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Thailand Train FAQ.

 

What is the railways like in thailand

All railway tracks in Thailand belong to the state-owned company State Railway of Thailad (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 railway track is about 4180 km. The main hub of the railway network is in Bangkok, through which all routes pass. Click here to see the map of all routes

Where can i find train scheules

Of course all information about the latest train schedules can be found on our website (which in some cases is more up-to-date than SRT's official website: train schedules. 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 station like in Thailand.

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

The stations in Bangkok and Chiang Mai are larger and more modern. They offer restaurants, travel agencies, coffee shops etc. In Chiang Mai boarding passes for tickets booked with 12Go.Asia have to be picked up at the Bossotel next to the railway station. Please mind that we have to communicate it inside and ticket is issued at the requested pickup point. If you ordered ticket for pickup, say, in Chiang Mai, it is printed and kept there - hence it can not be picked in Bangkok, and vice versa.

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 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 in 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, Suratthani 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) and Songkran (the Thai New Year from April 11 to 16), when tickets are sold out within hours after they are released to the public two months before the travel date.

If you want to travel during the peak periods you should book your tickets more than 60 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 ahead.

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 in Bangkok's Hua Lamphong station. If 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 and need to be shown when you board the train. There is no real e-ticket available in Thailand and 12go.asia is the best solution to book tickets in advance and from abroad.

To have tickets send to your hotel or home you need to provide a proper address. For shipping we use the registered mail service of EMS post and after many thousands of tickets sold we have never experienced problem 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 lost tickets. With a copy of this police report the passenger will be allowed to board the train. If the customer wants 12Go to make the report for them a copy of the passport has to be provided.

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

If you arrive at Suvarnabhum 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.

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 the same time as many other flights the cueue at the taxi line might consume 30 minutes or more.

Traveling with Children

Children up to 3 years of age 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 12 and 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 between 10 and 20 percent. Discounts for students or elderly people are not available for foreigners.

Where is the luggage kept in 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 first class you are entitled to bring 60 kg per passenger, in second class it is 40kg per passenger and in third class it is 30 kg per passenger.

Is it possible to transport a bicycle / motorbike?

Yes, on trains with a 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.

It is advised to arrive more than an hour before 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 between train arrival and your next 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 indicates that it has special self-propelled diesel railcars. These trains generally consist of only 2 or 3 carriages in second class, wherein in 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 the ordinary trains.

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

 

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