SRT launches rail service from Bangkok to Pattaya

SRT launches rail service from Bangkok to Pattaya

EN ROUTE: The new train service linking Bangkok to the east coast, including Pattaya, launches yesterday.
EN ROUTE: The new train service linking Bangkok to the east coast, including Pattaya, launches yesterday.

PATTAYA: A special tourist train from Bangkok to Pattaya and Sattahip made its debut yesterday, with services planned every weekend to spur tourism in the eastern region.

Trips in two air-conditioned diesel trains to Pattaya station and Ban Plu Ta Luang station in Sattahip will be offered every Saturday and Sunday until Sept 30. They will leave Bangkok early in the morning and return in late afternoon.

The inaugural service arrived yesterday at Pattaya station at 9.10am. On hand to welcome it were executives from the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), Pattaya municipality and the Chon Buri Tourism Association.

The train later left for Talad Nam 4 Pak Pattaya station (Pattaya Floating Market), where the formal inauguration ceremony was held.

Anon Luangboriboon, a Transport Ministry inspector-general and the acting SRT governor, said the new train service aims to boost tourism in provinces along the eastern coast, particularly in Chon Buri which is home to many well-known tourist spots.

They include Pattaya Floating Market, Nongnooch Botanical Garden, the navy's aircraft carrier HTMS Chakri Naruebet, Nang Ram Beach, Nang Rong Beach, Percula Clownfish Farm, and the navy's Sea Turtle Conservation Centre, among many others.

Mr Anon said that transport operators in Chon Buri would provide transport services from Pattaya station to other tourist attractions in Chon Buri.

He also said that operators of tourist spots in Chon Buri such as the Institute of Marine Science of Burapha University and Sriracha Tiger Zoo, have supported the project by offering promotions or admission fee discounts to passengers who produce train tickets upon their visits.

The trains will leave Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok every Saturday and Sunday at 6.45am, arriving in Pattaya at 9.13am and reaching Ban Plu Ta Luang in Sattahip at 9.50pm. The return trip leaves Ban Plu Ta Luang at 3.50pm, reaching Pattaya at 4.26pm and arriving in Bangkok at 6.25pm.

Fares from Bangkok to Pattaya and the final destination are 170 baht and reservations are recommended, according to the SRT. Seats can be booked via the SRT hotline at 1690 around the clock.

SRT deputy governor Thanongsak Pongprasert said the agency would evaluate the services and if they prove popular, it could increase frequencies or add more carriages.

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