While the actual Don Mueang Airport Rail Link isn’t up yet, the existing railway on the North and Northeastern Lines pass right outside the airport. And since the railway departs from central Bangkok, easily accessible by the MRT Blue Line, this is certainly my choice to get to the airport.
At a fare of just 5 Baht (S$0.20), this is indeed a steal.
The Ordinary 211 departs Bangkok Hua Lamphong Railway Station at 12.55pm, with a journey time of around 1 hour, which makes it perfect for my Scoot flight departing at 3.50pm. The final destination of this train is Taphan Hin.
The Ordinary 211 is formed by u-turning the rake of the Ordinary 202 from Taphan Hin, which departed in the morning.
A quick flip of the destination board later by one of the station staff and the train is good to go back to Don Mueang and Taphan Hin.
The interior of the refurbished non-air-conditioned Third Class coaches.
About 10 minutes prior to departure, the locomotive pulls in to haul the train northbound.
Hitachi 4518 will take the train to Bang Sue Junction.
At 12.55pm, the locomotive sounded her horn and off we went right on time.
A few seconds after, the conductor comes around to check tickets.
Exiting Hua Lamphong station.
Goodbye Bangkok jam.
And speaking of jam, there’s a lady who hawks her jam-filled sandwiches on board the train at just 5 Baht each (S$0.20).
My Sangkaya (Thai pandan custard) triple-decker sandwich for an on-board snack. And for such a price, it’s surprisingly generously filled throughout, not just the middle part which you can see the filling.
You can find this auntie plying on Ordinary trains between Sam Sen and Bang Sue Junction. Do buy a sandwich from her if you see her passing by your seat! It’s only 5 Baht!
Entering Bang Sue Junction with the new viaduct to Bang Sue Central.
The Hitachi and dead Alstom locomotive decouples from the rake and heads back to Bang Sue Locomotive Depot, which was replaced by another Alstom locomotive.
Passing by the highway to Don Mueang and the unfinished Hopewell columns.
Once the train departs Lak Si Railway Station, you can prepare to get your bags to get off the train.
If that fails, just look out on the right side when the airport and planes come into view.
The Ordinary 211 train ride took 65 minutes, 16 minutes off schedule due to the locomotive swap at Bang Sue Junction. Do factor in such delays if you are taking a train to the airport. Still faster than the BTS and Airport Bus combination though.
Do remember to get all your belongings and prepare to alight quickly – this is not a dedicated airport link and the train still has a schedule to catch. The train stops at Don Mueang Railway Station for one minute only.
For Ordinary trains from Bangkok Hua Lamphong to Don Mueang, fares are 5 baht (SGD 0.20) for foreigners and free for Thai citizens. If you wish to start from Bang Sue, fares are 3 baht (SGD 0.12) for foreigners and free for Thai citizens.
Different fares apply for trains classified Rapid (still affordable), Express (may be affordable or otherwise, depending on available classes and what your perception is) and Special Express (prohibitively expensive).
Northbound trains stop at Platform 2. Cross back to Platform 1 to use the ramp up to the airport linkbridge.
Ascend the same ramp up to the bridge.
Turn left to access Don Mueang Airport.
At the lift ahead, go up to Level 3 for the Departure Hall.
From here, I headed to check-in for my flight, which probably didn’t match my mode of transport to the airport.