KTM MySawasdee 1005dn Seasonal Train from Hat Yai Junction to KL Sentral
MySawasdee is a seasonal KTM Intercity train operating between Kuala Lumpur Sentral Railway Station (KL Sentral) in Malaysia and Hat Yai Junction Railway Station in Thailand on major Malaysian long weekends and holiday periods. On the end of the Labour Day long weekend, I embarked on Special Express 991 MySawasdee 1005dn to head back from Hat Yai to Singapore, specifically to ride on this special train.
Hat Yai Junction Railway Station
The façade of Hat Yai Junction Railway Station.
Heading into Hat Yai Junction Railway Station.
KTM staff and volunteers are on standby along the main entrance of Hat Yai Junction Railway Station Platform 1 to direct passengers to board the Special Express 991 MySawasdee.
The KTM MySawasdee bears the train number and classification of Special Express 991 from Hat Yai Junction to Padang Besar. The ranking of Special Express 991 seems to have increased as per the passenger station announcement, as compared to the very first MySawasdee train which bore the train class as Express 991.
Crossing the tracks over to Platform 5.
Additional security staff also seems to have been added this morning to assist with the Special Express 991 MySawasdee departure.
SRT Special Express 991 MySawasdee
Another KTM staff was at the end of the crossing to direct passengers to the left or right of the platform for their booked coaches. ASC (Air-conditioned Second Class) coaches are at the front on the left, while ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) coaches are at the rear on the right.
ASC (Air-conditioned Second Class)
There are 4 ASC (Air-conditioned Second Class) coaches on MySawasdee. The interior of the ASC (Hyundai-Padu Sedia) has 60 seats in a 2+2 configuration in a fixed forward or reverse direction.
The Chillax Coach is available for passengers to lounge in on board the MySawasdee. Seats have been removed from the Chillax Coach with artificial grass carpets replacing 2 sides of the coach for passengers to lounge in. Beanbags are provided for a more comfortable seating position near the floor. The Chillax Coach also doubles up as a Surau if needed.
ABC (Air-conditioned Buffet Coach)
An ABC (Air-conditioned Buffet Coach), also known by most passengers as canteen, is also attached on the MySawasdee.
Meals are already on sale on board the MySawasdee ABC (Air-conditioned Buffet Coach) from Hat Yai Junction in Thailand.
ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second)
There are 4 ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) coaches attached on MySawasdee. The interior of the ADNS (Air-conditioned Day/Night Second) coach has 20 lower berths and 20 upper berths.
KTM does not convert the ADNS berths into seats during the day, and the night configuration is fixed throughout.
At 10.11am, the locomotive on duty arrived at Platform 5 to couple with the rake of Special Express 991 MySawasdee.
Special Express 991 MySawasdee is hauled by a State Railway of Thailand (SRT) locomotive in the Thailand-to-border sector.
Alsthom ALS 4128 leads my Special Express 991 MySawasdee from Hat Yai Junction Railway Station to Padang Besar Railway Station in Malaysia.
There was a big crowd of Thai staff sending off the Special Express 991 MySawasdee from various departments.
My Special Express 991 MySawasdee departed from Hat Yai Junction Railway Station Platform 5 on time at 10.30am.
My Special Express 991 MySawasdee departed quite slowly from Hat Yai Junction Railway Station…
… and stopped just after the platform for a few minutes.
The delayed Rapid 169 overtook my Special Express 991 MySawasdee slightly on the parallel line.
Just as I was being overtaken, my Special Express 991 MySawasdee started moving off as well. Perhaps it was a signalling issue that the should depart together.
Special Express 991 MySawasdee and Rapid 169 departing from Hat Yai Junction together.
Special Express 991 MySawasdee and Rapid 169 splitting off from the junction south of Hat Yai Junction Railway Station together.
Exiting the vicinity of Hat Yai Junction Railway Station.
Crossing over Sripoovanart Road with the line to Sungai Kolok, bidding goodbye to Rapid 169.
Heading along the straight line down south to Padang Besar.
Crossing the railway crossing at Khlong Ngae.
Passing through Khlong Ngae Railway Station.
Crossing with SRT Express 948 Hat Yai-Padang Besar Shuttle Train at Khlong Ngae Railway Station.
Approaching Padang Besar Thailand.
Crossing the railway crossing at Padang Besar Thailand.
Passing through Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station with armed soldiers guarding the station and train.
The signalling for Padang Besar Railway Station in Malaysia starts in Thailand.
There is also a short electrified sector in Thailand, acting as a headshunt for Padang Besar Railway Station in Malaysia. The safety sign is written in English, Malay, and Thai.
Passing by the sidings of Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station.
The empty rake of SRT International Express 45/46 is stabled at the siding of Padang Besar (Thai) Railway Station.
Heading through the Thailand-Malaysia international border with armed soldiers guarding the border and train.
The last second in Thailand.
Back in Malaysia past the border.
Entering Padang Besar Railway Station in Malaysia.
Padang Besar Railway Station
Approaching Padang Besar Railway Station Platform 1.
A cargo train to Thailand was ready to depart after my Special Express 991 MySawasdee had entered Padang Besar Railway Station.
Arriving at Padang Besar Railway Station Platform 1.
Decoupling of the locomotive from Special Express 991 MySawasdee at Padang Besar Railway Station was very fast as per SRT’s usual standards, even when I immediately went to the front of the train after alighting at the platform in less than 1 minute.
The queue for immigration was very long, going around both platforms around the immigration area.
KTM 25 Class Locomotive 25101 Pulau Angsa takes over the rake of MySawasdee at Padang Besar Railway Station.
The empty rake of MySawasdee heads over to the depot for maintenance first.
Continuing the queue on Platform 2.
Finally approaching immigration after 1 hour of queueing.
The main choke point is obvious, with only 2 Thailand immigration counters opened for up to 400 passengers on board the MySawasdee.
Malaysia Immigration & Customs
Once done with Thailand immigration, Malaysia immigration follows.
The duty-free shop on the Malaysia side is still closed.
There are also 2 immigration counters opened on the Malaysia side, but there was no queue with the major choke point before Thailand immigration. Malaysia clearance was also much faster than Thailand as Malaysians go through almost instantly, and for foreigners like me, there is no immigration form (“white card”) to fumble over with.
Malaysia customs scanning followed after immigration.
Once done with Malaysia immigration and customs, the path for MySawasdee passengers continues out to Platform 2, and not up the stairs to the public area.
Signs are displayed pointing MySawasdee passengers to the waiting area for reboarding.
KTM staff are also along the route looking out for MySawasdee passengers.
MySawasdee Waiting Room
The waiting room between Padang Besar Railway Station Platforms 1 and 2 is reserved for MySawasdee passengers waiting to reboard the train.
The MySawasdee was still undergoing maintenance in the depot.
KTM MySawasdee 1005dn
The MySawasdee rake arrived back at Padang Besar Railway Station Platform 1 at 2.11pm, 19 minutes before scheduled departure time.
KTM 25 Class Locomotive 25101 Pulau Angsa leads my MySawasdee 1005dn from Padang Besar Railway Station to Kuala Lumpur Sentral Railway Station (KL Sentral).
My MySawasdee 1005dn departed from Padang Besar Railway Station at 2.33pm – 3 minutes delayed.
Heading out of Padang Besar Railway Station.
The northern Malaysian scenery from the Chillax Coach.
I brought along a small Plarail KTM Intercity train set to run on board the MySawasdee Chillax Coach.
There was quite a bad jam along the North-South Expressway (PLUS Highway) around Alor Setar and Kobah with holidaymakers heading back south, reminiscent of jams to Singapore. Luckily I’m on board the MySawasdee 1005dn.
Crossing the Bukit Merah Lake on the viaduct.
Taiping Railway Station
Making a long stop at Taiping Railway Station as my MySawasdee 1005dn was 25 minutes early.
Unfortunately, it was raining heavily, so I could not go up front for a picture of the MySawasdee 1005dn at Taiping Railway Station.
I wanted to get a snack from the ABC (Air-conditioned Buffet Coach), but it was very crowded.
My MySawasdee 1005dn departed from Taiping Railway Station on time at 5.59pm.
Heading through the Bukit Berapit Tunnel, he longest rail tunnel in Malaysia, providing a straight route under Bukit Berapit from the old winding and inclined route around the mountain.
Passing by Bukit Berapit Control Centre.
Padang Rengas Railway Station (Operational Stop)
Making a brief stop at Padang Rengas Railway Station to allow ETS Gold 9425dn to overtake.
ETS Gold 9425dn was approaching fast from behind, arriving at Padang Rengas Railway Station.
The ETS Gold 9425dn departed from Padang Rengas Railway Station at 6.23pm, 4 minutes delayeed, due to MySawasdee 1005dn blocking the line ahead of it just before Padang Rengas.
My MySawasdee 1005dn waiting for the signal to clear to proceed out of Padang Rengas Railway Station.
My MySawasdee 1005dn departed from Padang Rengas Railway Station at 6.27pm.
Ipoh Railway Station
Making a long stop at Ipoh Railway Station as my MySawasdee 1005dn was 6 minutes early to the 10-minute scheduled stop.
There is also a crew change at Ipoh Railway Station.
There was still quite a queue at the ABC (Air-conditioned Buffet Coach), but I braved it as it was dinner time.
I ordered a Nasi Bukhara Daging for RM12. It was not good. The taste of the rice was very flat, and the sauce was overly watery, to the point where the water and sauce ingredients started to separate.
My MySawasdee 1005dn was held longer at Ipoh Railway Station than scheduled departure time of 7.29pm, apparently to allow to ETS Platinum 9279dn to overtake at Ipoh Railway Station. ETS Platinum 9279dn is scheduled to depart from Ipoh Railway Station at 7.43pm.
However, my MySawasdee 1005dn was cleared to depart from Ipoh Railway Station at 7.40pm, without ETS Platinum 9279dn overtaking my train.
Lahat Railway Station (Operational Stop)
Shortly after departing from Ipoh Railway Station, my MySawasdee 1005dn train arrived at a freight line at Lahat Railway Station, to allow ETS Platinum 9279dn to overtake.
ETS Platinum 9279dn overtaking my MySawasdee 1005dn train at Lahat Railway Station.
Tanjung Malim Railway Station
Making a brief stop at Tanjung Malim Railway Station as my MySawasdee 1005dn was now running 7 minutes late.
Rawang Railway Station (Operational Stop)
My MySawasdee 1005dn train arrived at Rawang Railway Station to allow ETS Platinum 9179dn to overtake.
ETS Platinum 9179dn overtaking my MySawasdee 1005dn at Rawang Railway Station. My MySawasdee 1005dn would be following behind ETS Platinum 9179dn to KL Sentral on schedule.
Kuala Lumpur Sentral Railway Station (KL Sentral)
My MySawasdee 1005dn train arrived at Kuala Lumpur Sentral Railway Station (KL Sentral) at 11.08pm – 5 minutes delayed.
Heading up the escalator to the concourse.
A side lane was opened for MySawasdee 1005dn passengers to exit without the need to scan tickets on the Automated Control Gate (ACG).
Here, I continued on my journey to Singapore by KLIA Transit from KL Sentral to Bandar Tasik Selatan for Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS).
MySawasdee 1005dn is a convenient international train service from Hat Yai, Thailand to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, taking 11 hours and 35 minutes on schedule, including stopping for immigration clearance. It is a day train for the southbound journey, but it was surprisingly comfortable as I decided to spend my whole journey on board the Chillax Coach instead of my booked ASC seat, which I don’t think it will be that comfortable for 11 hours and 35 minutes with restricted legroom and an unknown neighbour. MySawasdee only runs seasonally on Malaysian long holidays, so it’s not every day that you get to try this international train service.