HATYAI (THAILAND): The shuttle train service between Padang Besar, in Perlis, Malaysia and Hatyai, in Thailand, resumes operation Friday (July 15) after a two-year halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A survey by Bernama at the State Railway Of Thailand (SRT) ticket counter at the Padang Besar Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) station saw several people queuing up as early as 8am to get tickets to get the train ticket to Hatyai.
According to KTM Bhd’s website, the train service offers two trips daily between Padang Besar and Hatyai.
For the Padang Besar – Hatyai route, it is at 9.55am and 4.40pm (Malaysian time) for the Padang Besar – Hatyai route, while 7.30am and 2pm (Thai time) for the Hatyai -Padang Besar route, it is at 7.30am and 2.00pm (Thai time).
One of the passengers, Boon Kee Ho, 44, from Gurun, Kedah said the reopening of the train service facilitated travel, especially by commuters between the two border towns, as it was faster and cheaper to take the train than to drive.
“I boarded the KTM commuter at 7.12am from Gurun and arrived at Padang Besar KTM station at 8.15am, and then went went straight to the SRT ticket counter, which opens at 8.30am. to get the ticket to Hatyai. It is easy and fast,” said the father of two children.
Boon said his trip to Hatyai today was to meet an old friend and to enjoy the Thai food.
“It’s been two years, since I came to Thailand. Today, it’s just a day trip and I’m here without my family as I will be returning to Malaysia this evening. My next trip will be with my family,” he added.
Taking the opportunity to go to Thailand with the reopening of the shuttle train service from Padang Besar today, is Mohd Yunus Zunun, 39, from Butterworth, Penang.
“This is my first train ride to Thailand,” he said, adding that he boarded the commuter from Butterworth at 6.25am and arrived at Padang Besar at at 8.15am.
Prior to that, Mohd Yunus said he would drive.
“The train ride is more fun and relaxing, also more convenient. The travelling time is almost the same, which is about an hour, even if I drive, but I don’t feel as tired as I would if I were to drive here,” he added.
The first day of the reopening of the shuttle train service to Thailand received coverage from both the Malaysian and Thai media. – Bernama