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in-focus

Trains take Songkran strain of bigger mass exodus from Bangkok


Thailand’s railway system is feeling the strain as tens of thousands of passengers flow out of Bangkok over Songkran.

A total of 169,208 people boarded State Railway of Thailand (SRT) trains in the first four days of the holiday (April 11-14), exceeding estimates by more than 3 per cent.

SRT has laid on an extra 13 express trains and 184 normal trains per day on major routes to increase daily capacity to 100,000 passengers during Songkran week, said SRT Public Relations Centre director Ekarat Sriarayanphong.

But passengers have also been flooding into Bangkok, according to SRT data.

In the first four days of the holiday up to Thursday, 72,774 passengers arrived in the capital by train – although 96,434 left Bangkok for other provinces.

Southern routes recorded the most passengers at 54,097 people, followed by Northeast routes at 45,621 and Northern routes at 37,332 people.

“In the first four days, the number of train passengers is slightly [3.03 per cent] above our estimate for the Songkran holiday this year,” said Ekarat.

“SRT forecasts we will handle about 40,000 passengers per day from April 15-17 [Thursday to Sunday].”

All passengers must pass temperature scanning and check in via the THaiChana app before boarding trains, he said. Meanwhile face masks must be worn at all times and sale or consumption of alcohol is prohibited.

“All train drivers, train officers and station officers must pass an alcohol and drug test before assuming their duty,” Ekarat added.

Published : April 16, 2022

By : THE NATION