THE State Railways of Thailand (SRT) or Thai Railway or Thai Railway is a train service operator in Thailand that provides 4 main service lines. These are namely the Northern Line, Southern Line, Northern Eastern Line and Eastern Line. Below is the summary of the SRT Thailand train service:
1. Northern Line – train to Chiang Mai
2. Southern Line – train to Surat Thani and Hat Yai
3. North Eastern Line – train to Ubon Ratchathani and Nong Khai
4. Eastern Line – train to Aranyaprathet
All the SRT Thailand train services meet up in Bangkok, which is located at the central part of Thailand. The main train station in Bangkok is Hua Lamphong Railway Station. The most popular train service in Thailand is the Bangkok to Chiang Mai train on the Northern Line.
Other popular train routes in Thailand include train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, Hat Yai, Phitsanulok, Hua Hin and many more. You can check our guides for popular train routes in Thailand. Thailand train tickets are available for online booking at BusOnlineTicket.com. (Book Bus Tickets Online)
The distance between Bangkok and Chiang Mai is about 750 km and can take around 11-14 hours to reach. Therefore, many prefer to take the night sleeper train. Chiang Mai is the last station on the Northern Line. Along the way, the train will pass through Don Mueang, Ayutthaya, Phitsanulok and many other stations.
The northern part of Thailand is a mountainous area hence travelling by train to Chiang Mai offers a fascinating view of the nature. Many travellers suggest to take the overnight train to Chiang Mai because when morning comes, the sight that welcomes your day is captivating.
The train services in Southern Line end either in Sungai Kolok or in Padang Besar. SRT train to Padang Besar can also connect passengers to the neighbour country, Malaysia. Once passengers reach Padang Besar (Malaysia) Train Station, they will have to pass through the customs and immigration clearance before planning for the next journey.
Passengers can continue the journey by taking ETS train managed by KTMB to other parts of Malaysia or go out from the train station and look for other options of transportation. Other popular destinations on the Southern Line include Hua Hin, Chumphon, Surat Thani (gateway to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan & Koh Lipe) and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Northern Eastern Line
The train on the Northern Eastern Line goes to the Thailand Isaan region and connects Bangkok to the cross border of Laos namely Nong Khai. Apart from the Bangkok to Nong Khai train, the train service on the Northern Eastern Line also goes to Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani and many more. The length of the railway track for Northern Eastern Line is around 624 km.
SRT train service on the Eastern Line connects Bangkok to Aranyaprathet, which is the cross border city to Cambodia. Other locations on the Eastern Line include Chachengsao, Choburi, Sa Kaeo and Pattaya.
However, train services on the Eastern Line are limited and not available for booking online. The train services for these routes also run slow so many locals prefer to take van transfer or bus instead of taking the train
SRT Thailand Train Ticket Classes & Cabin Type
Thai Railway provides three classes of cabins for the customers to choose from – the first, second, and third class. Most of the trains in Thailand are clean and meets the European standards of safety and cleanliness, regardless of the cabin classes.
Types of Train Tickets and Cabin Types
1. 1st Class Air-Conditioned Seat and Sleeper
There are 24 seats. Seats can be converted into two berths, namely lower berth and upper berth.
2. 2nd Class Air-Conditioned Seat and Sleeper
There are 2 types of cabin: 40 seats (20 upper berths, 20 lower berths), and 36 seats (18 upper berths, 18 lower berths)
3. 2nd Class Fan Seat and Sleeper
There are 32 seats (16 upper berths, 16 lower berths).
4. 2nd Class Air-Conditioned Seat with Wheelchair Spaces
There are 30 seats, divided into double and single seating. Single seats next to space are prioritized for wheelchair users to sit in.
5. Diesel Air-Conditioned Railcar
This type of train is deployed to serve for rapid, express and special express train service. The seat is adjustable to allow passenger to lean back a bit.
6. 2nd Class Fan Seat
There are 48 seats. This type of train is deployed to serve for rapid, express and special express train service. The seat is adjustable to allow passenger to lean back a bit.
7. 2nd – 3rd Class Fan Seat
a. This train has two different types of seats, namely 2nd class seats and 3rd class seats.
b. There are 20 second-class seats and 40 third-class seats.
c. This train is deployed to serve for rapid, express and special express train service.
8. Power Diesel Railcar with Driving Cab
There are 74 seats. This train is deployed to serve for rapid, express and special express train service.
9. 3rd Class Air-Conditioned Seat
There are 76 seats. This train is deployed to serve for rapid, express and special express train service.
Express and Special Express trains usually have dining coach for passengers to buy food and drinks on-board. The train staffs will walk pass by 1st Class and 2nd Class cabins to offer menu to the passengers. You can order from various kinds of food and drinks from the menu.
The price for breakfast is around 100 baht and dinner around 200 baht. Alternatively, passengers can buy snacks and food from many vendors who would walk up the train when the train make a stop at other train station to drop off and pick up passengers.
The price can be cheaper too. Otherwise, you can prepare your own food or buy it before you board the train. Bring snacks especially if you are going on a long journey.