The Malayan Tiger Train is a series of 14 coaches donated by the Japanese Government which includes coaches used on previous Blue Train services such as Limited Express Fuji Hayabusa. The coaches come also with destination boards for other discontinued 14 Series Blue Train services.
The Malayan Tiger Train served the JB Sentral – Tumpat route on the East Coast Line, or sometimes known to foreigners as the Jungle Railway, in Malaysia. It was not able to enter Tanjong Pagar, Singapore at that time due to height constrains.
Railway fans were invited by KTM Berhad for a ride on this train. We thank KTM Berhad for their invite. One of which also had railway magazine copies of the last run of Limited Express Fuji Hayabusa and was subsequently interviewed by a Nangoku Shimbun reporter.
*note: that is not the author of RailTravel Station.
The first view of everyone on the operational Malayan Tiger Train on its maiden journey to Tumpat from the escalators of JB Sentral. These almost 40 year old coaches don’t look out of place at the modern JB Sentral station.
First, a tour of the interior of the train. Bear in mind that these coaches are almost 40 years old at time of shooting.
Rapid Moonlight Kochi, Rapid Moonlight Matsuyama, Rapid Moonlight Kyushu, Resort & Spur
Rapid Moonlight Kyushu and Resort & Spur coaches arrived in Malaysia with the original white and pink with a blue stripe livery, but were repainted to MTT livery in Malaysia.
OHANE, OHANEFU, SUHANEFU (B-Sleeper) (BDNS)
Limited Express Akatsuki, Limited Express Fuji, Ginga Express, Limited Express Hayabusa, Limited Express Izumo, Limited Express Mizuho, Limited Express Myojo, Limited Express Sakura
OHANE 15 2004 (B-SOLO) (BDNF 1102)
Limited Express Fuji, Limited Express Hayabusa, Limited Express Sakura
ORONE 15 3001 (A-Sleeper) (BDNF 1101)
Limited Express Asakaze, Limited Express Fuji, Limited Express Hayabusa, Limited Express Izumo
The Malayan Tiger Train travelled across mainly the countryside of Malaysia. Being a heavy and tall coach as compared to its Malaysian counterparts, the coaches were subject to the bumpy rails and passing tree branches, as compared to its life in Japan.
The Malayan Tiger Train offered also a significant upgrade for the East Coast Line as trains which travels there tend to cater for Economy Class or Third Class coaches. On top of the extra comfort the Malayan Tiger Train offers, an additional fee was charged for sleeper berths as compared to the normal sleeper berths KTM already has. The BDNFs (even B-SOLO was sold as first class in Malaysia) were the most expensive tickets found throughout the network.
In total, there are 7 ordinary coaches (seats), 5 B-Sleeper coaches, 1 B-SOLO Compartment coach and 1 A-Sleeper Compartment coach donated to Malaysia. The conductor rooms are also all in functioning order and the usual Fuji Hayabusa Blue Train chime was used before announcements, now made in Malay.
Some coaches still bear destination boards for old destinations in Japan.
Here’s a sight not familiar in Japan – the generator in a BASC coach stopped working, knocking out the power supply in the entire train. KTM uses only 1 generator per rake instead of all as per operations in Japan. Here, the generator is being restarted.
The East Coast Line still uses the token system, a different working atmosphere for the Blue Train coaches.
Whether the original tail light is functioning or not, the train uses KTM’s tailboard to signify the end of the train.
This post is made up of 3 trips on the Malayan Tiger Train, including 1 on the Shuttle 61/62, hence the daylights in the pictures may not correspond to each timetable at any one time.
This post is also made possible with information shared by Kelvin Khew of Malaysia and Yuen Shek Ngai of Hong Kong.
The original Malayan Tiger Train is no longer in operation. Only 3 BSC ordinary (seat) coaches are operating now as the overnight Shuttle 61/62 between JB Sentral and Gemas.