Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up from JB Sentral to Gemas by Train
Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up is the last train of the day to depart northbound from JB Sentral, and will allow me to cross with the first train in to JB Sentral. On top of the 11th anniversary of the closure of the KTM Singapore Sector, I did this trip with the intention of boarding the last train originating from Kempas Baru and then entering by the first train after the JB Sentral-Kempas Baru sector would reopen on 1 July 2022. However, the train service restart was actually done earlier on 19 June 2022 together with the Shuttle Tebrau restart. With a ticket purchased in hand already though, I decided to proceed for this overnight trip anyway.
Departures for northbound domestic trains from JB Sentral are at Gate B. Barding commenced 20 minutes before departure.
The escalator was out of order.
Heading down to the transfer level by the stairs.
My Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up was at Platform 2.
My Kempas Baru–Gemas ticket was charged by the normal rate of RM21 instead of RM20. Despite this, I was unable to board my Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up at JB Sentral even with the KTMB Integrated Ticketing System (KITS) not able to sell me a ticket originating or terminating at JB Sentral before 1 July 2022. I had to purchase an additional fare ticket of RM1 to extend my journey from JB Sentral, which thus resulted in a RM1 fare increase for a regular train journey that is unable to be sold through KTMB Integrated Ticketing System (KITS) by no fault of all passengers.
There are 2 versions of ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) coaches attached on this rake.
ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) Batch 1 can be easily identified on board by the shorter ladder to the upper berth, gap from the ladder to the berth, and removable safety bar.
The lower berth on board ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) Batch 1.
The upper berth on board ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) Batch 1.
ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) Batch 1 can also be easily identified by the immediate door to the gangway after Berth 40.
ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) Batch 2 can be easily identified on board by the taller ladder to the upper berth, no gap from the ladder to the berth, and foldable safety bar.
The lower berth on board ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) Batch 2.
The upper berth on board ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) Batch 2.
ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) Batch 2 can also be easily identified by the small aisle before the gangway after Berth 40.
This small aisle area also houses electrical and brake equipment, and storage compartments.
The toilets available on the ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) coaches.
ABC (Air-Conditioned Buffet Coach)
An ABC (Air-Conditioned Buffet Coach) is also attached on board for the overnight journey across Peninsular Malaysia on the East Coast Line.
The airline trolley is permanently tied to a seat and is not in use.
Seats are laid out in tables of 4.
The dining area on board the ABC (Air-Conditioned Buffet Coach).
The interior of the ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia). Half of the seats are facing the direction of travel and the other half in reverse in a 2+2 configuration.
My seat at 6D for this short overnight trip.
The Asian-style squatting toilet on board the ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia).
The western-style sitting toilet on board the ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia).
The interior of the AFC (Air-Conditioned First Class) coach. Seats are facing the direction of travel in a 2+1 configuration.
The legroom available on board the AFC (Air-Conditioned First Class).
2 3-pin power sockets are available which is created from the old TV equipment housing.
The legroom on board the ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia).
A tray table is available for all seats except Rows 1 and 15.
The space available with the tray table and recline fully extended.
Doors to the passenger seating area are automatic.
A power socket is available by the side of the automated door.
An emergency hammer is kept in a locked case. You probably need a hammer to retrieve the emergency hammer.
Making a brief stop at Kempas Baru Railway Station where more passengers boarded.
Looks like I should give up on taking pictures out of the window.
Making a brief stop at Kulai Railway Station where more passengers boarded.
The catenary poles have been installed on the double track alignment, but catenary wires have not been installed yet.
Maggi Sup Supper
Following the departure from Kulai, I headed over to the ABC to get some supper.
The catering menu on board the ABC.
After taking my order at the counter, the staff told me to take a seat.
My drinks order came first since not much preparation was required. For this night journey, I ordered a Milo Ais for RM3.50. This was nicely sweet and thick, and a good welcome back to Malaysia after my long trip to Europe.
For supper, I decided to get what seems to be the most popular dish to order as discussed on the internet – Maggi Sup (RM8). Some even call it a “signature dish”, which I had half-believed as it was sold out all the times I had tried to order it for the past 5 years or so.
Behold, I finally have a chance to taste this “signature dish” on board Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up.
The Maggi Sup (RM8) comes with vegetables, small pieces of chicken, and a poached egg.
On first taste, however, I was sorely disappointed. As the Maggi Sup had pretty much the same ingredients as the Nasi Goreng, that was exactly what I was reminded off. The Maggi Sup tasted just like the usual ABC Nasi Goreng, Mee Goreng, or Bee Hoon Goreng, except in Maggi form. There was also not much soup in the bowl, though it did help with the concentration of soup stock.
Perhaps if I had not seen rave reviews of the Maggi Sup, my expectations could have been better managed, but unfortunately, the Maggi Sup isn’t worthy of a special mention as a “signature dish”. Also, if instant noodles is a “signature dish”, I have some really really bad news for your dining establishment.
Don’t get me wrong, the Maggi Sup is perfectly fine as a regular dish by itself to satisfy hunger pangs while on board a moving train, but it does not command a premium elevated status as a must-eat.
As the temporary Kluang Railway Station is located on the elevated viaduct, there is no chance to hop off to buy a quick snack or drink from the station vendors.
Making another long stop at Segamat Railway Station.
The area around the temporary Segamat Railway Station is very quiet at this time as it is out of the main town area.
On the opposite platform, 26 Class Blue Tiger 26108 Tanjung Kupang was switched on as a light engine. Not sure what it was doing there, but it is an apt reunion on 1 July 2022, 11 years after 26108 hauled the last train Tren Khas Terakhir Stesen Tanjong Pagar 1030up out of Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
Heading up the staircase to exit the platform while I wait for my next Ekspres Selatan 41dn to return to JB Sentral immediately.
Heading across the linkbridge to the concourse.
The gate out to the concourse was freely open.
The waiting area in front of the ticketing counter and entrance to the platform. With about half an hour to wait before the gate opens, I decided to walk around Gemas instead.
The façade of Gemas Railway Station.
Overall, an efficient trip by Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up on the Southern Line made possible with lots of padded time in the timetable. Next up, it’s an hour wait for my next Ekspres Selatan 41dn back to JB Sentral.