In Thailand, trains are a means of transportation that combine sightseeing and comfort while being a safe and reliable way to travel.
Moreover, taking a train is economical. If you take an overnight train, it can also save you the cost of paying for a night's accommodation.
Trains in Thailand are divided into four categories according to different speeds and facilities.
This non-air-conditioned train stops at every station. Most ordinary trains only have third-class seats on board. A few have second-class seats available.
This type of train is faster than an ordinary train. There are air-conditioned ones and non-air-conditioned ones.
Rapid trains stop at main stations and a few small stations. Second and third-class seats are available on rapid trains.
Express trains are faster than rapid trains, and the ticket fares are more expensive.
Both air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned trains are available. There are first class, second class, and third-class seats on express trains.
This is the fastest type of train in Thailand, and the ticket fare is the most expensive. Special express trains only stop at main stations.
First and second-class seats are available. Third-class seats cannot be found on this type of train.
There are three classes of seat on Thailand’s trains: first class, second class, and third class.
First class can only be found on express trains and special express trains. There are nine private compartments in a first-class car.
Each compartment has a lower berth and an upper berth with a lockable door, offering great privacy. The compartment is also conveniently equipped with independent air-conditioning, a washbasin, and a mirror.
Drinking water is provided free of charge. There is a toilet at the end of each car.
First-class berths are sold individually. If you travel solo, you might share a compartment with a stranger. You can buy two tickets to have a whole compartment to yourself
Second class has two ways to travel: sleepers and seats.
Unlike first class, a sleeper in second class has open-plan berths. There are two rows of berths on either side of the aisle.
Each row has upper and lower berths. A lower berth is wider and more expensive than an upper berth.
During the day, the upper berths will be folded up against the wall and the lower berths will be arranged as face-to-face seats.
At night, a train attendant will pull down the upper berths and combine the seats together to form the lower berths. A pillow, sheet, and blanket are provided for you.
After making the beds, the attendant will curtain each berth for privacy.
There are women-only second-class sleepers. They are safer for female travelers.
Some second-class sleepers have air-conditioning while others don’t but are equipped with fans. An air-conditioned sleeper is cleaner and more comfortable.
Second class consists of two rows of soft seats. Just like a second-class sleeper, there are air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned cars. The windows can be opened in second-class cars with fans.
Third class consists of two rows of wooden benches. Each bench can seat two or three passengers. Most third-class cars are non-air-conditioned but equipped with fans and the windows can be opened.
The ticket fare is the cheapest among the three classes.
Seats on the trains are classified according to the facilities and prices. First class is the most comfortable and expensive way to travel. It is the perfect choice for long-distance train journeys for couples and families.
The berths are sold individually. If you travel alone, it is recommended that you book the whole first-class compartment so that you don’t need to share a compartment with a stranger.
Second class is very popular among all the seat classes. This isn’t just because the ticket fare is cost effective but also because it’s comfortable and provides privacy.
You can also mingle with local people and other travelers so it couldn’t be more fun. A second-class sleeper is a great choice for solo travelers and families.
Many Thai people choose seats in second or third class. Third-class fares are half that of second class. It is a good way of discovering what local lives like.
However, taking a seat in second or third class is only recommended for short journeys that are less than 5 hours.
The fares for air-conditioned classes are more expensive than non-air-conditioned classes. Compared to non-air-conditioned classes, air-conditioned ones are cleaner and more comfortable.
Sometimes it gets very cold in an air-conditioned car so it is a good idea to take a coat on board with you.
Non-air-conditioned cars are equipped with fans on the ceiling. The good thing is that the windows can be opened, making it very cool inside.
Mongolian local passenger trains mainly follow the Trans-Mongolia Line, but stop at more stations.
There are two trains running between China and Russia including Trans-Mongolian Railway.