Special Express 14: Chiang Mai to Bangkok Hua Lamphong by Train [Air-Conditioned Second Class Day & Night Coach ( JR-WEST ) (ANSJR)]

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The Special Express 14 is a daily overnight train from Bangkok Hua Lamphong to Chiang Mai. While there are 5 daily trains, the Special Express 14 ranks 2nd in priority, and thus offers a higher level of service than most trains. The Special Express 14 is formed of a full Japanese rake of Air-Conditioned First Class Day & Night Coach ( JR-WEST ) (ANFJR) and Air-Conditioned Second Class Day & Night Coach ( JR-WEST ) (ANSJR) coaches, which was exactly what I was aiming for when booking my ticket.

This trip was done on 11 July 2012, 3 years before RailTravel Station was launched, so I seek your understanding if the pictures are not up to usual standards since I had no plans to write about them when I took the trip 8 years ago.

NOTE: The Air-Conditioned Second Class Day & Night Coach ( JR-WEST ) (ANSJR) is no longer found on the Special Express 14. The Special Express 14 now uses Daewoo Air-Conditioned Second Class Day & Night Coach (ANS40) coaches for its second class sleeper services.

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Information on the Special Express 14’s departure is clearly posted on Platform 3.

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Boarding the Air-conditioned Second Class Day & Night Coach ( JR-WEST ) (ANSJR).

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I’m booked on Car 5.

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As I boarded way too early, the power was still switched off with bedding not made yet.

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An Air-Conditioned Restaurant Car (ARC) is attached on the Special Express 14.

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Alsthom ALS 4132 would be heading my Special Express 14 train to Bangkok.

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Alsthom ALS 4136 was shunting in the rake of Special Express 2 Nakhon Phing.

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Heading into the Air-Conditioned First Class Day & Night Coach ( JR-WEST ) (ANFJR) to check it out.

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All compartments in this Air-Conditioned First Class Day & Night Coach ( JR-WEST ) (ANFJR) are for single occupancy. As such, a single occupancy fare is automatically charged.

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If travelling in pairs, there is a connecting door between selected compartments.

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All original JR West fittings are still in tact including this super old-school television.

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The wall fixtures are also original.

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A sink is available in each compartment.

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The control panel is also original with the JR West name and other Japanese words still on it.

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Looking back down the corridor of the Air-Conditioned First Class Day & Night Coach ( JR-WEST ) (ANFJR) as I proceed back to second class.

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Heading back into my coach, the power was switched on just then. I wonder if it was switched on because of me. Oops.

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The mattress was also laid out on my berth.

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The top berth was already made up, probably because it can’t fold up as a storage area as compared with the other sleeper coaches.

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The plastic coach number located in the cabin.

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The original Japanese squat toilet is provided on board.

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Water has yet to be filled up though.

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The view of the corridor from my berth.

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The recess for upper berth luggage storage is hidden above the corridor.

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Thai power sockets are available in each section.

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Taking a curve out of Chiang Mai.

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Farmers working on their crop.

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I might have probably eaten this rice at some point in my life.

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Making a brief stop at Lamphun.

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Doors are manually controlled on the ANSJR, and not by the conductor like in Japan.

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Making a brief stop at Khun Tan.

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The station sign of Khun Tan.

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Khun Tan is the highest railway station in Thailand at 578 meters above sea level.

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The land around Khun Tan Railway Station is even higher though.

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Departing from Khun Tan.

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Heading into the Khun Tan Tunnel.

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More highland scenery heading down from the north.

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A bundle of blankets was carried by the attendant as he heads around to make the beds.

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The attendant making up my bed swiftly.

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My made-up bed for the night.

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Arriving at Nakhon Lampang.

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During this time, I headed to the Air-Conditioned Restaurant Car (ARC) for dinner.

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The dinner menu on the Air-Conditioned Restaurant Car (ARC). (Picture taken on my previous journey on the Express 51.)

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I ordered the Fried Pork with Oyster Sauce set for 160 Baht. Side dishes include a Green Curry Chicken, non-spicy soup, and sliced pineapples.

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As the dinner sets do not come with a drink, I ordered an additional orange juice. I forgot how much this costed though. As this was a paid drink, the serving was significantly larger than the small bottle served with breakfast.

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During my dinner, there was disco music along with dancing staff and policemen.

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I was woken up by the waitress who brought me my ordered breakfast from the night before.

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This is the same Eggs meal as the one I had the previous day on the Express 51, but the orange juice is served in an actual glass. Extra points for effort.

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A close up of the Eggs set with two combined sunny side up eggs, a slice of ham, and 2 small sausages.

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I’m seeing Hopewell columns so this must mean I’m past Don Mueang and well on my way into Bangkok.

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The attendant comes round to collect the bedding.

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A last look at my berth before disembarking at Bangkok Hua Lamphong Railway Station.

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Alsthom ALS 4132 with my Special Express 14 at Platform 4 of Bangkok Hua Lamphong Railway Station.

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The grand platform view at Bangkok Hua Lamphong Railway Station.

Overall, a pleasant ride on board the very well-maintained former JR West coaches almost in its original form, something which I’ll probably never get again with the refurbishment of most former JR West coaches to change up the fabric to synthetic leather, and the even further refurbishment of some coaches into the red-and-white liveried sets with a power car, said to be launched in tandem with the opening of Bang Sue Central.

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