Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up from Kempas Baru to Tumpat by ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) Sleeping Berth
After a short day in Johor Bahru, it’s time to head back to Kempas Baru Railway Station out of the city to catch my next train for my highlight sector to the East Coast.
The platform of Kempas Baru Railway Station is closed before the train’s departure. However, as I had permission for photography, I was able to enter the platform early to take my photos.
ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) coaches are located at the front of the train.
The interior of the ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second).
I was welcomed on board with someone sitting in my berth, similar to how someone was in my seat on board the ETS Platinum Standard 9371dn from Kuala Lumpur to Gemas.
After showing her my ticket, she moved to her original berth, but not after 1 last try of changing berths with me (she was at 40).
Here’s my Lower Berth 16 with a butt mark on the blanket.
My Berth 16 unfortunately had no remaining seat back fixtures which could be used as a shelf. Nevertheless, since I only had a small backpack with me, the space that I had was still quite okay.
I was disappointed in myself that I forgot Berth 16 was one with a hopper window, offering me poor views of the journey. However, I was to realise later that this is a blessing in disguise.
At 7.39pm, the actual departure time, my 26up Ekspres Rakyat Timuran departed, but in reverse towards JB Sentral instead.
Well, at least with this shunting, I can make my train journey as south as possible.
Entering the main line.
Behind, 25 Class 25102 Pulau Besar was attached, but I don’t think they operated as a MU.
The empty rake of Ekspres Selatan 45dn ironically departed first.
With 2 late passengers with ticket issues, they boarded the train at the last minute, and my 26up Ekspres Rakyat Timuran departed from Kempas Baru Railway Station at 8.03pm – 26 minutes delayed from schedule.
I headed to the ABC (Air-conditioned Buffet Coach) first to grab some dinner.
Dining tables are laid out in bays of 4 foldable seats.
No menu was available at the counter, but thankfully I knew what was on offer.
Or so I thought.
Only Nasi Goreng, Mee Goreng, and Maggi Cups were available, despite just starting the train journey.
When I asked about Maggi Soup, I was informed that it was not available. But perhaps just as well too. I would dread to have to write that Maggi Soup would really be the best dish on board the ABC, because if really everyone thinks that Maggi Soup is the best dish in offer, then I have some really bad news for the food outlet.
I ordered my usual of Nasi Goreng with Telur Mata and an Iced Milo.
The Nasi Goreng isn’t gourmet, but it is nostalgic. This is microwaved on the plate from a bigger batch of Nasi Goreng.
The iced Milo was thankfully freshly made, and nicely thick.
The legroom on board the AFC.
The original dark green motifs of the Mugunghwa seats are still on the side bar.
Making a brief stop at Kluang Railway Station.
I wish I could be in Kluang for longer than 1 night, but lots more of Malaysia must be explored in the short time I have.
Nothing much from the night time view through the hopper window.
With additional time allowance factored in to the timetable, my 26up Ekspres Rakyat Timuran caught up with the delay here. Passengers from the ETS Gold 9425dn also board the 26up Ekspres Rakyat Timuran here with a cross-platform transfer.
There is a change of crew at Gemas for the 26up Ekspres Rakyat Timuran.
I woke up at Gua Musang Railway Station to the sound of excited neighbours running around the coach with their “Nasi Guo Musae” and WhatsApp calls to families and friends to say that they are having breakfast.
I headed to the station canteen to see what Nasi Guo Musae is available.
Turns out the entire train had raided the canteen while I was sleeping and taking photos of the locomotive. Oh well, trainspotting is my priority after all.
Locals also dine in at the station canteen, with nurses from the neighbouring Klinik Kesihatan Bandar Gua Musang getting their morning coffee fix too.
With lots of time left before departure, I headed out of Gua Musang Railway Station for a façade shot with the limestone hills.
Heading back to my coach to prepare for departure.
Looking back at the limestone hill.
Passing by the old Gua Musang Railway Station.
No locomotives to spot here.
In the day, the hopper window offers little to no view of the outside with the broken vacuum seal causing water to seep in between the glass panels.
Remember when I mentioned that this was a blessing in disguise – the air-conditioning was weak in my coach, and my hopper window could not lock. As such, a small gap allowed fresh, cool air from the outside to flow into my berth, offering me a comfortable night’s sleep. Even during the day, the outside air was still cool, which looking back now, was a sign of the floods to come.
Making a stop outside Bertam Baru Railway Station.
Entering Bertam Baru Railway Station, I could see the cause for the stop at outer now.
And here’s my first look at a revenue service KTM 61 Class DMU.
Yes, I’m late to the game, but what could I do with a closed border.
An additional bumper has also been installed for DMU08 / 61108 Dabong.
Crossing with the Shuttle Timuran 51dn/53dn without stopping.
Crossing the Clementi Bridge over Sungai Betis.
And here’s Malaysia’s favourite railway station – Dabong Railway Station. Surprisingly, almost nobody alighted here as I expected.
At the southern end of Dabong Railway Station was a pleasant surprise.
22 Class 22115 Kuala Lipis now sold to Emrail was stabled at the siding, and at a perfect angle to take a picture from.
Though it was still raining, I walked back to the front of the train via the platform as it was easier to walk than to navigate the vestibules inside the train.
A sign in front of the token catcher shows the double set DMU coach positions.
Passing by Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dabong and Sekolah Kebangsaan Dabong after departing from Dabong Railway Station.
After departure from Dabong Railway Station, I headed to the ABC to get breakfast. However, as the tables were all full, I could only opt for a takeaway back to my berth.
I ordered Roti Bakar and a hot Kopi because that was all that was available. Not sure why the ABC is running on skeletal stock on this trip.
This time round, the original Manek Urai Railway Station is no longer around.
Manek Urai Railway Station has been upgraded with high platforms, and the station building has shifted to the more convenient town side.
The old station sign of Manek Urai Railway Station sits on the platform.
The Manek Urai Railway Station concourse looks like something out from a double track project template station.
The new station sign of Manek Urai Railway Station.
A new loop line is being laid over the former site of Manek Urai Railway Station.
Crossing the bridge over Sungai Lebir.
Making a relaxed stop at Krai Railway Station with the train being before time again.
Sleepers are kept at Krai Railway Station for the on-going track rehabilitation.
Further up, there is an Emrail 17 Class Shunter and 22 Class Locomotive parked.
The Emrail 22 Class 22106 Changkat Budiman was unfortunately blocked from view with some rails.
17 Class Shunter 17113, now resold to Emrail, sits at a siding of Krai Railway Station.
Approaching the famous Guillemard Bridge.
Crossing the Guillemard Bridge over the Kelantan River.
Stopping outside of Tanah Merah Railway Station because the train ahead is still at the next station.
Entering Tanah Merah Railway Station with a view of the landmark water tower in the background.
Making a brief stop at Tanah Merah Railway Station with the schedule now fitting actual travel time.
A new flyover has been built over the railway crossing for Jalan Ismail Petra, which is a busy road linking all the way to Penang. I’m not sure if this flyover will eventually replace the railway crossing.
Approaching Pasir Mas Railway Station, I’m hoping my eyes are playing tricks on me when I can’t see the Rantau Panjang Branch Line any more.
Making a brief stop at Pasir Mas Railway Station with more alighting passengers.
Approaching Wakaf Bharu Railway Station with the DMU launching decoration panels still around.
Looking at the old Wakaf Bharu Railway Station opposite the current station.
Making a brief stop at Wakaf Bharu Railway Station.
Motorists waiting at the railway crossing ahead.
Unfortunately no time to visit Kota Bharu on this trip.
Passing by Kampung Kok Pasir Railway Halt with some maintenance workers doing something to it.
Approaching Tumpat with the landmark railway crossing near KFC.
A new DMU train wash coming up.
Entering Tumpat Railway Station.
Passing by the level crossing just outside Tumpat Railway Station.
The new platform is almost ready at Tumpat Railway Station.
Looking at the end of the East Coast Line.
24121 Tun Perak moves up to the headshunt before running around the rake for shunting duties.
24121 Tun Perak running around to the other end of the rake.
Looks like the PGC attached was also recently refurbished in 2020 by Malnaga as part of the “Overhaul, Testing & Commissioning of 20 units Power Generating Cars for KTMB” package.
The old Tumpat Railway Station building is completely gone.
Station operations are currently carried out in temporary containers.
The ticket counter of Tumpat Railway Station.
The timetable of trains at Tumpat Railway Station.
Heading out of Tumpat Railway Station.
The façade of Tumpat Railway Station undergoing upgrading.
The incoming empty rake of 26up Ekspres Rakyat Timuran spotted from the level crossing. Kind of weird to see a cab-less end heading straight at you after 2 years of not seeing real trains.
It was a pleasant ride on board the 26up Ekspres Rakyat Timuran despite the usual East Coast Line experience with oversized luggage (baskets?) in the aisles, crying babies, and loud passengers. But without them, is it really a true East Coast Line experience? To see the kampung spirit still alive on the East Coast Line with friendly, intermingling groups in exactly what I signed up for.
However, cleanliness on board the 26up Ekspres Rakyat Timuran is a big issue, especially while we’re still in the COVID-19 pandemic. I generally try to take my photos in the best possible angle, away from general defects KTM always has, but this kind of makes it hard for me, which is why you didn’t see much interior shots on the day time portion of the journey.
This is my day time view of the aisle outside my berth.
The old cleaning company, Sinar Jernih, does a good job on KTM Intercity trains previously, with cleaners regularly making their rounds to clear out rubbish bags, and walking around with them before tying it up to collect rubbish from passengers. I remember Sinar Jernih even spraying air freshener as they go around the coaches.
However, the new cleaning company, Exclusive Pillar, does not do much cleaning up, with rubbish bags around coaches left full on long legs of the train journey. The staff mainly wipe the handles by the doors when the train stops at stations.
I wish Exclusive Pillar would improve on keeping the train clean for the comfort of all passengers, or if all else fails, bring back Sinar Jernih to the trains.