The International Express Train 36 (Ekspres Antarabangsa) is a daily overnight sleeper train that travels from Butterworth Penang in Malaysia to Thailand, travelling up through central Southern Thailand before following the Eastern coastline along the Gulf of Thailand, all the way up to Bangkok, ending at the main train station, Hua Lamphong.
This train service from Malaysia to Thailand is not operated by the Malaysian Railways (KTMB) but is a Thai train operated by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT).
When you get on the train at Butterworth Station, the conductor is a Malaysian KTM worker.
They get off the train at the border station of Padang Besar and the SRT workers take over from here.
Please Note : This train is being replaced by train number 32 from 2nd December 2016 with the new Chinese made carriages and will now originate from Hat Yai Junction Station.
If you want to travel from Padang Besar to Hat Yai you can take the afternoon Shuttle Train service.
Or, you can take a new train (train 46) from Padang Besar to Bangkok, departing at 18.00 Malaysian time (17.00 Thai time) - Arriving in Bangkok at 10.10 the next day.
This train operates with just one carriage between PB and Hat Yai where you will have to change trains.
We suggest your best option if you want to travel to Bangkok or places like Hua Hin, Surat Thani, Chumphon...is to take the Shuttle to Hat Yai first.
From Hat Yai there are a number of departures heading north to the capital every day.
|Padang Besar (Immigration)||****|
|Thung Song Junction||22.07|
|Surat Thani (For Ferry to Koh Samui / Phangan)||23.57|
|Chumphon (For Ferry to Koh Tao)||02.34|
|Bang Saphan Yai||04.04|
|Bang Sue Junction||10.08|
*Train times for stations within Malaysia are in Malaysian time which is one hour ahead of the time in Thailand.
****Please note : The SRT train is no longer travelling to Butterworth in Malaysia.
To get to Padang Besar from Butterworth, you have a choice of taking either :
An ETS Train or one of the many more Komuter Trains.
Tickets for this Thai train service are no longer being sold from Butterworth or the KTM office in George Town. You will now have to purchase your tickets at Padang Besar or Hat Yai.
From Butterworth to Hat Yai this service comprises of just two second class carriages with 40 seats in each carriage.
These seats are later converted into your sleeping berth, with an upper and a lower berth bed.
If you have the chance and don't mind spending a little bit extra, try to buy the lower berth beds, as they are much wider and more comfortable, plus you get a window to look out of.
Second class Air-conditioned seats used during the daytime on train number 36, are later converted into beds.
Picture of the Upper and Lower berths. As you can see the lower bed is much wider than the upper.
You will have to book early as these berths are the most popular and sell out the quickest.
So, if you leave it to the last minute, you will only be left with the smaller upper berths if there are still any available, plus you will be left with the berths that nobody else wants at the end of the carriages where the toilets are (seats 1 - 4) or next to the automatic door (seats 37 - 40).
When the train reaches Hat Yai Station in Southern Thailand many more first class and second class carriages are added. These are also all seats that convert into sleeping berths.
There is also a dining car added here, which you can either visit to have dinner, or order from one of the SRT staff on-board who will come around with a menu for dinner and breakfast.
Your food is then served to you at your seat on a fold away table that is kept underneath your seat.
Hua Lamphong station is located close to Chinatown in Bangkok and has a number of hotels and cheaper guest houses nearby.
If you want to travel to other areas of the city, visit our Bangkok Train Station page where you will find details of how to travel from the station to various popular parts of Bangkok.
Please see the following pages on our site for fares from Butterworth to :
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