ETS Platinum Standard 9274up from KL Sentral to Padang Besar

9274up ETS Platinum Standard Class from KL Sentral to Padang Besar

A very short layover in Kuala Lumpur, and it’s time to begin the second leg of Revenge Travel Semenanjung on the West Coast with ETS Platinum Standard 9274up from KL Sentral to Padang Besar. I chose ETS Platinum Standard 9274up as it offered a slightly earlier arrival time in Padang Besar, which would allow me a short shopping time at Arked Niaga, than if I were to take the cheaper and later ETS Gold 9420up to u-turn immediately later.

Sentral Kuala Lumpur Railway Station (KL Sentral)

I booked myself on Standard Class rather than Business Class as it was an empty train when I first booked it, and I wanted to try the new Standard Class seat anyway. However, it was to be a full train in the end. On hindsight, I might have booked Business Class, but no issues, since it would be my first long distance ride on board the 93/2 Class ETS2 Standard Class too.

(No, I don’t count Gemas as long distance.)

Here’s the queue for ticket checking into the waiting area at Gate B.

ETS Business Class passengers can use the Ruby Lounge to wait for the train.

Benches are provided for ETS passengers at the Gate B waiting area.

New KITS gates are installed at Gate B for ticket scanning.

The departure sign for my at the KITS gate line.

The Gate B KITS gates were open for scanning 20 minutes before the train departure.

Heading down the escalator to Platform 1.

93/2 Class ETS 218 was parked right there, but that was not my train.

Signs below the escalator point towards the ETS Platinum Standard 9274up.

My 93/2 Class ETS 215 for ETS Platinum Standard 9274up is just ahead.

Coach A for Business Class passengers is located close to the lift from the Ruby Lounge.

The destination and train number of my ETS Platinum Standard 9274up.

83 Class EMU24 operating on the Skypark Link is waiting opposite at Platform 2.

I took a quick walk around the empty train first before it gets filled with passengers.

2 regular toilets are available on board the 93/2 Class ETS2.

The ETS Café is located at Coach C.

Standard Class seats on Coaches B, C, D, E, and F are laid out in a 2+2 configuration, inward facing with a fixed direction.

Table seats are generally located in the middle of the coach.

The destination and train number of my ETS Platinum Standard 9274up at Coach F.

93/2 Class ETS 215 will operate on my ETS Platinum Standard 9274up from KL Sentral to Padang Besar.

Heading into my booked Coach A.

Passengers have started to fill up the coach.

A luggage rack is available by the front door.

A crew area is also located here, but is generally unused.

Seats alternate between a full window view and a half-obstructed view.

I booked Seat 11D for this journey.

The legroom available on ETS Platinum Standard Class.

The safety information is pasted on the tray table in front.

The folded out tray table.

A flip-out hook is available on each seat back.

The view of Coach A from my seat.

A power socket set is below each pair of seats, with 1 3-pin plug and 2 USB plugs.

My ETS Platinum Standard 9274up departed from KL Sentral on time at 9.20am.

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

My entry view into Kuala Lumpur Railway Station was blocked by an SCS 92 Class EMU.

Making a brief stop at Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.

Passing through Bank Negara Railway Halt.

Passing by Sogo.

Passing through Putra Railway Station.

Passing by Simpang Batu Caves.

Passing by Segambut Railway Station.

Passing by Kepong Railway Station.

Passing by Kepong Sentral Railway Station.

Passing by the MRT viaducts.

The pier where the MRT1 and MRT2 project meets.

Sungai Buloh MRT Station has its station sign changed to the Putrajaya Line already.

Passing by Sungai Buloh Railway Station.

Passing by Kuang Railway Station.

Crossing with the Sugarliner on the double track.

Passing by Rawang Railway Station.

I got tired of snapping after Rawang since all stations would look the same anyway. I just took pictures of the rarer ones.

Passing by a dilapidated Behrang Railway Station which serves no trains.

Kampar Railway Station

Arriving at Kampar Railway Station.

Making a long stop at Kampar Railway Station since the ETS Platinum Standard 9274up was before time, travelling since Kuala Lumpur Railway Station non-stop.

The old Kampar Railway Station still stands beside the new station.

The rather full Coach A on board.

Passing by Kota Bharu (Perak) Railway Station.

Passing by 26 Class 26110 Tanjung Penawar in Batu Gajah depot.

Most of the 91 Class ETS fleet is resting in Batu Gajah depot.

Passing by 26 Class 26119 Tanjung Tualang and other 29 Class locomotives in Batu Gajah depot.

19101 shunts 93 Class ETS201 in Batu Gajah depot.

Batu Gajah Railway Station

Arriving at Batu Gajah Railway Station.

The future Silverlakes Village Outlet West Island is located just outside Batu Gajah Railway Station.

Passing by Lahat Railway Station.

Ipoh Railway Station

Arriving at Ipoh Railway Station.

Making a longer scheduled stop at Ipoh Railway Station.

Surprisingly, there were quite a few people alighting here too. Guess the full train was because of short-distance journeys.

With the longer scheduled stop, I walked to Coach C via the platform to get some lunch.

Unfortunately, it was very crowded, and the ETS Café staff told me to come back later.

So some pictures of the Surau would be in order.

The door opens to the space to perform the wudu first.

The praying area has a compass to set direction, and space for 1 to 2 passengers. Prayer mats and garments are not provided during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

Kuala Kangsar Railway Station

Arriving at Kuala Kangsar Railway Station.

Making a brief stop at Kuala Kangsar Railway Station.

Passing by Padang Rengas Railway Station, the start of the KTM Komuter Northern Sector.

Approaching the Bukit Berapit Tunnel.

Passing through the Bukit Berapit Tunnel. At 3.3km long, it is currently the longest rail tunnel in Malaysia, until the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) takes over with the Genting Tunnel in future.

Exiting the Bukit Berapit Tunnel with cool mist in the background.

Taiping Railway Station

Approaching Taiping Railway Station.

The old Taiping Railway Station still stands, functioning as a food court.

Making a brief stop at Taiping Railway Station.

Passing by an empty Kamunting Railway Station with the KTM Komuter Northern Sector now serving Taiping directly, and the Rapid Kamunting bus service is now gone.

Approaching Bukit Merah Lake.

Crossing the viaduct over Bukit Merah Lake with the old causeway beside.

Coasting over the Bukit Merah Lake.

A gap has been created in the old causeway, probably to allow small boats to pass through.

I headed back to the ETS Café after this, and the crowd had cleared.

Unfortunately, the meal selection was down to only either Sweet and Sour Fish with Rice or Chicken Lasagna. Almost everything had been sold out already during that busy period in Ipoh.

I got a Chicken Lasagna for lunch.

I had expected it to be mushy like the Chicken Lasagna I had on board ETS Platinum Standard 9371dn from Kuala Lumpur to Gemas, but this one actually tasted quite good, with all the ingredients distinct and just sufficiently moist without being a soup.

Taking the Bukit Mertajam Wye to bypass the KTM Butterworth Line, and head straight on towards Padang Besar.

Passing by the Bukit Mertajam KTMB Quarters.

Approaching Sungai Petani Railway Station with UTC Sungai Petani Ukir Square in the background.

Sungai Petani Railway Station

The preserved 15 Class Shunter 15101 on display outside Sungai Petani Railway Station.

Making a brief stop at Sungai Petani Railway Station.

Passing by Gurun Railway Station.

A fertilizer train heading out of Petronas Chemicals Fertiliser Kedah towards Gurun Railway Station.

Heading parallel with the North-South Expressway, overtaking an Arwana Ekspres bus.

Alor Setar Railway Station

Making a brief stop at Alor Setar Railway Station where more passengers alighted.

Arau Royal Railway Station

Making a brief stop at Arau Royal Railway Station where even more passengers alighted, leaving an almost empty train.

Heading for an early arrival at Padang Besar Railway Station.

Lots of containers at Multimodal Freight. Looks like freight traffic with Thailand isn’t too disrupted.

Approaching Padang Besar Railway Station.

Padang Besar Railway Station

My ETS Platinum Standard 9274up arrived at Padang Besar Railway Station at 2.42pm – 3 minutes before time.

2 other 93/2 Class ETS2 are stabled at Padang Besar depot.

With a permission letter, I headed around Padang Besar Railway Station to see the COVID changes.

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) office at Padang Besar Railway Station is closed. I wonder how the sector between Khlong Ngae and Padang Besar now operates without access to the token machine here.

I then headed to the end of the platform to get as close to Thailand as physically possible.

No cargo trains were operating on the afternoon that I was at Padang Besar Railway Station, but trucks are still pouring in from Thailand.

A new gate has been installed at the Malaysia-Thailand border after Padang Besar Railway Station to physically shut off the track.

So near yet so far to go to Thailand again. But alas, my revenge travel journey throughout Semenanjung is now completed with both seeing Singapore a few days before, and now seeing Thailand here.

Heading back to the station building.

Next, I headed to check out the immigration area which is devoid of any staff now.

The Thailand immigration counters now double up as storage space.

No changes have been made to the manual customs counters.

The duty free shop towards Malaysia immigration remains closed.

The Malaysia immigration counters are more or less left untouched.

The Malaysia customs equipment are still around.

Once done with my self-tour around Padang Besar Railway Station, I headed to exit the platform.

Heading up the staircase to the KITS gates.

The elevator is out of order.

The new KITS gates have been installed at Padang Besar Railway Station. All passenger trains use the KITS gates.

Scanning my ticket at the KITS gates to exit.

A simple exit message is displayed upon successful scanning, and the KITS gate opens.

The overhead bridge between Padang Besar Railway Station and Padang Besar town is now closed since 1 September 2020. Looks like it was in breach of the Protected Areas and Protected Places Act 1959.

I wonder how it got built in the first place and operated for so many years before then.

Heading out of the main (and now only) entrance of Padang Besar Railway Station.

The façade of Padang Besar Railway Station.

I wanted another view of Thailand from Padang Besar Railway Station, so I headed to the end of the car park.

And just ahead behind the fence, is Padang Besar, Thailand.

There’s also a BTC just behind the fence at the Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station sidings. Perhaps this is attached to cargo trains for the train crew.

From here, I headed back to the main entrance of Padang Besar Railway Station to catch a Kereta Sewa to Arked Niaga, now that I can’t walk there via the footbridge.

Conclusion

Overall, the Standard Class seat on board 93/2 Class ETS2 is more comfortable than the predecessor 93 Class ETS with a symmetrical seat without a lopsided headrest, ample legroom, and 2 USB plugs so the plug can now be shared between 2 passengers.

The KVDT project between Simpang Batu Caves and Sungai Buloh is also almost done, and speed restrictions have more or less been lifted, providing a faster train service, although still regulated by the slower schedule.

A pleasant journey on board 93/2 Class ETS2 despite a crowded train. That shows demand is good and more trains should be added.

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