Dining carriages and catering trolleys return to Thai trains

Photo by Nopporn Benz Bumpantan via ชุมชนคนรักรถไฟไทย (SRT)

Dining carriages and catering trolleys are back in service on Thailand’s trains after a two-year hiatus, according to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT).

The SRT suspended all food and drink services in April 2020 to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Certain busy routes stop running completely to prevent outbreaks of the virus.

However, Thailand is slowly but surely moving on from the pandemic. Both Thai and foreign tourists are gaining back their travel bug and exploring the kingdom once more.

Opting to travel by train in Thailand offers cheaper and more unique experiences. But journeys on Thailand’s rickety tracks can be long, so catering services are essential.

In early December, the Director of the SRT’s Public Relations Ekkarat Si-Arayapong reported that catering services would commence on December 6.

Catering company Advance Marketing Service won the bid to service Thailand’s locomotives this year. The company will operate dining carriages on eight express trains on four routes, namely…

  • Northern Route
    • Utra Withi Special Express 9/10 Bangkok – Chiang Mai
  • Southern Route
    • Thaksinarat Special Express 31-32 Bangkok – Hat Yai – Bangkok
  • Northeastern Route
    • Isaan Wattana Special Express 23/24 Bangkok – Ubon Ratchathani – Bangkok
    • Isaan Manlaka Special Express 25/26 Bangkok – Nong Khai – Bangkok

The company’s contract with the SRT states that Advance Marketing Service will operate the dining carriages for three years until bidding starts again on December 5, 2025.

Food served on board will be packed in clean, high-quality vacuum-sealed containers. Both hot and cold drinks will be available. Local Thai products from the One Tambon, One Product (OTOP) project will also be on sale.

Ekkachai added that the SRT planned to extend the food and drink service to 10 more special express trains, e.g. trains from Bangkok to southern destinations such as Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Trang province and Sungai Golok in Narathiwat province.

Bidding for catering on the new services will begin in January, 2023, and close in April, 2023.

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.