Air-con train services get scaled back
The State Railway of Thailand will stop operating air-conditioned express, rapid, sleeper and dining trains to all regions from April 1 because of a lack of demand as a result of the Covid19 outbreak.
SRT governor Voravuth Mala said yesterday that 22 services would be affected, from Bangkok to the North, the Northeast and the South. The trains have been running 50% empty as people had stopped travelling because of current health fears, he said.
People were cancelling their reservations and were seeking refunds, he said.
The “commercial service” — airconditioned express, rapid, sleeper and dining trains — would be suspended until the situation with Covid19 improved, he said.
People who had booked and paid in advance would receive full refunds, Mr Voravuth said.
The stoppage will affect six trains to the North on the Bangkok-Sawankhalok, Bangkok-Chiang Mai and Bangkok-Sila At lines; six trains to the Northeast on the Bangkok-Ubon Ratchathani and Bangkok-Nong Khai lines; and 10 trains to the South on Bangkok-Hat Yai, Bangkok-Surat Thani, Bangkok-Yala, Bangkok-Trang, and Bangkok-Nakhon Si Thammarat lines.
Travellers could still board ordinary trains for travel on the same routes, Mr Voravuth said.
It was also reported that at Hua Lamphong railway station, passengers were being required to fill in a form giving the reason they are travelling and destination, and present it when they buy tickets.
Meanwhile, the number of passengers arriving at Suvarnabhumi airport dropped to 1,786 on Thursday with 10,786 departures, the day the ban on the entry of foreigners took effect under the state of emergency.
Don Mueang airport, which serves domestic and international flights, reported zero foreign passengers passing through the airport on March 26.