km long track and it was mainly built by Australian, Dutch and British prisoners of war. The trail was called the 'Death Railway' and connected Thailand with Burma for 17 months. In total 12,624 prisoners of war did not survive the construction.

Many special points of interest can be found in the area, like the bridge itself (which was rebuilt after the war), the Hellfire Pass, and a couple of museums. Reservations for this trip cannot be made online (yet), but you can call 1690 for further information. The special weekend tourist train 909 / 910 can be booked only at least 7 days in advance.

What is the history of the railways in Thailand?

The first plans to build a railway in Thailand were made in the 1840s but went nowhere. In 1856 the King received a gift from Queen Victoria: a model train (which still can be seen in the national museum in Bangkok). In the 1880s new projects were started but never finalized. Only on April 11, 1893, was the first private railway from Bangkok to Samut Prakan officially opened.

In March 1892 a British company started construction of the Bangkok - Korat line but in September 1896 the contract was canceled. Thailand continued construction under local management and with German engineers. On March 26th, 1897 the first leg from Bangkok to Ayutthaya was officially opened and counts as the 'birthday' of the State Railways of Thailand. When the track to Korat was finished the journey would take only 6 hours while traveling on the road still took 5 days. It was a big step forward for Thailand's public transportation network and more tracks were planned and built.
In 1909 Thailand already had 49 trains running. Bangkok's main station Hua Lamphong was opened in 1916. In the 1920s the first diesel railcar commenced service on Thailand's tracks and the first sleeper cars were introduced. By that time a trip from Bangkok to Chiang Mai took about 26 hours.

During World War II the Japanese occupying forces completed two major projects: the Thailand-Burma Railway and the track from Chumphon to Khao Fachi station. The latter was dismantled by British soldiers after the war. A short time later the United States of America supported Thailand in the construction of new tracks and the connection from Bangkok up to the Mekong River in Nong Khai.

In 1982 the last steam engines were retired and in the 1980s and 1990s, some new track was laid to connect the Map Ta Phut and Laem Chabang seaports on the eastern coast.
In 2009 Thailand's railways were connected to Thanaleng in Laos.

Improved engines allowed the State Railways of Thailand July 2015 to reduce the travel time on the Northern and Northeastern lines significantly. Nowadays train # 7 reaches Chiang Mai from Hua Lamphong in only 11 hours.

In May 2015 the transport minister signed an agreement with his Japanese counterpart for a feasibility study of a 700 km long high-speed rail project connecting Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

The Eastern and Oriental Express

Over three nights and four days, one can ride the Eastern & Orient Express from Bangkok via Kanchanaburi and Butterworth to Singapore over a distance of more than 2000 kilometers. The train was built in Japan and served a couple of years as a 'Silver Star' in New Zealand before 24 luxurious carriages found their way to Southeast Asia.

At the end of the train is the famous open observation car.