ETS Gold x Shuttle Gemas – JB Sentral: KL Sentral to JB Sentral by Night Train Combination

This post was originally meant to be a KL Sentral to Woodlands CIQ travel log, but KTM being KTM which manages to screw up my plans almost all the time, this time having not given me much sleep and a missed Shuttle Tebrau connection, I was unable to get back to Singapore with the Shuttle Tebrau and donated RM5 to KTM because my trains were late.

I was about an hour early at KL Sentral for my train departing at 1.17am. As the waiting area had no aircon, I opted to wait at the ticket counter area.

However, passengers from the waiting area started coming to the counter to ask the staff what time the train will arrive, and only then did I overhear that they were told that the train was delayed for 2 hours. However, the staff told them back to the waiting area to wait for further announcements there.

Clinging on to the hope that the train is on time, I went down to the KTM Komuter gates at 1am.

The ETS departure screen was still featuring the train to Padang Besar an hour and a half ago.

At 1.17am, when nothing was happening, I opted to go back to the ticket counter.

At around 2.30am, when the wait was starting to get ridiculous, I went back to the waiting area at Gate B to ask the Special Task Force (I kid you not, go look at their lanyard.) where the train was, to which they replied they didn’t know. When I asked them to ask their colleagues at the CTC, they said that if they do that, they (Special Task Force) will get scolded.

Welcome to KTM where you will get scolded when you ask where your delayed train is. All I want is to know the position of the train to keep my already low expectations lower, not a train to magically appear at the platform for departure.

Finally, some KTM staff were present at Gate C at 2.45am, prior to the train’s arrival. When I asked one of them where the train was, one replied “Segambut”, which meant that the train would arrive in 20 minutes, assuming it was a Komuter train.

Here’s a hint of what happened 20 minutes later – it didn’t.

None of them knew why the train was delayed too, nor was there any apology. The Special Task Force was escorting the passengers down from the waiting area to Gate C, which means my train would be arriving soon anyway.

The Komuter ETS Platform 3 with the line cleared for departure.

The ETS Gold 9525dn finally in sight after 2 hours of its scheduled arrival.

The Special Task Force opening the gate for passengers to ascend up to the concourse with the Komuter escalators.

Finally, I’m on my way back.

Something new at the side of the 93 Class seats are these stickers stating that the power sockets are located under the seat.

Departing KL Sentral 2 hours late.

KTM was still blaring their announcements, advertisements and movies at 3.21am.

Apparently everyone was too tired from this delay and fell asleep anyway.

I slept for a stretch of 30 minutes at max, since I fell asleep after Bandar Tasik Selatan and remember hearing every single blaring announcement on the way to Gemas.

The train arrived at Gemas at 5.25am. Only a couple of hours to sunrise.

The 45dn Shuttle Gemas – JB Sentral waiting for the ETS Gold 9525dn for passengers to transfer. Passengers boarding from Gemas are already sleeping inside this train though.

Crossing over to Platform 3 for train service towards JB Sentral.

Inside the Rapid Moonlight Kyushu Shuttle Gemas – JB Sentral. I chose Coach R3 as it has a proper reclining seat and headrest for the night journey as compared to R4 which although might have lesser crowd, since it’s only open a few hours before departure, has limited recline and a shorter seat back since that coach was sold as non-reserved seat back in Japan.

Ar around 5.35am, the 45dn Shuttle Gemas – JB Sentral was ready to depart, 80 minutes off schedule. If this was in Japan, it would have been a nightmare.

I had a short sleep of about 2 hours when I woke up at Kluang as the sunshine peered through my eyelids and I was too lazy to draw the curtains. At Layang-Layang, I had a short 30-seconds morning walk on the platform.

On the way from Layang-Layang. I had my breakfast of some kaya buns and mineral water which I bought from KL Sentral, since I half-anticipated that the train would get delayed enough to cross with the Shuttle 40up at Kempas Baru, meaning to say that the train would arrive at JB Sentral at 11am – and was I really happy that I was wrong in my prediction.

Arrived at JB Sentral at 9.14am, 49 minutes late and effectively missing my 9am Shuttle Tebrau back to Singapore. I thought of appealing to the staff to allow me to get on the next train, but it was at 11am and I figured that if I was quick enough to cross the Causeway by bus, I might even be home at 11am, so I just donated my RM5 to KTM.

I didn’t write this in my KA Gajayana post initially, but let it be known that the train conductor apologised on the PA system for a 1-minute delay on arrival at Malang. At 2 hours for the ETS Gold 9525dn and 49 minutes for the 45dn Shuttle Gemas – JB Sentral, it was probably just a routine delay, complimentary as part of the ticket price.

I honestly don’t understand why even with the best infrastructure and assets in ASEAN, the timetabling and punctuality seem to be the worst.

Would I recommend this journey?

If you haven’t sensed my tone of writing for the past few posts and pages, no way. The journey from KL Sentral to JB Sentral, factoring in the delay, was 3 minutes short of 8 hours – and that’s not even reaching immigration to cross over to Singapore yet. In comparison, my Transnasional bus from Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur took 4 hours and 30 minutes from JB to KL.

My initial purpose of this trip was because I missed riding on the ex-JR West and JR Kyushu 14 Series coaches, but a secondary reason why I had to do this was to avoid the immigration jam at land checkpoints at the end of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri long weekend, and also there’s no buses at a sane price from KL since most bus companies weren’t selling tickets because the bus itself was raya-ing together with the driver for the weekend.

I seriously doubt the 2-hour ETS delay was due to the train captain bringing the train home for Raya.

On hindsight, I should have paid for the expensive bus and get some sleep.

But if you still want to take the train and support my website… (Note that you can use these links to book sane bus tickets as well, which is probably cheaper and faster.)

KTM Train Ticket Booking Methods

Tickets are open for sale 30 days before departure.

Hotel Booking

Attractions Booking

How do I book tickets online?

Links to the KTM E-Ticket System are strikethroughed due to KTM’s own admission of the instability of their system here after Prime Minister Najib Razak personally posted on Facebook that there is such an issue here. Proceed using the KTM E-Ticket System at your own risk.

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