The 20up Ekspres Langkawi was a daily train between KL Sentral to Padang Besar, with a small 2-coach portion proceeding onwards to Hat Yai Junction, Thailand. During the Ipoh – Padang Besar Electrified Double Track Project (EDTP), line capacity in northern Malaysia was severely reduced, limiting to only trains running on the section overnight. As such, the Ekspres Langkawi ran with many coaches with multiple classes to cope with the demand on the one train a day north of Butterworth.
From the 2up Ekspres Rakyat ride in the morning, I connected with the 20up Ekspres Langkawi to continue onwards to Hat Yai Junction on my journey to Bangkok.
This trip was done on 12 March 2011, 4 years before RailTravel Station was launched, so I seek your understanding if the pictures or descriptions are not up to usual standards since I had no plans to write about them when I took the trip 9 years ago.
ANOTHER NOTE: This should be quite obvious already but the Ekspres Langkawi is no longer in operation, and will very likely never ever come back to service again. Please don’t ask questions like “wow jom lepas pkp”, “brp tiket eks langkawi” and “bila ekspres langkawi nak kembali lagi”.
With a 2PLUS ticket, properly known as Air-Conditioned Day/Night First Berth (ADNFB), I was entitled to wait in the KL Sentral First Class Lounge from 1 hour before train departure. The First Class Lounge was quite crowded as there was a triple departure of my 20up Ekspres Langkawi towards Padang Besar and Hat Yai, the 28up Ekspres Wau to Gemas and Tumpat, and the 22up Senandung Mutiara to Butterworth.
As the 2PLUS does not go to Hat Yai, I bought 2 separate tickets for this journey – one for the 2PLUS from KL Sentral to Padang Besar, and another Air-Conditioned Second Class (ASC) ticket from Padang Besar to Hat Yai.
YDM 6614 brings the rake of my 20up Ekspres Langkawi in to KL Sentral.
The interior of my 2PLUS compartment.
There is a single seat, wash basin and a small television in the compartment. However, the television was not working.
The upper berth in the 2PLUS compartment.
The opened wash basin and side table.
Instructions for converting the 2PLUS berth into seats and back. However, this procedure was never done in KTM.
The 2PLUS uses the thicker First Class blankets with KTM’s logo embossed on it.
The sitting toilet on board the 2PLUS.
A hand dryer was available by the sink but all that is left is the shell.
Yes, please don’t. Especially if the train is stuck at the station with people wandering around the platform.
While the 2PLUS was meant as a premium upgrade from second class with fares based on second class with fees, the coach is labelled as ADNFB.
The manufacturing plate of the 2PLUS coach.
The fire extinguisher on board the 2PLUS.
The corridor of the 2PLUS leading to all the compartments.
A fare or salary box being transported on board the 2PLUS. Not sure if it’s loaded.
Walking through the newly-re-conditioned Air-Conditioned Day-Night Second (ADNS) coach with new curtains.
The toilets have also been refurbished. This is a clean-looking squat toilet.
A sitting toilet is also available.
Locking my compartment for the night to get some sleep.
In the early morning, I headed to the Air-Conditioned Buffet Coach (ABC) to get some breakfast.
I guess soup will be added to this bowl of noodles.
I decided to play it safe by ordering a Mee Goreng.
Making a brief stop at Alor Setar.
The project signboard with regards to the Ipoh – Padang Besar EDTP.
The sunrise in northern Malaysia.
Making a brief stop at Arau.
The station hall of Arau just before it got changed to the temporary container station building.
Heading out of my compartment at Padang Besar.
The interesting sign while queuing at Thai immigration.
What a long journey north just to see this – a 28 Class Railcar making a brief stop at Tanglin Halt, Singapore.
Upgrading works at Padang Besar in progress for the Ipoh – Padang Besar EDTP. Padang Besar is the only station which station building was largely untouched for any upgrades.
The new station sign of Padang Besar in KTM Komuter style.
The old MALAYSIA sign at Padang Besar.
Looking north towards Thailand just ahead.
The container yard at Padang Besar.
The old bricked platform with a fence running down the middle.
The 35dn International Express (Ekspres Antarabangsar) arriving at Padang Besar. This locomotive, Alsthom ALS 4146, will then haul my 20up Ekspres Langkawi up to Hat Yai Junction.
Passengers from the 35dn International Express walk on a wooden plank to cross the wide platform gap to get to Thai and Malaysia immigration.
The 2-coach 20up Ekspres Langkawi rake heading on to Hat Yai, plus a PGC.
Alsthom ALS 4146 heads my 20up Ekspres Langkawi from Padang Besar to Hat Yai.
The Alsthom builder plate on the locomotive.
The coach number U1 for the sole ASC heading to Hat Yai. The other coach is an ADNS.
Looking back towards the rest of the KTM network from the ASC.
My windowless seat for the journey to Hat Yai.
Heading on to Hat Yai.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures upon arrival at Hat Yai, but here’s a shot of the facade of the station from the main road outside of it.
Overall, a pleasant first ride to northern Malaysia, into Thailand, and on the 2PLUS coach. Lots of firsts on this one journey. And also the first and last time on the single track from Ipoh to Padang Besar.
A few hours here in Hat Yai before I continue on the third and final train to Bangkok.
This article is part of my very first train trip from Singapore to Bangkok in March 2011. Follow my journey here:
- 2up Ekspres Rakyat: Singapore (Tanjung Pagar Railway Station) to KL Sentral by Train [Air-Conditioned First Class (AFC)]
- 20up Ekspres Langkawi: KL Sentral to Hat Yai Junction by Train [Air-Conditioned Day/Night First Berth (ADNFB/2PLUS)]
- Special Express 36 International Express: Hat Yai Junction to Bangkok Hua Lamphong by Train [Daewoo Air-Conditioned Second Class Day & Night Coach (ANS40)]