With Covid-19 policies winding down in Thailand, many expats may be faced once again with the dreaded border runs that many types of visas require. A little good news though – the State Railway of Thailand is adding 2 new trains running all the way from Bangkok to the popular Malaysian border crossing town of Padang Besar. The route kicked off yesterday.
Last month, the train between the Southern Thailand town of Hat Yai and the Malaysian border town of Padang Besar resumed service . The train had ceased operation more than two years ago when international borders closed during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, long-haul trains from the capital all the way to the southern border will expand to add 2 more trains that travel to Padang Besar.
The new trains are hoped not just to ferry Thais and expats to the Malaysian border, but more importantly, to promote tourism in the south of the country and draw tourists from our neighbours to the South. According to the director of the SRT Public Relations Centre. since the Thai-Malay border was opened when the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration relaxed border rules, the government hopes to encourage Malaysians to travel around Thailand.
The SRT are now running 200 trains in total each day across the kingdom, with the most trains running throughout the south. 52 trains travel each day around Southern Thailand, while 46 run in the Northeast, 36 in the North, 34 on Mahachai routes, 24 in Eastern Thailand, and eight on Mae Klong routes.
The new service from Bangkok to Padang Besar runs Express Train 45 from north to south and Express Train 46 from south to north. One train leaves Bangkok at 3.10pm and arrives the next morning at 9.50am. The other leaves Padang Besar at 5.06pm and arrives the next afternoon at 12.45pm. Keep in mind the 1 hour time difference when you cross the border, but all train times are on Thai time.
For the Hat Yai-Padang Besar route launched last month, two departures a day will run south at 7.30am to 8.25am (number 947) and 2pm to 2.55pm (number 949), while trains run in the opposite direction at 8.55am to 9.50am (number 948) and at 3.40pm to 4.35pm (number 950).
SOURCE: The Nation
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