Bangkok floods, traffic make train faster than cars

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While highways linking Bangkok and Pattaya may be clear of flood water, the steady flow of people fleeing the capital has made traffic so bad, it’s now faster to take the train.

Historically shunned because of its relatively slow speed, the Hua-Lampong to Pattaya train has seen a surge in both passenger and freight traffic as floodwaters have inundated Bangkok.

Passengers prepare to board the train at Pattaya Station off Siam Country Club Road. Passengers prepare to board the train at Pattaya Station off Siam Country Club Road.

Since the service is free for Thais, and has been free for almost two years now under a government program to assist low income people, and only 31 baht for non-Thais, it’s become increasingly popular given the reasons stated above.

Pattaya station master Manas Lekkhuna said tourists are also discovering the route, which makes stops at Plutaluang, Sattahip, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden and the Pattaya Floating Market.

A sign put up in the station announces “From Bkk 6.55 hr reach Pattaya 10.35 hr.  From Pattaya 14.21 hr reach Bkk 18.25 hr.”

Mechanic Jamrieng Kaewthong said the train has also become a primary way to ship donations of flood relief packages and consumer goods to the flooded capital.