Shuttle Timuran 57dn from Tumpat to Gua Musang by DMU 61 Class
The Shuttle Timuran 57dn is an afternoon train from Tumpat to Gua Musang operated by the new DMU 61 Class. Catching the new DMU 61 Class is one of the goals of Revenge Travel Semenanjung, and after 8 months of waiting, I’m finally here to experience the new train.
As such, I headed to a local food stall just beside the railway crossing to pack lunch for the train ride.
While I have already purchased my Shuttle Timuran 57dn online from the KTMB Integrated Ticketing System (KITS) for RM8, I purchased an additional RM1 ticket to Wakaf Bharu to keep the new ticket printout as a souvenir.
Shunting is quite fast with the DMU 61 Class consisting of only 4 cars and able to operate bi-directionally.
A quick reverse and DMU12 / 61112 is on the way to the platform.
Tumpat Railway Station has an upcoming second platform on the loop line, potentially allowing trains to arrive and depart at around the same time, allowing for more departures in future.
The main platform has been upgraded to a high platform, though the furnishing works are not completed yet.
The high platform allows for easy boarding to the DMU 61 Class.
My train service was listed as ES 57 Kuala Lipis. Hmm…
Couple of discrepancies there. ES most likely stands for Ekspres Selatan rather than Shuttle Timuran. Also, 57dn ends at Gua Musang, with the onward sector from Gua Musang to Kuala Lipis taken by train number 59dn, while using the same train set.
Stepping on board the DMU 61 Class for the first time.
The front end of Coach A consists of a parcel area, known among staff as “PV” from the former Parcel Van attached to KTM Intercity trains.
A conductor’s room is also available within the PV area.
Luggage racks, grab poles, and hand grips are provided in the standee area.
Power sockets are provided below each pair of transverse seats.
The information screen on board shows the Shuttle Timuran 57dn as a through train to Kuala Lipis instead of the timetabled split of train services at Gua Musang, though using the same train set.
Other than a mix of longitudinal and transverse seats, Coach A also has a Bistro.
The menu is posted above the counter.
Unlike what’s promoted, no mains were available for purchase aside from instant noodles.
No vestibule doors are installed on Coaches A and D to separate the seating area from the vestibule, aside from the PV.
A regular toilet is available at Coach B.
DMU 61 Class doors on Coaches B and C have an extending platform to reduce the platform gap to high platforms, instead of leaving a gap with the steps down to the low platform or track.
Coaches B and C cater more for long-distance travel with transverse seats in a 2+2 configuration. Vestibule doors are also provided to split the seating area from the doors and vestibule.
A luggage rack is provided near the door.
Seats are quite upright and do not recline.
Power sockets are located below each pair of seats.
Some seats near the ends of the coach also have power sockets by the wall, providing up to 4 power sockets for each pair of seat.
A rather ambitious DMU 61 Class route map of the KTM East Coast Line and KTM Southern Line, along with Batang Melaka Railway Station and Pulau Sebang Railway Station (Tampin Railway Station), is posted on the top corner of the seating area.
I wonder if I’ll see a DMU service on this sector.
Similar to Coach B, Coach C caters more for long-distance travel with transverse seats in a 2+2 configuration. Vestibule doors are also provided to split the seating area from the doors and vestibule.
There are 2 wheelchair priority areas in Coach C with flip-up seats.
With this priority area, there is a public seat with extra legroom, though the space may be shared with a passenger in wheelchair.
A wheelchair-accessible toilet is available on Coach C.
Push the button to open the door.
Remember to lock the door upon entry, otherwise, anyone can open the toilet door from the outside, and you can’t simply shut it again with your bare hands in shock.
A sink is located in the corner by the door.
A plus point here – paper towels are provided in the toilet.
A surau or prayer room is also available in Coach C.
The door opens with a space to perform the wudu first.
A bar helps prevent water splash into the prayer area.
Hooks are available to hang your garments.
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.
Similar to Coach A, Coach D has a mix of longitudinal and transverse seats.
Luggage racks and hand grips are provided in this standee area facing Coach C.
For the longitudinal seating area at the end of the train, luggage racks, grab poles, and hand grips are provided.
Longitudinal seats have their seat numbers listed as both window and aisle, though your back would be facing the window instead.
There’s a semi-private area at the end of Coach D with just 3 rows of seats, which is where I will be for the ride to Gua Musang.
The legroom on board the DMU 61 Class.
A foot rest is available to prop your feet up.
A tray table is provided at most transverse seats.
A safety card is also available in the seat pocket.
Emergency exits on the safety card also show the seat positions, which can be useful for booking your next DMU trip.
Hooks are available by the walls beside the seats.
An emergency brake lever is found at the ends of the coach, though I think trying to pull it would be a heavy task in itself.
My first impression upon departure – wow the DMU 61 Class picks up speed really fast.
Looks like a new turntable is coming up at Tumpat Railway Station, but is currently acting as a pond.
Upon departure, the TC comes around to check for tickets, scanning the ticket QR code on his handheld device with the staff KITS app.
Halts do not extend all the way for 4 cars, especially at the old ones without upgrading.
Bunut Susu Railway Halt has a high platform newly installed.
More passengers boarded at Pasir Mas Railway Station.
From my view of the Rantau Panjang Branch Line, or rather lack thereof, from on board the Ekspres Rakyat Timuran 26up earlier in the day, I made sure to watch the line properly again to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. This excavator didn’t give me good hopes, however.
A bit of the old Rantau Panjang Branch Line still extends out of the main line, but I’m nto sure if it’s connected to the track rehab or just left there.
The track disappears very shortly after.
After the gap, some old track still remains of the Rantau Panjang Branch Line.
With a bit more time before the next halt, it’s time to unpack my lunch as I later straddle between taking photos of the halt and eating my lunch.
I got a delicious Kelantanese Nasi Dagang from the local food stall just beside the Tumpat Railway Station railway crossing, as one does in Kelantan. I requested for a plastic box so as to not risk dirtying the DMU if I were to simply lay the paper packet on the tray table.
The fish curry was creamy and coconutty, going very well with the beras nasi dagang which was surprisingly not too nutty and yet not too glutinous for me. A telur mata on the side, because why not.
I also picked up a random homemade dessert made with Marie biscuits, chocolates, and a bit of rainbow sprinkles.
I forgot how much I paid for this meal, but I think it was around RM5 in total. Kelantan is great.
Making a brief stop at Chica Tinggi Railway Halt with no passengers.
Capturing the sliding platform for the door at Coach C in action.
A new high platform has been built in front of the old To’ Uban Railway Halt shelter.
The station sign of To’ Uban Railway Halt.
Sungai Keladi Railway Halt has not been upgraded yet, with the old wooden platform and shelter still in use.
The station sign of Sungai Keladi Railway Halt.
Bukit Panau Railway Halt has a train-length low platform, possibly a sign that it was once a station.
The big dilapidated shed beside the halt shelter also looks like a former station building.
The current shelter of Bukit Panau Railway Halt.
Making a longer regulating stop at Tanah Merah Railway Station with more passengers boarding and the train currently running before time.
Crossing the Guillemard Bridge over the Kelantan River.
Making another longer stop at Temangan Railway Station with the Shuttle Timuran 57dn running before time yet again. The DMU 61 Class journey is really a lot faster thanks to the quick acceleration and braking, and of course the increase in service speed to up to 100km/h. However, it currently runs on the old locomotive-hauled timetable on my journey, not maximising its potential.
Making a brief stop at Sungai Nal Railway Halt with a group using the shelter to lepak.
Passing by the Emrail 17 Class Shunter 17113 and 22 Class 22106 Changkat Budiman Locomotive parked.
Making a brief stop at Pahi Railway Halt with no platforms.
Making a brief stop at the new Manek Urai Railway Station.
At this time, I headed to the Bistro to check out their food offerings, and made an order of 1 Roti Bakar and 1 hot Kopi.
The Bistro is mainly stocked with pre-packed simple food like sandwiches, boxed juices, and mineral water. The only hot food available were Roti Bakar and instant noodles.
Kampung Baru Sungai Mengkuang Railway Halt has a new high platform installed.
Ulu Temiang Railway Halt also has a new high platform installed, in front of the halt shelter.
There was internet data again here, and I bought another RM1 ticket through the TC from the KITS handheld ticketing device as a souvenir, this time from Ulu Temiang to Dabong. Do note that the thermal print will not last on this receipt-like ticket, but it’s more for me to enjoy and understand the process of buying a new KITS handheld ticketing device ticket.
It was also here that my Roti Bakar was done bakar-ing at the Bistro, and here’s my afternoon snack on board Shuttle Timuran 57dn.
Kampung Baru Bukit Abu Railway Halt has a new high platform installed, in front of the halt shelter.
Bukit Abu Railway Station remains in its original state. The Shuttle Timuran 57dn, however, stops on the main line instead of the loop line where the platform is. As such, passengers have to cross the loop line from the Bukit Abu Railway Station platform to access the Shuttle Timuran 57dn train.
Kuala Gris Railway Halt has a new high platform installed, in front of the halt shelter.
The original station sign of Kuala Gris Railway Halt bearing the name in Bahasa Malaysia, Jawi, Mandarin, and Tamil still stands behind the new high platform.
The bigger station shelter of Kuala Gris Railway Halt.
Approaching a river while slowing down, which means the Shuttle Timuran 57dn is approaching Malaysia’s favourite station.
Passing by Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Dabong and Sekolah Kebangsaan Dabong. This was the key function of Dabong Railway Station as an education hub for villages along the KTM East Coast Line before it went viral around Malaysia.
With a bit of extra time at the platform, I headed down for a view of how the DMU 61 Class‘s door steps would fit a low platform, and to say cheese to the Polis Bantuan.
This is Coach A’s and D’s end-of-car steps which are outside of the flushed train car body. Passengers can use the handrails to steadily descend from the steps in reverse.
These are the more standard door and step set on all coaches by the gangway. The steps are inside of the flushed train car body which allow for a quicker descend as passengers can treat it like a staircase instead of a ladder.
For low platform stations, the platform inside the train retracts to unveil 1 step down for ease of boarding and alighting.
Once the doors are closed, the on-board platform extends to close up the gap down to the step.
Looks like new businesses are popping up around Dabong Railway Station with the new domestic crowd.
Reversing into Dabong Railway Station at the direction of the station master and porter.
Next was another before time arrival at Kemubu Railway Station.