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Thailand Train Types and Classes

Thailand has 4,431 kilometers of metre-gauge railway tracks, and all trains are managed by State Railways of Thailand (SRT). Trains are designated by a code letter indicating different travel duration, number of stops, running speed and quality of services. In Thailand, train classes are mainly divided into 3 types: First Class Sleeper, Second Class Sleeper/Seat and Third Class Seat.


Train Types in Thailand

There are several types of trains in Thailand. Train types are defined by the characteristic and service standard of the trains including running time, number of stops, available seat-class, etc. 
• Special Express (SP): It is the fastest train with minimal stops and only stops at main stations. This kind of train is numbered from 1 to 48, and the ticket price is most expensive. Special express trains normally offer first and second class carriages for passengers. .
• Express (EX): Compared with Special Express Train, it has more stops and therefore it needs more journey time on the train for the same itinerary. Express trains are numbered from 51 to 98 and offer first, second and third class.
• Rapid (RP): It is the most common type in Thailand and this type of train stops at almost every station though it is a fast train. It is numbered from 101 to 198. Rapid trains normally offer second and third class carriages with no air conditioning usually.
• Ordinary (OR): This type of train runs rather slow and stops every station with longer time. The trains only have third class carriages and run daytime. Trains are numbered from 298 to 300.
• Local: Local trains have the same features with ordinary trains which run shorter distance. They are numbered from 401 to 498.

Train Classes in Thailand


First Class Sleeper

First Class is the most comfortable one for people to travel in Thailand, which is only available in Special Express and Express trains. First Class Sleeper carriages are all air-conditioned and normally there is only one First Class carriage per train. There are 9 lockable 2-berth compartments with private washbasin in the First Class Sleeper carriage. The ticket price includes clean bed linen and personal hygiene products such as bed sheet, blanket, soap and towels. At the end of the corridor, there is a toilet and a shower. 

If you travel alone, you have to share a cabin with another passenger unless you pay for the whole compartment. Animals are not allowed to bring in the first class AC carriage, and they will be allowed in the fan carriage only.

For some popular routes like Bangkok to Chiang Mai, passengers who do not want to go to the restaurant car can order food in the cabin. The meal will be delivered to your cabin and the attendant will come and serve you there. Having meals in the restaurant will be a little cheaper and you can have a wider choice, which is also a new experience.

Second Class Sleeper/Seat

Second Class is the most popular option to travel around in Thailand for its comfort, safe and economy. In second class carriages, berths/seats are arranged on both sides of the aisle. During the daytime, the lower berths are transformed into face-to face seats. At night, the attendant makes up the sleeping berths with clean bed linen. Each bunk has a curtain for privacy. Luggage can be put on the overhead racks or under the seats. 
Second Class carriage has two versions: air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned. The air-conditioned carriages are usually cleaner and newer. But the non-air-conditioned carriages have open windows and fans. The upper berth is cheaper in price and narrower in length. If you are taller than 185cm, you’d better book a lower berth for a more comfortable sleep.

Third Class Seat

Third Class is a good choice for short trips such as Bangkok to Ayutthaya. This class is preferred by locals and always overcrowded during commuter peaks. It is generally clean with quite cheap price. The carriages are equipped with fans and the windows can be opened. Most of the third class seats are padded seats, but some older trains have wooden seats. The toilet and wash basin are available at the end of the carriage. Pet animals in the cages can be took in the third class carriage but some fees will be charged.

- Last updated on Oct. 20, 2020 -
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