On 25 February 2016, JOM NAIK KERETAPI embarked on a trip around the Malay Peninsular from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Hat Yai, Thailand with the northbound journey via Sungai Golok on the eastern side of the Malay Peninsular, and the southbound journey via Padang Besar, on the western side of the Malay Peninsular.
After breakfast and purchasing our SIM cards, we headed back to the railway station to continue our journey towards Hat Yai.
Yala Railway Station is conveniently located on “Rotphai Road” or “Rotfai Road”, which literally translates to Railway Road. Rather, the influence of the railways has led to roads named after the adjacent railway station.
The facade of Yala Railway Station.
Ordinary 463 arriving at Yala, around 90 minutes late. This train was probably supposed to cross with our train, Ordinary 452 here but was instead just passing by, which meant our train was delayed further and the passengers of Ordinary 463 were scurrying to change platforms at the last moment.
Ordinary 463 from Phatthalung bound for Sungai Golok.
Finally, our train arrived, 33 minutes late. This will be our ride to Hat Yai. Ordinary 452 runs from Sungai Golok to Nakhon Si Thammarat, a journey which will take 9 hours and 10 minutes on schedule.
Vendors once again waste no time to get onboard to hawk their snacks. For those travelling on a non-air conditioned train for one of the first times, fruits and drinks would be more important. They go for 10 or 20 baht, depending on which vendor you purchase it from.
Making a stop at Wat Chang Hai station. While a simple station, it is one of the more beautiful stations along the line, serving the adjacent temple.
Wat Chang Hai, or Temple of Elephant Gifts, as seen from the train. This temple is more than 300 years old.
Crossing with Special Express 37 from Bangkok to Sungai Golok at Na Phra Duk. This train is delayed by approximately 3 and a half hours.
More snacks on board for sale, including mangoes, peanuts, hard boiled quail eggs and fish crackers.
At Chana station, we entered the loop line with Ordinary 451 already inside. We will be crossing with Special Express 41 and it will overtake Ordinary 451 together, due to its priority.
Our train in the loop line.
Waiting for Special Express 41. The technical term for this arrangement is called permissive working.
Special Express 41, operating as a 3-car DMU, passing through Chana at speed. This train is from Bangkok, bound for Yala. The ticket includes meal services during the journey.
We arrived at Hat Yai after a net 80 minute delay. No complains about the delay though, since it allows us to explore more of the railways.
The facade of Hat Yai Railway Station.
After checking into our hotel, we would embark on a tour of the nearby markets in Hat Yai town.