As the construction of the new dual track train line nears completion, the travel time between Hua Hin and Bangkok will soon be reduced to just 3 hours, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has announced.
Commencing December 15th, the new train schedule will see the Bangkok to Hua Hin train journey trimmed down to 3 hours, a notable reduction from the 4-hours (and often longer) it takes to complete the journey.
The reduced journey time stems from the nearing completion of Phase 1 of the Southern Line double-track railway project.
Spanning 421 kilometers from Nakhon Pathom to Chumphon, the project’s current progress stands at over 98%, signaling a near completion.
From Dec 15, trains will arrive and depart from the new elevated train station.
The segment covering 84 kilometers from Hua Hin to Prachuap Khiri Khan, has already been completed.
Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr. Surapong Piyachote, disclosed that the SRT has been working on opening the parallel tracks extending from Khao Tao Station to Prachuap Khiri Khan, a stretch of 78 kilometers.
In addition to the reduced travel times, the SRT has announced an extension of the ordinary train service 261/262. Currently operating between Bangkok (Hua Lamphong) and Hua Hin, the service will be extended to Suan Son Pradipat, starting from December 15th.
This adjustment is part of the SRT’s efforts to improve services along the Southern Line and will help to reduce the journey time between Hua Hin and Bangkok.
The implications of the Southern Line’s completion are far-reaching.
When the line is fully operational, travel time on the Bangkok to Chumphon route is expected to be slashed from 8 hours to about 6 hours, marking a 25-30% decrease in travel duration.
The SRT say this initiative is not just a boon for commuters but also a significant step forward in bolstering Thailand’s tourism sector, making destinations such as Hua Hin and Prachuap Khiri Khan more accessible to both domestic and international travelers.
To ensure the public is well-informed about these changes, Mr. Surapong has urged the Department of Rail Transport (DRT) and the SRT to intensify their public relations efforts.
The focus is on informing the commuters and stakeholders about the new timetable and ensuring a smooth transition to the updated schedule.
There are currently a total of nine rail line expansion projects being undertaken in Thailand, seven of which are new dual track lines (like the one you see being constructed in Hua Hin) and two are single track lines.
Once all the projects have been completed, the railway lines will increase the proportion of dual-track lines in the country up to 10 times, accounting for about 65% of the total railway distance.
It is also expected to support the growth of both cargo and passenger transport and facilitate a shift from road transport to more cost-effective rail options, while enhancing connectivity with neighboring countries.
The new dual track trains are expected to achieve speeds of approximately 160 km/h.
This improved connectivity is set to benefit both commuters and tourists alike, fostering economic growth and promoting tourism in the region.
The SRT has projected that by 2051, around 2.85 million people will be utilizing the dual-track train line, underscoring its potential to revolutionize transportation in Thailand and solidify the nation’s position as a central hub for rail transportation in ASEAN.
As part of the project, the region’s train stations are being overhauled and emerging as architectural gems that have been designed to blend functionality, accessibility, and aesthetics.
Some of the local train stations have already been completed, while others, like Hua Hin Train Station, are nearing completion.
All of the new stations along the Southern Line have been designed to enhance accessibility and inclusivity in adherence to meet Universal Design principles.
Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.
This article has been updated following the SRT announcement here.