Myanmar Train Classes

Myanmar trains are classified as up direction and down direction. Up means heading north, and down means heading south. Each train route has a designated number. Burmese train has three main classes: Upper Class, First Class, and Ordinary Class. Sleepers are only available on some specific routes, like Rangoon to Mandalay trains, Rangoon to Bagan overnight trains and some Mandalay to Myitkyina trains. Sleepers can also be divided into Upper Class Sleepers, Regular Sleepers and Special Sleepers.

The conditions on the main route of Rangoon - Mandalay are reasonably superior to other train routes. Trains running between these two important cities are relatively clean, comfortable and speedy. Air conditioning system and restaurant cars are available on some of the trains. However, most of the remote train routes have poorer facilities and run relatively slow. Train travel in Myanmar can be a challenge, and don’t expect western high standards. 

Different train classes have different tickets booking time at the train stations. In general, normal class seats can be booked one day in advance at the railway station. Upper class seats can be booked three days in advance, and sleepers can be booked one or two weeks in advance. Booking early is recommended especially for sleepers. As long as you have a reserved seat, you should have a place to sit down.

Upper Class

Upper Class has large and comfortable reclining seats. In some upper class carriages, there are two-abreast on each side of the aisle. And in some other upper class carriages, one-abreast on one side and two-abreast on the other side of the aisle. Normally, the seats all face the running direction, but they can be rotated to face each other in some cases. 

Train and seat condition may vary on different train routes and directions. Upper class on the Rangoon - Mandalay express trains is relatively clean and comfortable, with clean seat covers and clear windows. While the condition on the secondary train routes are relatively poor, but still comfortable. If unlucky, you may sometime find your seat has the broken adjustment mechanisms. 

First Class

First class is only available on some certain trains, which is almost similar to Ordinary class. First class seats are wooden seats with additional padding on the seat bottom. 

Ordinary Class

Ordinary class is available on all trains with basic wooden seats, usually very crowded. However, if there is no overcrowding as every passenger has its own seat number written on their tickets.



Regular Sleeper

The regular sleeper class carriage consists of 2-berth and 4-berth compartments. Usually, only one sleeping-car per train. Regular sleeper-cars are available on certain lines like Rangoon-Mandalay trains and some Mandalay-Myitkyina trains.

Bedclothes are provided in the sleeping-car, but it gets very cold at night. So please bring your own warm clothes. It’s also noisy and bumpy during the whole way so you may not sleep well. Washbasin and toilets are available at the end of each sleeper carriage, and are sometimes clean.

Special Sleeper

Special Sleeper is only available on the Yangon to Bagan route. It is a completely self-contained compartment that is divided into four parts (maximum for four people). It has separate entrance, sleeping area and toilet, but no access to other carriages of the train. Clean bedclothes and water are provided in this private compartment. However, passengers in this special sleepers cannot use the restaurant car. Only when the train stops in some stations, the pre-ordered food and meals can be delivered there.

- Last updated on Aug. 27, 2020 -
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