Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up from Kempas Baru to Kluang by Train [AFC (Air-Conditioned First Class)]

Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up from Kempas Baru to Kluang by Train [AFC (Air-Conditioned First Class)]

A consideration I had for this Revenge Travel Semenanjung trip was if I could have Kluang RailCoffee for breakfast. With the line between JB Sentral and Kempas Baru closed for Gemas-Johor Bahru Electrified Double-Tracking Project (EDTP) works, I realised that the scheduled crossing between the Ekspres Selatan 45dn and Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up is no more, but instead, the Ekspres Selatan 45dn now arrives before the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up is scheduled to depart.

As such, I could immediately bounce back on Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up after arriving to head back to Kluang to overnight before a well-deserved Full Malaysian Breakfast the next morning. This would also get me a day time journey the next day on the sector between Kulai and Kempas Baru which I want to take photos of in day light to update RailTravel Station with.

Kempas Baru Railway Station

Immediately after the arrival of Ekspres Selatan 45dn at the platform, the empty rake of Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up stabling on the main line gets shunted south on the main line to prepare for arrival at the platform.

The Ekspres Selatan 45dn then gets shunted back to the Pasir Gudang Line to head in to Kempas depot.

Waiting just a couple of minutes for my next train up to Kluang.

24 Class 24104 Mat Salleh heads the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up from Kempas Baru to Tumpat.

The ADNS is in the front of the train which most passengers are booked on.

My booked AFC is all the way as the last coach at the back of the train.

Departing from Kempas Baru Railway Station.

AFC (Air-Conditioned First Class)

The AFC (Air-Conditioned First Class) is laid out in a 2+1 configuration. I was ucky enough to get an AFC coach with Mugunghwa seats

The single seats are on the western side of the AFC coach in a north-south direction.

The double seats are on the eastern side of the AFC coach in a north-south direction.

I’m booked in Seat 8A which gets me a full window in the middle of the AFC coach.

The legroom and leg rest on the AFC coach.

The view of the AFC coach from my seat.

While the seat covers have been renewed, the side panels still bear the original red motifs of the original seat covers.

Seats can be reclined with this side button.

A tray table is located in the arm rests which can be flipped out when needed.

The AFC seat with the tray table in position.

On this night journey, there is no view to speak of, so I’ll just enjoy my AFC seat.

Both seat and squat toilets are available on board the AFC coach.

Paper towels are provided above the sink, which is a plus point. My previous Ekspres Selatan 45dn did not have it.

ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia)

Most coaches of the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran are formed of the usual ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia) coaches. A total of 4 ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia) coaches are attached, seating 240 passengers.

ADNS

And of course the most popular type of coach for the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran is the ADNS. sleeper coach. Picture coming soon.

ABC

The Ekspres Rakyat Timuran is the currently the only KTM Intercity train with an Air-Conditioned Buffet Coach (ABC) attached.

I wasn’t that hungry yet with the 2 meals that I had on board the ETS Platinum Standard 9371dn from Kuala Lumpur to Gemas, so I waited till I got to Kluang for a late dinner. I will have lots of opportunities to use the ABC on my long-distance Ekspres Rakyat Timuran trip the next day anyway.

Kulai Temporary Railway Station

Making a brief stop at Kulai Temporary Railway Station.

I used this opportunity of a platform to walk back to my AFC coach from the ABC.

The station sign of Kulai Temporary Railway Station.

I tried reclining and pretending to take a nap on the AFC seat. While definitely more spacious than the ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia), it still does not offer actual sleeping comfort as compared to the totally flat ADNS. The ADNS is still the first choice for night train journeys.

After departing from Kulai Temporary Railway Station, the cleaners on board shut off half the lights in the AFC coach for the night journey.

Layang-Layang Railway Station

Making an unscheduled stop in the loop line of Layang-Layang Railway Station.

A few minutes later, 26 Class 26120 Tanjung Tuan with 163dn crosses with my Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up.

Meeting the Landbridge 163dn for the third and final time today, after the previous meetings on board ETS Platinum Standard 9371dn and Ekspres Selatan 45dn.

Empty BCFs trailing behind.

Kluang Railway Station

The TC advised upon checking my ticket that the platform of Kluang Railway Station will not be long enough to fit the AFC at Coach T1, and I was advised to move up to Coach T3 to disembark.

Upon arrival, however, there was just enough space for the front door of the AFC to squeeze in to the platform.

Arrived at Kluang Temporary Railway Station at the southern tip of the temporary platform.

The exit from Kluang Temporary Railway Station is at the middle of the platform.

Head down by the set of temporary stairs.

A ramp is also available for barrier-free access.

The steps are gentle without a steep incline.

The temporary linkbridge runs under the new viaducts.

The existing overhead bridge connecting Platform 1 and Platforms 2 & 3 is now the access bridge for Kluang Temporary Railway Station.

Looking down at the disused Platforms 1 and 2 of old Kluang Railway Station.

The existing overhead bridge connecting Platform 1 and Platforms 2 & 3 has shelters added for a covered linkway to Kluang Temporary Railway Station.

There is also a ramp above the station master’s office for barrier-free access.

What a strange sight to see the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up above me on viaducts.

Heading down the stairs which is steep.

The old Kluang Railway Station is still in use for passenger services except for boarding and alighting which is at the elevated Kluang Temporary Railway Station platform.

The old Kluang Railway Station is quiet at night, with passengers for the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up already boarded at the elevated Kluang Temporary Railway Station platform.

The stillness of the night welcomes me back to Kluang.

Conclusion

Overall, a pleasant though short journey to enjoy the AFC just like in better times on the Ekspres Rakyat to Singapore. For a short distance, the difference in fares between the AFC and ASC isn’t much. An RM7 top up for an emptier first class coach with bigger individual seats is quite a good deal.

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