Thailand has a wide range of transport options that make it very easy to travel through the country affordably and relatively quickly. Thailand has a comprehensive railway network, connecting all regions of Thailand.
Thailand’s rail network is operated by State Railways of Thailand (SRT). Train travel is largely safe, comfortable but slow. The trains tend to start their journey on time, but arrival most probably will be an hour or two later than scheduled.
Thailand’s rail network consists of four lines.
The northeast line has two branches:
- One branch is running from Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani via Khorat and Surin.
- The other is linking the capital with Nong Khai via Khon Kaen and Udon Thani.
The eastern line also has two branches:
- The other is connecting Bangkok with Si Racha and Pattaya.
The southern line extends from Bangkok via Cha-Am, Hua Hin, Chumphon and Surat Thani to Hat Yai, where it continues to Butterworth in Malaysia and makes it possible to travel down south to Singapore after changing the train. There are branches to Nakhon Si Tammarat and Trang on this line too.
At Nakhon Pathom a branch of this line goes to Nam Tok via Kanchanaburi and the Bridge on the River Kwai.
Map of Thailand Railway Lines
Tickets for sleeper services should be purchased in advance. It can be done online or from stations at a maximum of 60 days in advance.
Fares depend on the class of seat and on the speed of the train. Hard third-class seats are much cheaper than buses. For longer journeys it would be wise to opt for the padded and reclining seats in second class. On long-distance trains, second-class berths, with day seats that convert into comfortable curtained-off bunks in the evening and first class air-con sleeping compartments should be the options to choose from.
For current timetables and fares check the website of State Railways of Thailand (SRT).