Thai State Railways Start Offering Online Ticket Sales
National Route train passengers can buy tickets online for trips across the country in a new service to which the State Railway of Thailand expects to attract 50% of commuters. At present, passengers are required to book or buy tickets at railway stations. SRT governor Wuthichart Kalyanamitr said yesterday he expects 50% of commuters to use the service after the online ticketing rolled out this week. Travellers can make the online transactions at www.railway.co.th and www.thairailwayticket.com.
However, the service covers only trains running on regular schedules. It does not include trains with special tourist route packages or those offering free rides, Mr Wuthichart said. Passengers will be able to book the tickets from two hours, to up to 60 days before departure. The SRT will charge an additional service fee for online purchases - 40 baht for a first-class ticket, 30 baht for 2nd class, and 20 baht for 3rd class, he said.
The service is being introduced as the SRT improves its infrastructure nationwide, the governor said, adding it is also preparing to call bidding for the construction of dual track railways on five routes on March 1-2. They are a 169km line running between Nakhon Pathom and Prachuap Khiri Khan's Hua Hin district, the 84km line for Hua-Hin-Prachuap Khiri Khan, the 167km line for Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon, the 116km line for Lop Buri-Nakhon Sawan's Pak Nam Pho, and a 132km line running from Saraburi's Map Kabao area to Nakhon Ratchasima's Thanon Chira junction. Contract signing is expected on March 26, Mr Wuthichart said.
The dual track railway, with tracks designed to run in both directions so trains are not required to wait to use tracks, will ensure faster trips for passengers. Once the construction of all five routes are finished, time-savings of 20% are expected, Mr Wutthichart said.