Passengers on new carriages on an express train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)
From March next year, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will raise fares for long-haul routes on which new carriages have been introduced, according to a source at the agency.
The source said the agency was set to increase fares on four routes served by 115 newly bought carriages.
The carriages are being progressively introduced on long-haul, overnight routes to the North, Northeast and South.
The first two routes that feature the new rail carriages — manufactured in China and which have been put on test runs — are Bangkok-Chiang Mai and Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani.
The fare will go up by around 200 baht per seat beginning from March 1 next year due to higher investment costs, according to the source.
The SRT is also offering entertainment features on board the new trains.
It is currently in the process of buying new software and paying copyright fees for films and music to be featured.
The agency will also hold talks with Major Cineplex Group and the country’s leading music companies to supply entertainment content for the new services, the source said.
SRT governor Wuthichart Kalyanamitra yesterday confirmed the fare rise, taking into consideration investment costs and fares of existing and new train models.
In another development, Mr Wuthichart said the SRT board will soon start considering when to open bidding for five double-track rail routes worth about 101.7 billion baht, which were approved by the cabinet earlier.
They are the 167km Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon route worth 17.2 billion baht; the 132km Map Kabao-Thanon Chira Junction line valued at 29.4 billion baht; the 148km Lop Buri-Pak Nam Pho route estimated at 24.7 billion baht; the 165km Nakhon Pathom-Hua Hin route worth 20 billion baht; and the 90km Hua Hin-Prachuap Khiri Khan line valued at 10.2 billion baht. The board will also discuss progress on the dual-track Jira Junction-Khon Kaen route now under construction.
Get full Bangkok Post printed newspaper experience on your digital devices with Bangkok Post e-newspaper. Try it out, it’s totally free for 7 days.