YOU no longer need to rely on the infamous vans to go to Pattaya. State Railway of Thailand is about to launch a new and more comfortable second-class, air-conditioned train for the Bangkok-Ban Plu Ta Luang (Eastern Line) route especially for tourists.
SRT public relations department has revealed some of the details that might be of interest to train-loving tourists as follows:
1. Updated to air-conditioning:
SRT originally offered service on this route but it was a fan-only, third class train. This is going to be the first test-running of a second-class, air-conditioned train for Bangkok-Ban Plu Ta Luang (Eastern Line) route just in time for the summer season.
2.A more comfortable travel to Pattaya:
Along this route, passengers can effortlessly choose to get off the comfy-seats, cool-air, and low-fare train anytime at available stations such as Chon Buri, Si Racha, Pattaya, Ko Lan and Sattahip. The whole trip starts from within the middle of Bangkok, passes Chachoengsao and ends at Sattahip (the Ban Plu Ta Luang station) in only 3 hours.
3.Test-run period: 6 months:
This special air-conditioned, second-class train is said to be on just a 6 months test-run, or trial period, from March 17 to September 30, 2018, to see how popular this service is with the public and tourists.
4.It is weekends only service:
Diesel locomotives are used for these special trains but they will be limited to train numbers 997 and 998. They are unavailable on Monday to Friday, only for the weekend (Saturday-Sunday) trips.
There will be only one train per day leaving Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok at 6.45 a.m. and will arrive at Ban Plu Ta Luang destination station at 9.50 a.m. The returning train will leave Ban Plu Ta Luang station at 3.50 p.m. and will arrive at Bangkok at 6.55 p.m. approximately.
5. Ticket fare:
It will cost a person only 80 baht to travel from Bangkok to Chachoengsao. If you decide to get off at Pattaya or the Plu Ta Luang destination stations, the ticket would only cost you 170 baht per person which is not expensive in anyway.
Further details regarding additional schedule, fares and stations may be announced later. Thai Residents will keep you posted.
Top: The train station at Pattaya. Photo: Thai Rath
In-text: The reasonably-priced second-class, air-conditioned train heading for Pattaya. Photo: Thai Rath
By Piboon Awasdaruharote