The Bangkok – Ubon Ratchathani Northeastern Line is a popular railway link with 8 pairs of trains daily, 5 of which are overnight trains. As the best train on the line, the Isan Vattana, arrived a little too early in Ubon Ratchathani for my liking and did not offer much on board time to properly enjoy the train with the higher fares, I opted for the next best alternative – the Express 67 from Bangkok Hua Lamphong to Ubon Ratchathani departing later at 9.30pm, arriving into Ubon Ratchathani at 7.50pm.
Inside the main hall of Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station. The seats now fill just half of the hall.
The departure board at Hua Lamphong Railway Station featuring my Express 67 to Ubon Ratchathani. I arrived at the station slightly earlier to take a cheap and excellent shower at the station’s shower room.
My Eskrpess 67 train was waiting at Platform 9 about half an hour before departure.
The ANF24 coach is the last coach of the train, which is usually placed as such so that First Class passengers need not walk far out on the platform to get to their coach at Bangkok Hua Lamphong Railway Station.
I was on Coach 13 on ANS40, or Air-conditioned Second Class Day & Night Coach – 40 Seats.
The 3 coaches of ANS40 on this train were all formed of Tokyu Air-conditioned Second Class Day & Night Coaches.
My seat and lower berth of the night at Seat/Berth 16.
For lower berth passengers, luggage racks are available by the berth slightly elevated from the floor.
For upper berth passengers, luggage racks are available at height, easily accessed from the upper berth.
Alsthom (ALS) 4131 heads my Express 67 train to Ubon Ratchathani.
My e-ticket for this trip.
The view from my seat. Passengers only started cramming in near departure time.
The car information at the door to the gangway.
I’m on board ANS1001, the first in the batch of ANSes.
The builder plate of Tokyu Car Corporation. The coach that I’m on was built in 1988 in Yokohama, Japan.
On the other side of the coach, Thai wording is used for the car number plate.
Both Western-style bowl and Asian-style squat toilets are available on this coach.
A shower head is also placed in the squat toilet if you don’t mind a cold, train-water shower. Bring your own towel and soap.
Bedding was on standby on the top berth. Due to the late departure of the train, the top berth was already folded down prior to departure.
Tray tables can be found between below each alternating lower berth.
The train conductress and attendant comes around to check for tickets at departure time.
My ticked and punched e-ticket for the journey.
Departing from Hua Lamphong Railway Station.
Right after departure, the attendant comes around to make the beds for everyone. Hmm, wonder why SRT still provides this service at a late departure rather than to make beds right at the start of the journey to make it more convenient for the attendants.
My made bed by the attendant for the overnight journey to Ubon Ratchathani.
Arriving at Bang Sue Junction where more passengers boarded the train.
I had quite a good sleep on board this sleeper train, going uninterrupted from night till morning.
I woke up at Sisaket station at about 6.40am, which means that I slept for about 8 hours.
Most of the passengers had already alighted at major stations such as Buriram, Surin and Sisaket.
Heading on to Northeastern Thailand.
Shortly after, the attendant comes around to keep the bedding and set the berths back into the daytime configuration.
Making a brief stop at Kanthararom.
I walked around the train in the hopes of finding breakfast.
The interior of the Bogie Second Class Carriage.
The interior of the Bogie Restaurant Car. The food counter was probably long closed before I got there. Oh well.
The interior of the Bogie Third Class Carriage.
Passing by a railway crossing which looks set to be replaced with a flyover.
Arriving at Ubon Ratchathani Railway Station.
The Isan Vattana which departed from Bangkok Hua Lamphong an hour earlier had long arrived and was stabled at a siding.
The emptied out interior of the Tokyu Air-conditioned Second Class Day & Night Coach in daytime configuration.
The train arrived right on time at 7.50am.
Ubon Ratchathani is the end of the line on this section of track on the Northeastern Line.
The Special Express 23 Isan Vattana and Express 67 at Ubon Ratchathani.
The station sign on the eastern end of Ubon Ratchathani Railway Station.
Heading to exit the station.
An information counter and Tourist Assistance Centre is available at the station hall.
Ticket counters can be found on the opposite side of the station hall.
The entrance of the station building.
The facade of Ubon Ratchathani Railway Station.
A preserved steam locomotive numbered 180 is on display outside of the station. It is a 4-6-0 (Ten-wheeler) locomotive built by North British, Hyde Park (UK). (Source: http://www.internationalsteam.co.uk/trains/thaipreserved.htm)
The information plate of Locomotive No. 180 as hung from the display.
Overall, the Express 67 is a reasonably cheap, efficient and comfortable way to get from Bangkok to Ubon Ratchathani. The schedule makes for a perfect late departure and morning arrival without being too early or late, allowing me to spend what little time I had in Ubon Ratchthani effectively. The Tokyu ANS, while the berth is slimmer than the Daewoo counterparts, still offered a good night’s sleep in air-conditioned comfort. Thankfully, sleeper trains are widely available in Thailand for such transport.