How to Buy Cheap Train Tickets in Thailand

Train travel in Thailand is one of the best ways to travel from Bangkok to other parts of Thailand.  Cheap Train Tickets are very hard to come by during the long holiday season, especially the ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.  Tickets on second and first class are usually sold out if you buy on the day of your journey.  Booking the ticket in advance for second and first class coach is highly recommended.  This article will show you how to book cheap train tickets in Thailand.

There are 3 ways to secure the cheap train tickets.

1. At the railway stations

Tourists may buy a ticket from any railway stations or from ticketing agents (extra charge may apply if you buy from ticketing agent).  We do recommend you buy the ticket directly from railway stations to avoid any unnecessary charge and secure cheap train tickets without any hassle.  For example, if you want to buy a cheap ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, simply go to a ticket booth and make your booking directly with the railway staff.

Before buying the ticket, the tourist must inform the staff of your destination and train coach class so that the staff will be able to check available seats and price. For more information on your destination, please click www.railway.co.th

Train TimeTable

  • Northern Line                                           From Bangkok                      To Bangkok
  • Northeastern Line                                  From Bangkok                      To Bangkok
  • Southern Line                                           From Bangkok                      To Bangkok
  • Eastern Line                                              From Bangkok                      To Bangkok
  • Commuter Line
  • Wongweanyai – Mahachai Line       Time Table
  • Banleam – Meklong Line                     Time Table
The map of Thailand railroad
The map of Thailand railroad

2. Booking By Phone

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has provided the hotline phone service for advanced booking. Tourists may dial 1690 to make a booking.  This service is available 24 hours a day all year round.  The booking must be made at least 5 days in advance. After making a reservation, the tourist must pick up the ticket at the railway station before 22:00 of the next day otherwise the booking will be automatically discarded.  Each booking will be limited to up to 10 seats and can be made up to 60 days in advance. This option should be one of the best ways to secure cheap train ticket.

Tourists may pick up the ticket from the following railway stations;

–    Bangkok (Hua Lum Phong), Samsean, Bangsue junction, Bangkhen, Laksi, Donmuang, and Rangsit.

–    Makkasan, Mae Num, Klongton, Huamark, Ban Tubchang, Ladkrabang, and Huatakae.

–    Thonburi, Bangbumru, Talingchan junction, Salathummasop, and Salaya.

–    Wongwianyai and Taladphu.

–    Other major railways stations across the country.

Picture of Bangkok Railway station
The Bangkok Railway station; the central train station.

3. Internet Booking

The State Railway of Thailand has just introduced a new service of buying and booking e-ticket (e-TSRT) on these following websites;

www.railway.co.th

www.thairailwayticket.com

Internet booking is only available for the adult ticket (full fare without discount) and child ticket (50% discount and the height must be between 100 cm and 150 cm). Additionally internet booking is good for only 3 major routes; the northern line, the northeastern line, and the southern line.

To make a booking on the internet, the passenger must first sign up to the e-TSRT system. Tickets are available for booking from 60 days to 2 hours before departure time and the passenger can book up to 4 seats per transaction.  Seat selection can be automatically assigned or decided by the buyer.  More importantly, the passenger must have tickets printed out and use them as a proof of purchase.  E-ticket on the smartphone is not acceptable.

The payment can be made via VISA, MASTERCARD, JCB, and Bangkok Bank debit card.  The following charges are applied as follows;

–    First class ticket is 40 Baht per seat

–    Second class ticket is 30 Baht per seat

–    Third class ticket is 20 Baht per seat

For cancellation and refund, passengers may cancel the trip and request for a refund via the e-TSRT system.  The refund will be credited back to credit/debit card used to purchase.  Alternatively, passengers may bring the ticket to the ticket booth at any railway station but the refund will also be made via credit/debit card. The passenger will be charged the cancellation fee the same rate as the ticket acquired directly from the ticket booth.  However, the internet booking may not be an option if you want to buy cheap train tickets because you have to pay an extra charge for buying on the internet.  You may consider the second option: booking by phone since there is no extra charge.

Table of air-conditioned fee
Table of air-conditioned fee

Group ticket

Group ticket is available for more than 60 days before departure date.  The reservation can be made by phone or at the ticket booth.  However, no more than 40% of the total seats available can be sold as group ticket and there is no discount applied for this ticket.  Therefore, you may pass on this option if you want cheap train tickets.

For student group ticket, the school must provide a letter of recommendation from the head of school.  The letter must specify the point of origin and the destination, length of the trip, and the number of students.

One-way student group ticket will get 25% discount from the full fare, not including other service charges while round-trip ticket will be charged with one-way ticket fare but only for the 3rd class coach.

 

Changing a Ticket

The passenger can change date and time of travel for all type of tickets (except for monthly ticket which is not permitted to change and to refund) but they can change one time only.  The details are as follows;

  • The passenger may postpone travel date for up to 60 days of the date shown on the ticket. There is no restriction date if the passenger wants to change the earlier date than the original schedule.
  • For round-trip ticket, the passenger may change both onward and return ticket.
  • To change the travel date, the passenger is required to present the ticket to the railway staff no later than one hour of the departure time otherwise there will be no change and no refund.
  • If the passenger wishes to upgrade to higher coach class or to change the destination of the journey, he/she can do so by paying any difference in fare.

The administrative fee for upgrade and change the ticket are listed as follows;

A non-air-conditioned seat is 20 Baht per person.

An air-conditioned seat is 50 Baht per person.

 

Cancellations and Refund

A ticket may be refunded before travel. In the case of a return, the return portion may be refunded while still valid. A refund fee may apply.  The fee is charged as a percentage of ticket type and fare.

Individual tickets, joint tickets, special fare tickets

Returning the ticket more than 3 days or more prior to the departure date will be charged 20% of the full fare.

Returning the ticket less than 3 days to until 1 hour prior to the departure time will be charged 50% of the full fare.

Group tickets of all types

Returning the ticket more than 3 days of the departure date will be charged 60% of the full fare otherwise there will be no refund.

Buying cheap train tickets in Thailand may cause you an extra work but it is worth a try.  Anyway, train traveling remains one of the best ways to travel from Bangkok to other parts of Thailand.

The illustrations below give you the useful information of the charging fee for train types and berth class.

For train fare calculation, please click here

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