Thailand has a wonderful and inexpensive railway system that operates everyday of the year. Trains are a convenient way to travel great distances in relative comfort for many Thais, whether they’re going home to visit family and friends or taking a vacation trip to another province. The railway system, which includes a Southern, Eastern, and Northern line, is also an easy way to transport yourself and your bicycle to many of Thailand’s great cycling destinations.
If you are in Bangkok, you’ll begin your trip at Hua Lamphong station, Thailand’s central hub for all train lines. To transport your bicycle on the train you will first need to buy a passenger ticket. You can purchase passenger tickets to all destinations at the ticket windows directly adjacent to the station’s main entrance. There is an information booth at the station with English speaking staff who can assist you with train timetables, destinations, and cargo procedures. Your passenger ticket will clearly show the time and platform number that your train will depart from.
Once you have purchased your passenger ticket you may proceed to the train platform. On the far left end of the train platform you will find the cargo scale booth. The cargo scale booth is where your bicycle will be weighed and you’ll be charged the appropriate amount for transporting your bicycle to the destination on your passenger ticket.
Depending on the time of your departure and the type of train you will ride on you will either be told to take your bike to the baggage/cargo car of your train or you will be instructed to load your bicycle in the aisle next to your seating area. If you are instructed to take your bicycle to the baggage/cargo car you will need to go to the front end of your train and look for the open car directly behind the main engine. It is NOT ALLOWED TO RIDE OR COAST YOUR BIKE on the train platform. Train personnel will need to see your passenger ticket and cargo receipt before they assist you with loading the bicycle. Once your bike is loaded, you can either lock it up to a window bar, or leave it as is.
If you have to load your bicycle on the passenger car with you, it is important to try and keep it to the side of the aisle, as close to your seat as possible. If possible, you should take a seat near the end of the train, close to an open wash area as this will allow the most open space. This is important because vendors walk up and down the train throughout the ride carrying heavy loads of food, drinks and toys. You must share the aisle.
When the train is nearing your destination, go to your bicycle in the cargo car and prepare to unload it. This is to ensure it is offloaded and treated well, and that the train is not held up too much waiting for you to find your bicycle. In the event that your bicycle is loaded in the passenger car aisle, this early preparation will give you ample time to arrive at the door prior to the stop, allowing you to get off before the doorway is clogged with people.
These procedures are nearly the same at all stations outside of Bangkok with the exception being that at many of the smaller stations the scale office will be in the same location as the passenger ticket window.
Note – Always verify that the train you intend to take has a baggage/cargo car as some ‘express’ trains do not offer this service.
More information about Thai railway prices, destinations and seating can be found at this link:
Enjoy your ride, wherever it takes you.
Want to know:
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