Ekspres Selatan 43dn: Gemas to JB Sentral by Afternoon Train

After packing my dinner from KFC outside of the old Gemas Railway Station as all local food stalls around has either sold out or have not prepared for dinner yet, I headed back to Gemas Railway Station for my connecting Ekspres Selatan 43dn train to JB Sentral.

Ekspres Selatan 43dn is the only afternoon train from Pulau Sebang (Tampin) and Gemas to JB Sentral, departing from Gemas at 3.35pm. For passengers who are still interested to use the train down south to the state of Johor, the ETS Gold 9321dn and Ekspres Selatan 43dn is just one of two daily choices, now that the KTM Komuter Klang Valley Sector no longer connects properly with Ekspres Selatan services at Pulau Sebang (Tampin).

This is a continuation post from the ETS Gold 9321dn journey from KL Sentral to Gemas. If you are getting on the Ekspres Selatan from Kuala Lumpur, read that post first.

Heading up to the station concourse. Use the elevator if available so that you do not need to climb up the stairs.

The waiting area for all trains in front of the ticket counter.

About 10 minutes to departure, boarding calls are made and the gates are opened for platform access. Tickets are checked by the staff before allowing you through.

Heading over to Platform 4 as informed by the station staff.

As the Ekspres Selatan 43dn originates from Pulau Sebang (Tampin), Gemas is just a passing through station. As such, seats are available at the platform while waiting for the train.

After about 20 minutes of waiting, the Ekspres Selatan 43dn pulled into Gemas from Pulau Sebang (Tampin) and Batang Melaka at 3.43pm – 8 minutes late from departure timing.

The Ekspres Selatan 43dn at Gemas Railway Station.

24122 Badang leads the Ekspres Selatan 43dn for my trip.

Boarding the Ekspres Selatan 43dn.

The Ekspres Selatan 43dn operated with refurbished ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia) coaches on my trip.

Boarding the Ekspres Selatan 43dn at Gemas.

The interior of the Ekspres Selatan 43dn operated with refurbished ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia) coaches.

The rather upright seat on the refurbished ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia) coach.

My coach number as flashed on the LED signs.

My  ticket for the Ekspres Selatan 43dn from Pulau Sebang (Tampin) to JB Sentral. I had booked an overlapping portion between Pulau Sebang (Tampin) and Gemas for both trains so that I could decide on the spot where I felt like alighting later on. In this case, I transferred at Gemas.

Departing from Gemas at 3.48pm – 13 minutes delayed from schedule.

Crossing from Gemas, Negeri Sembilan to Gemas, Johor.

The southern end of electrification in Malaysia in Gemas, Johor.

The views of the Gemas – JB Electrified Double Track Project from the Ekspres Selatan 43dn.

The flattened ground for the new track beds.

Making a brief stop at Segamat.

The low platforms on the line between Gemas and JB Sentral keep the steps on the intercity coaches functional.

Segamat’s loop line has been removed to facilitate the construction of the Gemas-JB Electrified Double Track Project. As such, the station now has only a single track passing through it, just like a halt.

Crossing over the Segamat River.

Making a brief stop at Labis.

Arriving in Bekok with the Ekspres Selatan 42up waiting at the loop line.

The shophouses of Bekok.

Making a brief stop at Bekok.

The Ekspres Selatan 42up was made up of a full-Japanese consist with a 24 Class Toshiba-Hitachi locomotive and ex-JR West/JR Kyushu Blue Train coaches.

Passing by the former Blue Train coaches now operating as the Ekspres Selatan.

Making a brief stop at Paloh.

The exterior of the refurbished ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia) coach at Paloh.

Making a brief stop at Chamek.

Chamek is the most rural stop served by the Ekspres Selatan with just a simple platform and an unmanned station.

Approaching Kluang.

Maintenance of Way vehicles stabling at Kluang.

Making a brief stop at Kluang where I stocked up on some snacks at the platform stall.

Surprisingly, a catering trolley came around after Kluang. However, the trolley only sold simple items such as mineral water, bread and chips. I didn’t buy anything from the trolley, obviously.

Making a brief stop at Renggam where it started raining.

Heading on south.

Making a brief stop at Layang-Layang.

Making a brief stop at Kulai, where passengers started alighting at.

Making a brief stop at Kempas Baru, where more passengers alighted.

The Ekspres Selatan 43dn arrived at JB Sentral at 8.14pm – 4 minutes delayed from schedule.

This also makes the total journey time from KL Sentral to JB Sentral a whopping 8 hours and 4 minutes. And believe it or not, this is also the fastest connection at Pulau Sebang (Tampin) or Gemas that you can make from KL Sentral to JB Sentral. This is probably double the time taken to travel by bus, that is to say, you could potentially take a bus from KL to JB and back to KL in 8 hours. If you are continuing on your journey to Woodlands, Singapore, your journey isn’t over yet as JB Sentral is the transit point for the Shuttle Tebrau.

The empied-out interior of the refurbished ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia) coaches on the Ekspres Selatan 43dn.

Heading off to exit from the platforms.

Heading up the sole set of escalators to the concourse.

As the escalator was broken down, everyone had to haul their luggage up the non-functioning escalator up to the concourse. Also, as I did not manage to get a Shuttle Tebrau ticket back to Singapore, I headed back by public bus from the bus checkpoint.

Overall, a surprisingly rather on-time journey with KTM and it’s interesting to take this once-simple journey from KL to JB again after 2 years to see the railway again, in a new inconvenient light.

I wouldn’t advise you take the full route from KL to JB, but if you are heading to stations on the Ekspres Selatan only or are heading to Johor towns that are not nearby to the North South Highway, then you might still wish to consider this ETS Gold x Ekspres Selatan combination. If you are commuting between KL and JB or KL and Singapore, please go and take the bus.

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  1. Hi How long until the south section of electric power is operating? Wawasan 2020

    There should be a better service then. The north is wonderful tho Butterworth could be better

    1. ““The project would be completed by Oct 31, 2021 and by 2022 it will connect the whole west coast, which is from Johor Baru to Padang Besar in Perlis,” said Loke after a closed-door meeting with Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian and state executive committee chairmen at Bangunan Datuk Jaafar Muhammad here …”


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