More Fake KTM Facts by “KTM kolektif” on Singapore Memory Project (irememberSG)

Following the little exposé on the fake photo used on the Singapore Memory Project (irememberSG) portal yesterday, it seems like nothing much has been done about it yet by the Singapore Memory Project (irememberSG), so here’s two more bonus posts that I’ve discovered by the same author, KTM kolektif.

Here’s the original post reproduced from the Singapore Memory Project:

Tanjung Pagar Platform 3 HeadshuntFake KTM Photo with Standard Gauge

KTM kolektif

Abdul Halim


(This is an excerpt from an interview with retired KTM train operator Mr. Abdul Halim)

KTMK: Dear Mr. Halim, please tell us about yourself.

AH: I was tasked to drive the then 562.06 Kuala Terengganu in 1962. I was based at Seremban and took over from southbound drivers to continue the route down to Singapore.

I first started work at the KTM railyards when I was 18 – helping out the train engineers and earning a few cents a day. One of the engineers recognized me for my hard work and I got recommended to be sent for training as a train operator.

KTMK: Please tell us about Seremban as well as the Tanjong Pagar Railway station.

AH: Seremban is a highland area, known for very scenic views. Here is a picture taken slightly south of Rembau, as we were heading to Singapore, our final destination.

Tanjong Pagar Station is old. It was built way before my time and was the penultimate stop for all KTM trains. This is how Tanjong Pagar station looked like in the 60s, with the 562.06 rumbling in.

KTMK: What is so special about the 562.06?

AH: Because the 562.06 is a steam locomotive, it could only make one trip a day. By the 1960s it was almost at the end of its life. The train had to be coupled and uncoupled and serviced after each journey, and it was very cumbersome compared to the efficiency of the diesel locomotives.

KTMK: What else do you remember about your days as a train operator?

The trip to Singapore is about 9 hours. Typically my day starts at about 6.30am, and reached Tanjong Pagar station at 4pm. My house was at Seremban but I had a dormitory in Singapore where I will rest a night before operating the train back the next day. That way, one night I will be in my home at Seremban, the next night I will stay in Singapore. This cycle went on for about a year or two.

KTMK: Thank you Mr. Halim

(We are a group of retired train operators and together we form the group KTMK (Keratapi Tanah Melayu Kolektif). We are dedicated to preserving the memories and lives and times of ex-staff and train operators of KTM Bhd.)

Source: Singapore Memory Project


Since this is about oral history rather than historical facts, I guess this might fit more into irememberSG, though it is indeed rather dodgy that a driver would be based in Seremban as unless he is driving the KTM Komuter in 1962, there isn’t a base for drivers there. Even if he lives in Seremban, the driver needs to get to the nearest crew base to begin his journey. Or maybe it is a base for staff of a certain “Keratapi Tanah Melayu” instead?

(P.S. There is no Berhad in KTM before 1992 as it wasn’t corporatised yet. A veteran retired train operator would definitely know that, no?)

Fun fact: The picture on the right has the locomotive running on standard gauge, which is 435mm wider than the meter gauge running in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. Checkmate.

Here’s the other original post reproduced from the Singapore Memory Project:

Fake KTM Photo Red Loco

KTM kolektif

KTM Kolektif


In the spirit of the Lunar New Year, we would like to share an image from our archives “refurbishing the 565.26 Tanah Rata”. Black and red have been the common colours of railroad industries since time immemorial. It is our understanding, however, that certain KTM locomotives were repainted with a coat of red paint once every two to three years to usher in the New Year.

In the following interview with Mr. Mohamed Azri, he shares with us what its like to work as a railyard supervisor in Tanjong Pagar Railyard.

KTMK: Mr. Azri, can you tell us about your work as a railyard supervisor?

Mr. Azri: I was working at the Tanjong Pagar Railyard from 1950-1963. I was a railyard supervisor. It was quite busy as compared to the other railyards in Malaysia which I worked at when I returned home, because it was in Singapore, and near the Borneo Wharves. There would be cargo coming in everyday. So everyday there was work.

KTMK: You supervised the repairing and refurbishing of trains?

Mr. Azri: Locomotive engines. I supervise refurbishing locomotive engines. They need a lot of repair and servicing because they are old – oiling, lubricating, cleaning of the steam moving parts.

KTMK: Were the locomotive engines painted red? Did you paint them? Can you tell us more about this photograph?

Mr. Azri: Not all KTM locomotives were painted red. Some were black. Yes I supervised them while they were being painted at Tanjong Pagar railyard. Usually only the locomotives that come to Singapore they would paint red. I think its because there are a lot of Chinese in Singapore. To Chinese, red means prosperity and maybe they painted the engine red to appeal to Chinese commuters.

KTMK: Thank you Mr. Azri. We would like to wish each and every one of our readers a Happy Lunar New Year.

There are more pictures of beautifully red coloured locomotives here:

(We are a group of retired train operators and together we form the group KTMK (Keratapi Tanah Melayu Kolektif). We are dedicated to preserving the memories and lives and times of ex-staff and train operators of KTM Bhd.)

Source: Singapore Memory Project

Look at that disgusting photoshop job of the red loco. 

Just like the post yesterday, this edited photo is an insult to the great Class 56 (also known as Class O) Locomotive which is a 4-6-2 locomotive operating with a tender, and most certainly not that light steam locomotive as shown in the photo. A total of only 66 Class 56 locomotives in 4 batches were procured, and not the supposed 5 as happily stated in the supposed interview (565.26 Tanah Rata) (And even being the 26th locomotive in the fifth batch? KTM isn’t operating trains with 2-minute frequencies across Peninsular Malaysia. And with “568.14” seen yesterday, KTM must be panicking to install a CBTC system in 1962 to cope with their immense efficiency.). To add to the same joke, the author/editor uses the same modern blue and yellow Keris logo of KTM on the locomotive’s side as the initial photo seen yesterday. The red paint and the painting guy also looks haphazardly photoshopped on, otherwise, the person painting must be either a kid or a midget.

Also, the poster “KTM kolektif” continues to abbreviate KTM as “Keratapi Tanah Melayu”, even including the Berhad in 1962.

What is it with “KTM kolektif” and his penchant for the year 1962?

Fun fact: There is no FMSR/MR/KTM locomotive which bears the name of “Tanah Rata”.

Fun fact 2: The maroon (not red) livery was a regular livery which started with the 20 Class diesel locomotive. There were no red steam locomotives ever in existence, though there were green and blue ones.

Actually, I don’t even need a nail in the coffin point here because the whole photo reeks of obvious edits.

With no action taken yet by the Singapore Memory Project (irememberSG), a Singapore Government initiative and project managed by the National Library Board, Singapore, I guess this means that it’s okay for these fake news to be spread by unknown posters on the portal, providing for false history and recollections to be taken as truth for generations to come.

It is also not known who the poster “KTM kolektif” is, or his or her purpose in spreading these fake photos and potentially false information. Many people suddenly came to “love” the railway in Singapore only after the shock announcement about the land swap deal sealed in 2010, and these posts reek of the similar tone that many of these people are preaching to others about the railway that they suddenly knew about.

It would be a sad day for the railway history of Singapore if these facts were taken as actual accounts, altering the meaning of certain aspects of the railway forever.

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