Disruption at Bekok – Ekspres Rakyat 2up: Singapore (Tanjong Pagar Railway Station) to KL Sentral by Train (6 March 2010)

Ekspres Rakyat 2up: Singapore to KL Sentral

The Ekspres Rakyat was a popular daily service between Singapore and Butterworth, and the flagship train of KTM Berhad for 40 years from 1976 to 2016, always receiving the newest coaches in its rake first. Services were truncated to only between Singapore and KL Sentral during the progress of the Rawang – Ipoh Electrified Double Track Project.

On this trip, I got a bit more than what I bargained for at Bekok in terms of interesting train journeys.

This trip was done on 6 March 2010, 5 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 10 years ago.

NOTE: The term “Singapore” is used to describe Tanjong Pagar Railway Station according to the KTM timetable, and not the country itself. I’ve taken the train from the Republic of Singapore to Bangkok many times after Tanjong Pagar Railway Station closed.

ANOTHER NOTE: This should be quite obvious already but the Ekspres Rakyat 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 rakyat” and “bila ekspres rakyat nak kembali lagi”.

Departing from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, Singapore

YDM 6701 lead my Ekspres Rakyat 2up from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, Singapore to Sentral Kuala Lumpur Railway Station (KL Sentral).

The interior of the AFC (Air-conditioned First Class) that I was on.

The television on board the AFC (Air-conditioned First Class) was out of order.

Taking the S-curve into Bukit Timah Railway Station.

Crossing at Bukit Timah Railway Station, Singapore

My Ekspres Rakyat 2up entered the loop line for crossing with the delayed Senandung Malam 11dn. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of it.

First Class Snack

After Kempas Baru, a bottle of mineral water and a bun were given out to AFC (Air-conditioned First Class) passengers.

Making a brief stop at Kluang Railway Station.

Passing by the defunct Kluang Railway Yard.

Detaching the Locomotive at Bekok

My Ekspres Rakyat 2up made an unscheduled stop at Bekok Railway Station, entering the loop line. The station master briefed the fireman about something.

After which, the locomotive got decoupled and went on its way north, leaving the rake behind. Uh oh.

The now-stranded rake at Bekok Railway Station.

An announcement was made by the TC about the train being delayed here. Most passengers remained on board, not sure if the train will be departing soon. But with me knowing that the rake can’t move with a locomotive, I wasn’t worried at all.

The timetable at Bekok Railway Station showed the few train services making a stop there, and the Ekspres Rakyat was certainly not one of them.

Lunch at Bekok

With no ABC attached on board, the delay thankfully happened at Bekok where there was a local mamak just beside the loop line.

The local mamak at local prices.

(Don’t get too excited at the “divide by 3” logic. On 6 March 2010, the currency exchange rate was S$1 to RM2.386.)

The makcik at the mamak quickly saw business unexpectedly booming as the entire Ekspres Rakyat 2up train slowly alighted to get lunch.

My Mee Goreng from the Bekok mamak for RM3 (~S$1.26), brought back to eat on board the AFC.

A Kopi Ais was RM1.30 (~S$0.54) . Very affordable.

YDM 6701 Returns

After about 2 hours, the locomotive, YDM 6701, finally returned to Bekok Railway Station. There was still a bit of a wait before the line to be cleared for the Ekspres Rakyat 2up though, as Ekspres Sinaran Pagi 5dn was to pass by first.

But at least there’s a locomotive now.

Making a brief stop at Segamat Railway Station.

Passing by 56436 Temerloh at the old Gemas Railway Station.

Making a brief stop at the old Gemas Railway Station.

The Failed Cement Train

And here’s the culprit of the delay – the failed 26105 Tanjung Gelang hauling the cement train, which was stalled between Bekok and Labis.

Seems like a 29 Class was assigned to push the train from Labis or Segamat.

26120 Tanjung Tuan gets replaced as the helm of the cement train.

Making a brief stop at the old Tampin / Pulau Sebang Railway Station, with the high platform built for Platform 1.

There was a new shelter being built on Platform 2 of Tampin / Pulau Sebang Railway Station.

Entering the electrified double track sector at Seremban Railway Station.

Passing through Simpang Pelabuhan Klang.

A lucky shot of my Ekspres Rakyat 2up, KTM Komuter 83 Class EMU, and the PUTRA LRT at Bangsar.

Arrived at Sentral Kuala Lumpur Railway Station (KL Sentral)

My Ekspres Rakyat 2up arrived at Sentral Kuala Lumpur Railway Station (KL Sentral) with about a 3 hour delay.

Conclusion

A routine KTM Intercity train trip on the southern sector ended up with a routine delay. This time, despite my train not being the culprit, the disruption was longer than usual due to my locomotive needing to travel on the single-track sector twice to rescue the failed train. Having no ABC attached on the train also made this a blessing or curse, as the only meal option was during the disruption, and nothing else. The journey from Singapore Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to Sentral Kuala Lumpur Railway Station (KL Sentral) took the whole day time from morning to evening.

I wonder what time this Ekspres Rakyat 2up arrived at Butterworth.

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