Bang Sue to Bangkok, State Railway Thailand (SRT) Second Class Scheduled Departure: 16:35 Scheduled Arrival: 17:00 25 minutes
Total distance: 7 km (5 miles)
After 1,500 km (900 miles) of train travel from Kuala Lumpur, I rode the last section from Bang Sue, Railway Junction, in the northern suburbs into Bangkok, the Capital of Thailand.
Bang Sue, is one of the Bangkok’s fifty khets (districts), home to 125,000 people. Currently, the suburb is a construction zone as SouthEast Asia’s biggest railway station is being built with an anticipated open date of 2019. With 26 platforms, the station will be 171,000 square metres in area and will be surrounded by 35 hectares of offices, hotels, restaurants, shops and apartments. Construction seen here:
From its opening, the new Bang Sue Grand Station will take over being the long distance station for Bangkok with all existing lines and two new high speed lines connecting the country plus Cambodia and Laos. The current airport rail link will also connect to Bang Sue together with three metro lines:
- Light Red (opening 2020)
- Dark Red (opening 2020)
- Blue (already open with extension to Tao Poon opening in August, 2017)
The current one-hundred-year-old Central Station Hua Lamphong will become a railway museum in 2023. It would be nice if it became an art museum like Musee d’Orsay in Paris as the building is quite stunning (see below).
At the moment Bang Sue is a quaint four platform station for trains running to the North, North East and South. I came up the Southern line and hopped off to explore the area.
I actually recommend people travelling to and from Bangkok by train take the MRT (metro) to Bang Sue because the trains travel so slowly and can often be held up at the many level crossings.The removal of the trains and the opening of the new metro lines will make a massive difference to the horrendous traffic in the area.
I bought the ticket for second class at the railway station. For these short journeys in Bangkok, they must be bought in person. The fare was four baht (twelve US cents) which may or may not get you a seat!
I have yet to see a State Railways of Thailand train to be on time! Having said, that our departure was just a few minutes delayed on this occasion.
We settled into our seats and enjoyed the urban landscape pass us by.
Air conditioning was provided by all the windows being down and some ceiling fans valiantly trying to cool the carriage.
There were some food sellers who clambered aboard to ply their wares as the train moved toward Bangkok. If you are needing food, there are food stalls along the side of Bang Sue station and a food court and fast food area at Hua Lamphong.
We pulled into Hua Lamphong at 18:05, a mere five minutes late. This was the most punctual Thai train of the journey!
I was pleased to see the Eastern & Oriental Express train which had arrived from its own journey from Kuala Lumpur just over an hour before me. The difference is that I paid just $US72 for my train tickets compared to the $US3,336 for this luxury train! (I also paid for hotels along the way but did not ratchet up that sort of a bill).
Had a quick look around the concourse of the station.
Wheeling my suitcase, I entered the pedestrian tunnels that connect the Blue line metro and popped up at the entrance for the Centra Central Station Hotel which was my home for the next three nights!
I was rewarded with great views of the Central Station as the night fell.
The Full journey:
- Bucket List Check: 900mi By Train from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok
- Asia Rail Experience: Journey #1 – Kuala Lumpur to the Malay/Thai Border
- Challenges on the Malaysia/Thai Border- A Rail Journey through Asia Part #2
- A 2nd Class Thai Train ride is almost 1st Class! My Asian Rail Journey #3
- Snug & Comfy Thai Sleeper train to HuaHin