Thailand on track to upgrade third-class trains with air-con & seats

Photo via Facebook/ ทีมพีอาร์การรถไฟแห่งประเทศไทย

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) plans to improve the service and facilities of its third-class trains by spending 780 million baht on new seats and air conditioning. For the first phase, 130 third-class carriages will be equipped with air conditioning by next year.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Surapong Piyachote, told DailyNews that the SRT is now seeking operators to carry out the improvements. The first batch of renovations will occur on 130 carriages out of the existing 400 and is expected to be finished by 2025.

Surapong explained that the plan is divided into two phases. In the first phase, 50 third-class carriages will be revamped and the remaining 80 will be improved by 2025.

Surapong disclosed that the renovation will cost approximately 6 million baht per carriage, so the budget for the first phase is around 780 million baht.

According to Surapong, the renovation of the third-class carriages follows passenger demand. A survey and statistics showed that people are willing to pay for better service and facilities. SRT currently offers nine million seats on air-conditioned trains each year, while the demand is 18 million seats.

Surapong admitted that passengers would have to pay more for the third-class trains. The former fare starts at 2 baht but the minimum could increase to 20 baht after air conditioning is installed. However, the SRT will take care of vulnerable passengers to ensure the train is accessible to everyone.

Surapong emphasised that the renovation must not affect the daily transport of passengers, so only 130 carriages will be altered in the first phase. The goal is to eventually remove all non-air-conditioned trains.

Recently, Thai netizens complained about the complicated online booking process and expensive fares. Passengers are required to rebook their trip if the information on the tickets is wrong, pay 50% of the fare if they change the schedule, and receive only 30% of the fare back if they cancel their trips.

Some netizens disclosed that they are willing to follow the rules but want the SRT to improve its booking website. Additionally, some urged the SRT to allow passengers travelling short distances to book their trips in advance, just like those on long journeys.

Thailand NewsTourism NewsTransport News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

Related Articles