Malayan Tiger Train 1018up: Launching of the Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) – First Run from JB Sentral to Wakaf Bharu (Former JR West & JR Kyushu Blue Train Coaches) (19 December 2011)

Launching of the Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) on 19 December 2011

The Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) is a series of 14 JR West and JR Kyushu Blue Train coaches donated by the Japanese Government, which includes coaches used on previous Blue Train services such as Limited Express Fuji Hayabusa. For the launch of the Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) on 19 December 2011, railway fans from the then-known-as KTM Railway Fan Club (now Malayan Railway Fan Club) were invited on a media familiarization trip by KTM Berhad for this first run.

The first Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) would depart from Johor Bahru Sentral Railway Station (JB Sentral), after the official launching ceremony.

A KTM Intercity pop-up souvenir store was set up at JB Sentral.

Registering myself for the Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) launching programme with KTM Berhad.

Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) Launching Ceremony

The Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) Launching Ceremony was attended by 3 significant people – then-
YB Dato’ Seri Kong Cho Ha, then-Minister of Transport, His Excellency Mr. Shigeru Nakamura, then-Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia, and Dr. Aminuddin Adnan, then-President of KTM Berhad.

An opening speech was made by His Excellency Mr. Shigeru Nakamura, then-Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia.

Another speech followed by then-YB Dato’ Seri Kong Cho Ha, then-Minister of Transport.

Following the speeches, the Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) was launches at a press of the button.

A ceremonial MTT photo frame was unveiled on the side of the stage.

This was presented to His Excellency Mr. Shigeru Nakamura, then-Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia, by then-YB Dato’ Seri Kong Cho Ha, then-Minister of Transport.

A traditional dance followed.

A souvenir photo was taken of the VIPs…

… followed by a press conference.

Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) 18up from JB Sentral

During this time, boarding calls were made for actual passengers, before the VIPs came down for immediate departure. Here’s the amazing first glimpse of the Blue Train on passenger service in Malaysia.

Another MTT launching banner was hung at the end of the escalator.

25205 Berlian is on duty for the first run of the Malayan Tiger Train (MTT).

The height difference of the Blue Train coaches versus existing KTM coaches is very noticeable when coupled together. This also matches the frames on Tren Khas 3661dn Blue Train Demonstrator which ran for loading gauge testing more than a year before the MTT was launched.

Then-YB Dato’ Seri Kong Cho Ha, His Excellency Mr. Shigeru Nakamura, and Dr. Aminuddin Adnan came round to say hello to the passengers before departure.

In place of a ticket, I have an MTT Guest lanyard which was used throughout the trip.

While I obviously can’t be outside of the train to spot the first departure, I have my own mini version of the MTT with me on this trip…

… and with some KTM Intercity coaches to boot.

BDNS

Now for a short walkaround of the coach I’m in.

Japan was nice enough to provide some English translation of Japanese signs when only Japanese was available. This, however, means that the original Japanese signs have been removed or been stuck over.

Signs with existing English translation remained as original.

Japanese-style squat toilets were provided in all coaches, except for オロネ 15-3001 (A-Sleeper) as BDNF 1101.

A look at one of the berths of the BDNS. A standard ADNS mattress, pillow, and sheets (over mattress and as blanket) set was provided.

The original privacy curtains from Japan were also still in tact.

Luggage can be placed in the rack cleverly concealed above the corridor but easily accessible within each partition of 4 berths.

BDNF

Looking down the corridor of オロネ 15-3001 (A-Sleeper) as BDNF 1101.

Each compartment only sleeps 1 passenger.

A sink is provided in each compartment.

A Japanese AC 100V power socket is also provided in each compartment.

BSC

Second class seat coaches of BSCs are also attached.

Looking back to the rear of the train from the BSC.

Event Coach for MTT First Run

Back in front, as with other KTM events at that time, the Event Coach was attached, which means that there’s karaoke going on.

The Event Coach is a converted ASC coach which has an open floor space where the karaoke equipment is, with ASC seats spaced out in the original 13-row configuration, offering good legroom.

Making a brief stop at Labis.

As the sun was setting with not much scenery to look out to, and with photos taken already, I laid out some tracks so that my Plarail MTT can run around the berths. I’ve also rearranged the coaches so that the consist sort of follows this MTT train.

Making a brief stop at old Gemas Railway Station.

Plarail MTT looking up to the real MTT at Gemas.

Plarail MTT inside the real MTT at Gemas.

Arrival of Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) 18up at Wakaf Bharu

The Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) 18up arrived the next early morning at Wakaf Bharu. The arrival timing is strange with the early afternoon departure from JB Sentral the day before, only because of the launching ceremony. The regular Malayan Tiger Train 18up timetable is similar to the Senandung Timuran but a couple of hours later.

The new KTM Intercity was also first launched on rolling stock on MTT coaches, and the MTT coaches remains to be the only passenger coaches bearing this new logo.

The Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) 18up continues on to Tumpat, where it terminates. The KTM Berhad MTT familiarization trip starts from Wakaf Bharu, hence all guests alighted here together.

The schedule at Wakaf Bharu Railway Station was not updated with the Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) yet.

The KTM Berhad Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) Media Familiarization Trip around Kota Bharu and Rantau Panjang followed.

Spotting Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) 19dn at Wakaf Bharu

After the end of the KTM Berhad Malayan Tiger Train (MTT) Media Familiarization Trip around Kota Bharu and Rantau Panjang, the group returned to Wakaf Bharu Railway Station for onward transfer by train back to the south and central regions. Passengers to the south were given tickets on board Malayan Tiger Train 19dn.

As I was heading to KL after this, my trip would be on Senandung Wau 29dn later at night.

The fireman of Malayan Tiger Train 19dn catching the onward token from the Station Master of Wakaf Bharu Railway Station.

An ABC was attached to the MTT, with the Event Coach to be on my Ekspres Wau instead to be brought back to KL Sentral.

Here’s my Plarail MTT bidding goodbye to it’s big brother.

Once ready, the Malayan Tiger Train 19dn departs from Wakaf Bharu Railway Station.

Instead of using the attached original tail lights, KTM still uses the regular tailboard to mark the end of the train.

It’s back in the box for my Plarail MTT coaches, now with a consist of what I will be boarding next.

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