Eastern and Oriental Express
The Eastern & Oriental Express carries passengers in luxury between Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The train travels through dense rainforests and towering mountains past golden temples; rubber plantations and fields of frangiapani, tapioca, sunflowers and mango orchards; and remote towns and villages. It has been awarded a place on the World's Top 25 Trains list by The Society of International Railway Travelers for its exceptional beauty, service, dining and off-train experiences.
It runs between Singapore's Woodlands Train Checkpoint and Hua Lamphong, Bangkok, stopping at Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth and Kanchanaburi, taking three days (two nights). Since 2007 the train has also travelled between Bangkok and Vientiane, the capital city of Laos.
This luxury train was built in Japan in 1972 and operated as the Silver Star in New Zealand. All 31 carriages were later sold to Orient-Express Hotels, with 24 regauged from New Zealand's 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge to 1,000 mm gauge for Thai and Malaysian railway lines by A & G Price of Thames. An extensive internal rebuild and fit-out plus exterior painting and badging was undertaken by the new owners at their (then) newly constructed maintenance depot on KTMB land in Singapore's Keppel Road rail yards. The design of the remodelling was by Gérard Gallet, the man behind much of the design and refurbishment of other Orient-Express products such as the British Pullman and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.
The train has two dining cars with tables that seat two or four; it has two bar cars, one of which has a large open-air observation deck. It also has a library car and a saloon car for overflow dining. The train is fully air-conditioned, and has two Presidential sleeping cabins, state compartments (four to a carriage) and Pullman compartments. The smaller Pullman compartments are not offered on the six-night program.
The Eastern and Oriental Express operates nine routes. In 2010 it began new all-inclusive tour programs of six nights. For example, Epic Thailand starts and ends in Bangkok, and visits a number of villages, temples and Chiang Mai before returning to Bangkok.
The busiest route is Singapore - Bangkok:
|Thursday||Singapore Woodlands Train Checkpoint||-||11:20|
|Friday||Butterworth (for Penang - guided tour of George Town)||08:30||11:00|
|Saturday||Kanchanaburi (Guided tour of River Kwai)||08:45||11:25|
|Saturday||Bangkok Hua Lamphong||14:45||-|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2012)|
- Eastern & Oriental Express Luxury Train - Official Website
- Train journeys on the Eastern & Oriental Express and Thailand's 'Death Railway' - Daily Telegraph.