Eastern and Oriental Express

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A Bangkok-bound Eastern & Oriental Express train at the old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, Malaysia.
Eastern & Oriental Express train arriving at Woodlands Train Checkpoint, Singapore.

The Eastern & Oriental Express is a luxury train that carries passengers between Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

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.

The train is operated by Belmond Ltd. It runs several times a month most of the year.

Fares on the Bangkok to Singapore train in September 2015 (four days, three nights) start at US$2,690.[1]

Rolling stock[edit]

The train was built in Japan in 1972 and operated as the Silver Star in New Zealand. All 31 carriages were later operated by Orient-Express Hotels, which in 2014 changed its name to Belmond Ltd. Twenty-four carriages were 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, New Zealand. 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 Belmond products such as the British Pullman and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

The train consists following carriages, from which only a maximum of 21 are operated at once:

  • six Pullman sleeping cars (SD 313, SD 318, SD 322, SD 323, SD 328, SD 388), which have six cabins with bunk-bed or single occupation - this comfort category is not offered on the six-night program
  • seven State sleeping cars (ST 312, ST 332, ST 333, ST 362, ST 363, ST 366, ST 368), which have four twin-bed compartments
  • a Presidential sleeping car (SP 369) with two twin-bed cabins - more spacious bedrooms and bathrooms than State cabins
  • three dining cars (RS 381, RS 392, RS 399) with kitchen and tables that seat two or four - however only one or two carriages running in a train
  • one bar car (BR 389) with piano and another one (OB 398) with a large open-air observation deck
  • a saloon car (PN 393) with library room, gift shop and additional dinner seating facilities
  • two staff sleeping cars (SE 338, SE 339)
  • a power car (GR 336)

The train is fully air-conditioned, and every compartments have en-suite bathroom with shower and WC. Haulage is provided by common SRT and KTM diesel engines.

The layout of many carriages and the comfort classes were also used for the designing of the Great South Pacific Express (now to be used as Belmond Andean Explorer).

Train schedule[edit]

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:

Day Location Arrive Depart
Thursday Singapore Woodlands Train Checkpoint - 11:20
Thursday Kuala Lumpur 19:45 20:30
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 14:45 -

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BANGKOK-SINGAPORE". Belmond. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 

External links[edit]