Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 27dn: Tumpat to Johor Bahru Sentral by Train

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 001

The Ekspres Rakyat Timuran is the last true remaining KTM Intercity express train which actually runs with limited stops. The other set of express trains, Ekspres Selatan between JB Sentral and Gemas/Pulau Sebang (Tampin), charges express fares but stops at all stations en route. As it’s been almost 3 years since I last took a sleeper train with KTM, I decided it’s finally time for a joyride.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 002

Lots have changed at Tumpat, especially this. The entire godown area is now gone.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 003

The main entrance of Tumpat Railway Station looks sliced off.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 004

What’s left of the Tumpat Railway Station building.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 023

The modern station sign sitting in front of the station.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 005

The ticket counter of Tumpat Railway Station.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 006

The timetable of Tumpat Railway Station, effective 17 June 2019.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 00727dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 00827dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 009

The Tumpat Railway Station platform with an upcoming Platform 2, probably to future-proof quick departures with the Class 61 DMUs in operation hopefully soon.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 010

The new shelter at Tumpat Railway Station Platform 2. Not sure if there will be 2 separate sheltered waiting areas or this is just the beginning and the entire platform will be sheltered.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 011

The gone godowns.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 012

The last platform edge of the East Coast Line.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 013

The headshunt of the platform of Tumpat.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 01427dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 015

The last buffer stop of the East Coast Line.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 016

The true end of the East Coast Line.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 017

Looking back down to Gemas 527.75km away.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 018

Some preserved wheels at Tumpat, unfortunately without context.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 019

The station sign of Tumpat Railway Station.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 02027dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 02127dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 022

The southern end of the platform.

As it started raining shortly after I arrived, that was pretty much the end of my exploration.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 024

Before the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 27dn gets shunted into the platform, the Shuttle Timur 56up arrives first.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 025

After arriving and the loco ran around, the empty rake of Shuttle Timur 56up gets shunted to the yard.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 026

After the empty rake of Shuttle Timur 56up gets shunted to the yard, the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 27dn gets shunted in.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 027

My Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 27dn which will take me from Tumpat to JB Sentral.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 028

25107 “Pulau Langkawi” leads my Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 27dn today.

As it was still raining, I decided to walk through the length of the train to get to my coach. (Yes, it was raining when I took this open-air shot of the train. No, I did not have an umbrella. The sacrifices I make, sigh.)

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 031

The first coach was surprisingly formed of an Air-Conditioned First Class (AFC) coach.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 02927dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 030

Seats on the AFC are arranged in a 2+1 formation like regular express buses.

However, as the AFC Coach T5 only opens for sale a few hours departure, the coach obviously runs empty since no one would know of its existence in the online system, let alone buy a ticket on it.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 032

Following behind the AFC, are 4 Air-Conditioned Second Class ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia) coaches in 2+2 formation.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 033

The ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia) coaches are a common sight on my KTM trips as they are found on all trains on the Southern Sector.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 03727dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 034

Next, the Air-Conditioned Buffet Coach (ABC) which was recently refurbished by Padu Sedia too with a new striking yellow exterior livery. The refurbished ABCs have fold-down seats similar to the INKA ABCs which have unfortunately been out of service for an unknown period of time, and probably till further notice too.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 035

The Buffet Coach staff setting up the snacks and drinks on the counter.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 036

Quite a wide selection of snacks.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 038

Finally, after the ABC, trailed 4 Air-Conditioned Day/Night Second (ADNS) coaches, of which I’ll be in Coach T8.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 039

My standard Lower Berth 20 for southbound trips.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 043

The berth comes with reasonable bedding of a pillow and thin blanket (which is really just the same thin bed sheet folded in half like a blanket). However, the air-conditioning on board doesn’t warrant a thick blanket anyway.

Also, note my half-dead curtain which I had to creatively repair with folds to keep it up throughout the night.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 044

A side table is available to put your small items on. However, note that some side tables have since been removed, when they become broken or come loose.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 040

The upper berth above me comes with a smaller window.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 041

The upper berth is slightly slimmer than the lower berth.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 042

A rope basket is available to keep your belongings.

As the train departed, I smelt a very strong rubber brake smell in the coach, worried that it could be mine, or worse, one of the coaches in front.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 045

After about 5 minutes into the journey, the train stopped in the middle of the forest, probably because of some issue with the train. Was it because of the same brake smell I smelt?

Shortly, the train departed again, and stopped again after about 3 minutes.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 046

Staff on board the train getting down to inspect what was going on.

Turns out that my suspicions were correct – brake binding, as mentioned by one of the staff walking past me. Apparently, some smoke was seen by the driver on the second coach. That’s some serious brake binding right there, if the smell could have travelled all the way to almost the last portion of the train.

After about 10 to 15 minutes of fixing the problem, the train departed again, with the issue resolved.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 047

Making a brief stop at Wakaf Bharu 12 minutes late. Hmm, is this a sign of the delays to come?

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 04827dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 04927dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 050

The interior of the western style sitting toilet on the ADNS.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 05127dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 052

Making a brief stop at Pasir Mas.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 053

Getting my ticket ready for inspection as the TC prepared to make his rounds.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 054

Getting my ticket checked by the TC.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 055

Making a brief stop at Tanah Merah.

After Tanah Merah, with most passengers more or less settled in, I headed to the ABC for dinner.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 059

The menu on board the ABC, by Exclusive Pillar (M) Sdn. Bhd..

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 056

I ordered a Nasi Goreng with Telur Mata (RM5.50 + RM1.00) and an Iced Milo (RM3.00) for dinner.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 057

At first I was pretty impressed that the Nasi Goreng with Telur Mata (RM5.50 + RM1.00) was plated, but the lack of cooking sounds from the galley plus the taste of the fried rice makes me pretty sure that this was microwaved. The fried egg though, was definitely freshly fried as evident by the oil on it. 4/10 in taste because it was just nasi simply gorenged and later microwaved, but 10/10 to the staff for the effort to put it on a plate first and providing proper cutlery along with it.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 058

The Iced Milo (RM3.00) was sufficiently sweet and thick, and definitely freshly made too with that mamak taste.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 060

Heading back to my berth to retire for the night, a trolley service was also making its rounds with the staff announcing “Nasi Goreng Mi Goreng! Air air air!” to everyone in the ADNS. Pretty fun for now at dinner time, but wasn’t anymore an hour later when he made his second round of hawking when everyone was going to sleep.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 061

I woke up to a rude jerk at around Batu Anam, which felt like either an emergency brake or the rear coaches brakes weren’t working very well that my coach was thrown into the front coaches. Not sure what happened there.

By this time, I had already slept for 7 hours straight thanks to the lack of sleep the previous night on board the short overnight Starmart ride to KL. (By short, I mean too short for a good night’s sleep – not that I find the 5 hours and 30 minutes bus journey short.) Also, this shows that real sleeper trains are truly comfortable, probably easily beating the Indonesian Luxury “Sleeper Train” since the ADNS comes with a proper flat mattress, pillow and (thin) blanket, with privacy curtains on the window and by the aisle to boot.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 062

Making a brief stop at Segamat, on the southern sector of track that I’m familiar with already.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 06327dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 064

An unfortunate good view out of the station – wonder where all the trees have gone.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 065

The loop line of Segamat is also gone to facilitate the JB – Gemas electrified double track project works.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 066

Heading back to the ABC for breakfast.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 067

Seems like the LED signs are fixed with the word “CAFE” on the ABC. I think I can guess which bulbs will burn out first.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 068

The view of the ABC from my table.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 069

Placing my order from the counter.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 070

I ordered 2 sets of Roti Bakar (RM2.50 each) and a Kopi (RM2.00).

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 071

The filling of kaya was generous in the Roti Bakar (RM2.50 each). I was just thinking while eating my breakfast that since they’re using a sandwich maker and slapping on some kaya before toasting, their menu could actually be massively expanded with other fillings like butter, jam, chocolate, tuna, egg, cheese (especially cheese, that’s like traditional Malaysian food now right?) and many more things that you could easily think of.

If you see an expanded sandwich menu on the ABC in future, remember that you saw my idea here first on RailTravel Station.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 072

The Kopi (RM2.00) also tasted rather thick and sweet just as how I expected it to be and how I like it in Malaysia. Though if I could still taste the sweetness even after eating the kaya toast, that’s actually another level of sweetness right there. Oops.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 073

Luckily I went to the ABC early enough to place my order and eat my breakfast in peace as the ABC started to get crowded towards the end of my meal, and the orders of Roti Bakars shot through the roof after one person and group after another saw my plate of the secret Roti Bakar which isn’t on the menu.

I last overheard the waiting time of Roti Bakar to be 20 minutes as I left the ABC.

I wonder if I actually accidentally improved their sales of Roti Bakar or accidentally harmed their sales of more expensive items such as Nasi Goreng. Hmm.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 074

The half-empty display of cakes and bread as the train heads down the southern sector. Guess business was good the night before.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 075

The Ramly Burger sales seem to be doing rather well too.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 076

Heading back to my ADNS from the crowded ABC at breakfast time.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 077

Making a brief stop at Labis with the loop line gone too.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 078

As the train was quite long, my coach was stopped short of the platform.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 079

Making a brief stop at Kluang.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 080

The loop line and Platform 2 is still there, but everything else is taken over by the JB – Gemas EDTP.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 081

The viaducts of Kluang seem to be progressing well, eliminating the need for railway crossings once ready.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 082

Curving towards Kulai.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 083

Approaching Kulai with Ekspres Selatan 40up waiting in the loop line.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 085

24112 “Hang Nadim” heads the Ekspres Selatan 40up to Gemas with a friendly crew.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 086

Stopping short of the platform here too. Passengers disembarking from Kulai have to make their way through the coaches first. The guard holds up the red flag as passengers disembarked, holding the train’s departure.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 088

The Ekspres Selatan 40up to Gemas departs first.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 08927dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 09027dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 09127dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 092

The Ekspres Selatan 40up to Gemas was made up by a full rake of 4 ASC (IRCON) coaches, which formerly operates as the EPLUS service.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 093

The train also operated with the new INKA PGC.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 094

The rake of the afternoon Ekspres Selatan 42up to Pulau Sebang (Tampin) stabling at Kempas Baru, made up of 4 ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia) coaches.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 095

Yeah, that’s not going to happen any more right.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 096

The Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 27dn arrived at JB Sentral at 12.36pm – 30 minutes late. That’s not too bad, considering how Timuran delays usually are.

Pro tip: Never take the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran if you need to get somewhere on time.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 09727dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 098

The exterior of the ABC Padu Sedia.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 099

25107 “Pulau Langkawi” decoupling from my Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 27dn and proceeding to round engine.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 10027dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 101

Heading out of the very familiar JB Sentral.

27dn Timuran Tumpat JB Sentral 102

Here, I headed on for lunch before going back to Singapore by the Shuttle Tebrau.

Overall, a surprisingly pleasant ride on board the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran. Not sure if it was because I missed taking the ADNS or because I haven’t taken KTM for a long journey for so long now that services are mostly made up of seats on short-distance journeys only. The berth was good, the meals were good, the air-conditioning was also surprisingly good in Coach T8 (not in T6, T7 or T9 though, phew, lucky me). My delay of 30 minutes was also surprisingly short as I had mentally prepared for one of those typical 3-hour delays especially with 27dn.

With no highways linking Johor with the eastern states unlike the western side of Peninsular Malaysia, the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran might be the best way to travel overnight between places along the Jungle Railway if you can secure an ADNS ticket.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.