The Ekspres Rakyat Timuran is the last remaining express KTM Intercity train still running, spanning Peninsular Malaysia but not on the usual main line via bigger cities. The Ekspres Rakyat Timuran runs through the middle of the peninsular through the inland towns not easily accessible by road, from Johor Bahru right up to the coast of the north east of Peninsular Malaysia at Tumpat. I was planning to have an enjoyable ride up to Tumpat to catch the new Scoot flight back to Singapore, but as KTM has it, I expected the unexpected, but not to this extent.
My ticket for the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up from JB Sentral to Tumpat.
Queuing up at Gate B to board the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up. The gate was open just 4 minutes before departure time, at 7.11pm.
All domestic trains depart from Gate B of JB Sentral, while Gate A is for cross-border trains to Singapore.
Getting my ticket checked and clipped at Gate B. However, my seat number was not marked yet, so that will require yet another ticket check later on board the train.
Heading down to the platform.
The Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up would be departing from Platform 2.
Heading to the ADNS section of the train.
Unfortuntely, only 3 ADNSes were attached on my train, which is crazy for the sole night KTM Intercity train in KTM’s timetable and most passengers would thus have to spend the night sitting in the ASC.
The locomotive started to approach the rake just past departure time.
Coupling the locomotive to the rake.
25104 “Pulau Indah”, abbreviated as “P. Indah” leads my Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up to Tumpat. Or so I thought.
The manufacturing plate of the 25 Class EMD locomotive.
The overall interior of the ADNS Batch 2 coach.
Berths are labelled by signs on the ceiling of the coach.
My lower ADNS berth at Berth 24.
The space I get on the lower berth.
A side table is available at the lower berth to place your belongings.
The upper berth above me.
The space you get if you pick the upper berth.
A rope basket is available at the upper berth to place your belongings.
A ladder is available between berths to climb up to the upper berth.
The squat toilet available in the ADNS.
The sitting toilet available in the ADNS.
Waiting for the signal to be cleared.
Departing from JB Sentral at 7.29pm – 14 minutes delayed.
Leaving the city of Johor Bahru behind.
Heading up north in the sunset.
A lot more passengers bound for the East Coast boarded the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up at Kempas Baru.
After departure from Kempas Baru, I headed over to the ABC or Air-Conditioned Buffet Coach for dinner.
The overall dining area of the ABC.
The seating area of the ABC.
The operator of the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran ABC works just like a mamak stall, so you can either order at the counter and take your seat, just take a seat first and shout your order, or tell it to one of the ABC staff walking around the coach.
I ordered an Iced Milo for RM3 (~S$0.99) to start my meal.
For my main, I ordered a Mee Goreng for RM5.50 (~S$1.82) with an additional fried egg for RM1 (~S$0.33).
My dinner for this evening on board the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up.
At Kluang, where the train was early, I hopped off to purchase some drinks and snacks from the Kluang Rail Kiosk located by the platform.
The Kluang Rail Kiosk is in a shop lot beside the KTM Distribution office.
The Kluang Rail Kiosk is well stocked with bread, drinks and snacks for the train journey, along with some toiletries or random necessities such as shavers, super glue and medicated oil.
Making a brief stop at Gemas.
The Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up train departed from Gemas as per normal, but the locomotive started to get weaker and weaker when ascending an up gradient towards Bahau, up till the point when the locomotive did not have any power to haul the train any more and stopped in the middle of the tracks at about 1.00am.
About 1.5 hours later, a rescue locomotive came to pull the train back to Gemas.
Drifting in and out of sleep, I felt another jerk and I opened the curtains – yup, I’m back in Gemas.
Heading out of the train, I saw my original locomotive 25104 “Pulau Indah” departing for the depot. P.INDAH indeed.
Well, loco-less trains are becoming a common sight for me.
My rescue locomotive, 25102 “Pulau Besar”, rounding around the train.
Coupling 25102 “Pulau Besar” to the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up rake.
25102 “Pulau Besar” now heads my Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up train to Tumpat.
The casted name plate of 25102 “Pulau Besar”.
The painted locomotive number of 25102 “Pulau Besar”.
Finally departing from Gemas (again) at 3.30am – 3 hours and 10 minutes delayed from schedule.
Waking up just before Kuala Lipis with most passengers still asleep.
At about 9.00am, the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up was finally arriving at Kuala Lipis.
Entering Kuala Lipis station.
Seems like a station upgrade is soon to be in place.
My coach was stopped between the new and existing station.
The view of the remaining part of the existing Kuala Lipis Railway Station.
Departing from Kuala Lipis through the new station.
Two spare coaches on a siding at Kuala Lipis, probably as a standby for the Shuttle Timur trains.
25107 “Pulau Langkawi” resting at the siding too, probably as a spare loco.
The spare rolling stock at Kuala Lipis.
Passing by the Kuala Lipis Running Bungalow.
Heading through the jungle.
As with most KTM facilities nowadays, things don’t really work the way that they are supposed to. As such, I always bring along some paper clips to fix collapsed curtains at my seat or berth.
My fixed curtains at my berth, to prevent light from entering my berth at night.
It’s not difficult to fix the curtains since the hanging threads are quite basic. I wonder why KTM doesn’t bother fixing their own stuff.
If you do see these paper clips on curtains in KTM coaches on your next trip, congratulations, you have gotten a seat or berth that RailTravel Station had been on and repaired for you.
Heading back to the ABC for breakfast.
I see an empty table ahead.
Taking a seat in the ABC.
The view of the ABC coach from my table.
The refurbished ABCs have foldable seats which makes table access easier now.
Folding down the foldable seat.
The FBL03 locomotive of Fajarbaru Builder Group Berhad.
A ballast train hauled by FBL03 at the siding of Merapoh Railway Station.
Making a brief stop at Merapoh Railway Station.
Heading back to my table as my breakfast was served.
I ordered a Fried Bee Hoon (RM5.50/~S$1.82) with an additional fried egg (RM1/~$0.33), along with a hot Kopi (RM2.50/~S$0.83).
The microwaved Fried Bee Hoon was basic but tasted quite alright for an in-train meal.
The hot Kopi was surprisingly quite good though, and even better when served in a glass.
Entering the loop line to cross with the Shuttle Timur 53dn.
The station master prepares to hand over the token to the Shuttle Timur 53dn.
The Shuttle Timur 53dn arriving at Merapoh with the station master and porter standing by for token passing.
24102 “Mat Kilau” heads the Shuttle Timur 53dn.
The fireman of Shuttle Timur 53dn passing the Gua Musang – Merapoh token to the porter.
The fireman of Shuttle Timur 53dn collecting the Merapoh – Chegar Perah token from the station master.
The Shuttle Timur 53dn making a brief stop at Merapoh.
An ABC was attached too, though I don’t think there is an official catering service on board the Shuttle Timur. Judging from the open hopper windows, I guess the aircon is down as usual.
The Shuttle Timur 53dn departing from Merapoh.
The station master prepares the next Merapoh – Gua Musang token for my Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up.
The Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up making a brief stop at Gua Musang Railway Station.
One of many limestone hills around Gua Musang, just beside the railway station.
Approaching the repaired Peel Bridge or Kemubu Bridge which was affected by the disastrous East Coast floods in 2014.
Crossing over Sungai Galas on the Peel Bridge.
Passing over a truss bridge over a road.
Passing through the refurbished Kemubu Railway Station.
Arriving at Dabong Railway Station.
22115 “Kuala Lipis”, now belonging to Emrail, attached to a ballast train on a siding at Dabong.
Making a brief stop at Dabong.
The casted name plate of 22115 “Kuala Lipis” with her new Emrail number of RE 7003.
Passing by SMK Dabong where local kids from villages along the East Coast Line commute on the Shuttle Timur every school day.
Instantly heading back to the jungle after Dabong.
At about lunch time, since the train was delayed, I headed back to the ABC for lunch.
I ordered a Fried Rice (RM5.50/~S$1.82) with an additional fried egg (RM1/~$0.33), along with a hot Teh (RM2.50/~S$0.83).
As lunch time was nearing Tanah Merah where the ABC was closing, my meal was served in a takeaway styrofoam box, probably to save washing time.
The Teh was surprisingly quite good too.
With this Nasi Goreng, I’ve eaten all 3 available main meal options on the ABC on this extended Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up journey.
The gangway between coaches.
Since it was noon already, I decided to convert my ADNS berth to seats for this day train ride.
The lower berth converts to two seats.
The upper berth is folded up for better air flow to the seats.
I took the pillows from the berth bedding to decorate the seats a little bit.
The legroom available on the ADNS in day mode.
The side table fits the seating position perfectly.
The full window view from the seat.
As each section is formed in the same area as a berth, each pair of seats will get a full window view.
To keep the bedding, I stuffed them all in the upper berth before folding it up.
Approaching the famous Guillemard Bridge across the Kelantan River.
Entering the 600-meter long Guillemard Bridge, the longest railway bridge in Malaysia.
The Guillemard Bridge first crosses lowlands on the river level.
Crossing over the Kelantan River over the Guillemard Bridge.
Heading on to the western bank of the Kelantan River.
Exiting the Guillemard Bridge.
Some locals having a photography session on the Guillemard Bridge.
Heading on to the main Kelantanese towns from here on.
Making a brief stop at Tanah Merah Railway Station.
A water tower beside Tanah Merah Railway Station.
Passing through an amber signal on the way to Pasir Mas.
Approaching the junction to Sungai Golok.