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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Thailand Expands Tourist Train Services with New Routes

It was reported that Thailand’s Deputy Minister of Transport, Surapong Piyachote, announced the positive reception of the special tourist train services operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). These services cater to both Thai and international travelers, operating exclusively on weekends with the KIHA 183 trains. Offering both day trips and overnight stays, these trains currently run approximately 70 trips per year.

Starting in 2024, the SRT plans to expand its services to operate four days a week, including weekdays. Additionally, the SRT aims to introduce the SRT Royal Blossom special tourist trains, increasing the number of trips to around 400 annually, with a future goal of reaching 700 trips per year.

The SRT is considering offering renowned local cuisine on these tourist trains, including dishes such as Railway Fried Rice, Wang Pong Hor Mok (steamed curry fish), and Bang Tan Grilled Chicken. These offerings may include Michelin-starred meals, akin to airline services. Passengers could pre-order meals while booking their tickets or purchase them in the dining carriages, enhancing the overall travel experience and elevating the SRT’s image, in line with the government’s tourism stimulation policy and as part of Thailand’s Soft Power initiatives.

Additionally, the SRT is exploring the idea of allowing the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the tourist trains. A proposal has been submitted to the Office of the Prime Minister to amend the 2015 regulation, which prohibits the sale or consumption of alcohol in railway stations or on trains. This change would apply exclusively to tourist trains, with safety measures being a top priority.

When asked about the possibility of offering ticket options that do not require a tour package, Piyachote noted that the tourist train services are still in their early stages. However, there is a plan to eventually provide more flexible ticketing options to accommodate individual travelers. Addressing concerns about the pricing of the tourist train services, Piyachote emphasized the importance of ensuring value for money, taking into account the destinations, type of trip (day trip or overnight), and included services such as meals and accommodations.

The Daily News Transport Innovation team reported that the current tourist train routes with the KIHA 183 include popular destinations such as Kanchanaburi, Chachoengsao, Ayutthaya, Lopburi, Prachinburi, and Suphanburi, available as both day trips and overnight journeys. Additional special passenger services include routes 909/910 from Bangkok to Nam Tok and back, and routes 911/912 from Bangkok to Suan Son Pradipat and back, operating every weekend and public holiday.

Editorial Staff
Author: Editorial Staff

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