History of KTM Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) // マレーシア鉄道公社「マラヤンタイガートレイン」の歴史

Malayan Tiger Train (MTT)
マラヤンタイガートレイン

The Malayan Tiger Train (マラヤンタイガートレイン), affectionally known by KTM staff and railway fans alike as MTT, was a named express overnight train of KTM Intercity plying between between Johor Bahru Sentral Railway Station (JB Sentral) and Tumpat Railway Station from 2011 to 2012. It consisted of donated JR West (JR西日本) and JR Kyushu (JR九州) Blue Train coaches by the Japanese Government.

As a cluster, the 14 coaches of 14 Series Blue Train coaches from JR West (JR西日本) and JR Kyushu (JR九州) formerly operated on Rapid Moonlight Kochi, Rapid Moonlight Matsuyama, Rapid Moonlight Kyushu, Resort & Spur, Limited Express Akatsuki, Limited Express Asakaze, Limited Express Fuji, Ginga Express, Limited Express Hayabusa, Limited Express Izumo, Limited Express Mizuho, Limited Express Myojo, and Limited Express Sakura.

Here’s a history of the donated JR West (JR西日本) and JR Kyushu (JR九州) Blue Train coaches’ life in Peninsular Malaysia.

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Tren Khas 3661dn Blue Train Demonstrator

Before the JR West and JR Kyushu Blue Train coaches arrived, a mock-up coach was sent on the KTM East Coast Line and KTM Southern Line, and I managed to spot the Tren Khas 3661dn Blue Train Demonstrator at Bukit Timah Railway Station which was running from Gemas Railway Station to Tanjong Pagar Railway Station on 13 May 2010.

Due to height restrictions, the JR West and JR Kyushu Blue Train coaches were not able to enter the older electrified double-track sectors around the Klang Valley. As such, it was only possible for the JR West and JR Kyushu Blue Train coaches to run on the KTM East Coast Line and KTM Southern Line.

KTMB-SRT Joint Conference 2013

On a side note, the State Railway of Thailand’s ex-JR West Blue Train coaches were able to run through the electrified double-track sector from Ipoh Railway Station to Kuala Lumpur Railway Station in 2013 without any problems, so I’m confused till today.

Launch of Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) on 19 December 2011

The Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) was launched on 19 December 2011 by then-YB Dato’ Seri Kong Cho Ha, then-Minister of Transport.

Unrelated to the clearance issue of the 2 truss bridges in Singapore encountered by Tren Khas 3661dn Blue Train Demonstrator, since the entire KTM Singapore Sector was already gone by then, the Malayan Tiger Train plied between Johor Bahru Sentral Railway Station (JB Sentral) and Tumpat Railway Station only, without entering Woodlands Train Checkpoint (Woodlands CIQ) to serve Singapore unlike every other train serving the Southern Sector.

The Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) 18up and 19dn initially operated on every other day in each direction up till 31 January 2012, which was later changed on 1 February 2012 operating on fixed days of the week with no service on Sundays, with northbound Malayan Tiger Train 18up trains departing from JB Sentral on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and southbound Malayan Tiger Train 19dn trains departing from Tumpat on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) / Former JR Blue Train Coaches Fleet List

BSC | Blue Second Class

オハ 14-185 as BSC 2001 (ex-JR West/JR西日本)

  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 72名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: No

スハフ 14-11 as BSC 2002 (ex-JR West/JR西日本)

  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 64名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: Yes

オハフ 15-23 as BSC 2003 (ex-JR West/JR西日本)

  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 64名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: No

オハフ 15-42 as BSC 2004 (ex-JR West/JR西日本)

  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 64名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: No

オハ 14-257 as BSC 2005 (ex-JR West/JR西日本)

  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 64名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: No

スハフ 14-202 as BSC 2006 (ex-JR West/JR西日本)

  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 56名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: Yes

スハフ 14-204 as BSC 2007 (ex-JR West/JR西日本)

  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 56名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: Yes

BDNF | Blue Day/Night First

オロネ 15-3001 (A-Sleeper) as BDNF 1101 (ex-JR Kyushu/JR九州)

  • 客室 / Number of Compartments: 14
  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 14名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: No

オハネ 15-2004 (B-SOLO) as BDNF 1102 (ex-JR Kyushu/JR九州)

  • 客室 / Number of Compartments: 18
  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 18名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: No

BDNS | Blue Day/Night Second

オハネ 15-1102 as BDNS 2701 (ex-JR Kyushu/JR九州)

  • ボックス / Number of Sections: 8 quadruple, 1 twin
  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 34名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: No

オハネ 15-1246 as BDNS 2702 (ex-JR Kyushu/JR九州)

  • ボックス / Number of Sections: 8 quadruple, 1 twin
  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 34名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: No

スハネフ 15-2 as BDNS 2703 (ex-JR Kyushu/JR九州)

  • ボックス / Number of Sections: 8 quadruple
  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 32名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: Yes

オハネフ 25-47 as BDNS 2704 (ex-JR West/JR西日本)

  • ボックス / Number of Sections: 8 quadruple
  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 32名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: No

スハネフ 14-6 as BDNS 2705 (ex-JR Kyushu/JR九州)

  • ボックス / Number of Sections: 7 quadruple, 1 twin
  • 定員 / Passenger Capacity: 30名
  • 発電装置 / Generator on board: Yes

The last run of the Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) was some time in end-2012 for an unknown reason.

Many people would think that the suspension (and now we know it’s a cancellation) of the Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) was due to the massive Kelantan flood which fully disrupted KTM East Coast Line operations, but that was in end-2014, after the next train below was launched.

9 MTT coaches were stranded in Tumpat, after being left there since 2013 since there was no revenue service. However, the MTT coaches were not directly affected (ie. submerged) in the flood – merely stranded by being cut off from the rest of the network. After the flood had been cleared and the line rehabilitated, the MTT did not return to service.

Shuttle 62/61

The BSCs returned to active service on the then-new Shuttle 62up and Shuttle 61dn on 15 August 2014. 3 out of 5 spare coaches in Gemas and Kempas Baru were used to run this local shuttle train, with 1 of the BSCs using its attached generator to provide power the rake.

JR West Blue Train coaches entering Singapore on the Johor-Singapore Causeway

The JR Blue Train only made it to Singapore with this then-new overnight Shuttle train. Since there are no more truss bridges to deal with, the journey between between Johor Bahru Sentral Railway Station (JB Sentral) and Woodlands Train Checkpoint (Woodlands CIQ) was now clear for the Blue Train to serve Singapore, even if just for a couple of meters.

Shuttle 62up operating with regular ASCs.

The BSCs again then slowly disappeared from the service as they started to break down one after another, and at times, the Shuttle 61/62 were cancelled at the last minute without reason, forcing local passengers onto the more expensive Ekspres Rakyat instead which operated with stop orders if Shuttle 61/62 tickets were sold already.

Ekspres Selatan 40/41

The BSCs returned to active service again on the Ekspres Selatan 40/41 on 1 September 2016, this time with the BDNS operating as the generator (“genset”) in place of the usual PGC. This rake was formed of the stranded coaches at Tumpat following the Kelantan floods, instead of the above-mentioned remaining coaches. At its launch and peak, 5 BSCs were used with 2 BDNS gensets – 1 active and 1 as a backup.

The MTT rake was also the last regular locomotive-hauled rake to enter the electrified double tracked sector as the Ekspres Selatan 40/41 between Johor Bahru Sentral Railway Station (JB Sentral) and Pulau Sebang Railway Station (Tampin Railway Station) on 31 January 2017.

The BSCs continued operating on various Ekspres Selatan services between Johor Bahru Sentral Railway Station (JB Sentral) and Gemas Railway Station till 2019, usually on the pair departing from JB Sentral in the afternoon.

The End of MTT Coaches?

The BSC rake of Ekspres Selatan were taken out of service unannounced. The full fleet of remaining 14 MTT coaches can be seen today (verification needed) rotting away at Gemas Railway Station.

I really hope that this is not the true end of the MTT coaches. But realistically speaking, it most likely is, given that no care has been given to these coaches for at least 2 years now, and KTM Intercity locomotive-hauled trains are slowly being replaced with the new KTM 61 Class DMU. The progress of the Gemas-Johor Bahru Electrified Double-Tracking Project (EDTP) is also progressing very fast, which means that ETS services are going to replace diesel trains to the south once completed, making locomotive-hauled passenger coaches redundant in general.

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