Retired Hokkaido train back in business in Thailand

A retired diesel train that once operated in Japan's northern prefecture of Hokkaido is about to begin a second life in tropical Thailand.

The KIHA183 made its debut in the early 1980s and was used as an express train while in Hokkaido. Japan donated a fleet of 17 train cars to Thailand last year.

On Tuesday, with work on three of the cars to modify the air conditioners and adjust the width of the wheels completed, a test run was held that was open to the media.

The exterior and interior of the train remain in their original state so visitors can savor the atmosphere of Hokkaido while still being in Thailand.

The train made a round trip of about 70 kilometers from the capital Bangkok to a neighboring province.

The operator plans to overhaul the remaining cars and then run the train on sightseeing trips, connecting Bangkok with the popular tourist destination of Ayutthaya.