KHON KAEN- Train travel on the routes from Nong Khai and Ubon Ratchathani to the capital will likely be more comfortable as the State Railway of Thailand introduces new cars to refresh its outdated passenger system.


The new passenger cars include nine first-class sleeper cars, 88 second-class sleeper cars (pictured), nine cars suitable for passengers traveling with wheelchairs, and nine dining cars (photo credit: Khao Sod English).

On Wednesday, ticket sales opened for the new passenger cars on the routes from Ubon Ratchathani and Chiang Mai to Bangkok, which will be running daily from November 11.

Advanced bookings for the two routes linking Nong Khai and Hat Yai to the capital can be made from this Saturday and service will commence on these routes on December 2.

Prices on the four routes range from 730 baht for a second-class sleeper seat to 1600 baht for a first-class private room.

Ticket prices have slightly increased, for example a second-class lower-bed ticket from Ubon Ratchathani to Bangkok used to be priced at 741 baht but will now cost 821 baht, an increase of 80 baht.  However, the trip will take almost one hour less than before, according to an employee of the State Railway of Thailand.

It is the first time in twenty years that the government-operated railway company introduced new passenger cars to update its worn equipment with 115 cars purchased from China at a price of 4.7 billion baht.

The new cars feature vacuum toilets, like those used in airplanes, USB power sockets, video screens, Wi-Fi access, and security cameras. Nine of the new cars are suitable for passengers with disabilities, including accessibility lifts to raise wheelchairs from the platform.

Conductors and train staff will be sporting newly designed red uniforms with pink stripes.