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Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Kluang Trip Via KTM
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 3:58 PM --- Post#4016718108274105409

Me and my relatives decided to jump on the bandwagon to visit the KTM station and take a ride on the train before it closes down. We plan to head to Kluang for a one day trip. However, the trips and experiences were more disappointing than adventurous.

The train station.

A few weeks before my departure, I went online to try to book tickets. I was unable to do so on their handicapped website of poor layout and lack of instructions. I was unable to choose my train cars and therefore could not complete the booking. I gave up and head down to the station itself to buy the tickets. I was later told that only long distant trips could be booked online, but no such instructions were seen on their website.

There was a huge wooden board which stated the train schedules. At the bottom of the signage wrote that tickets could be bought 60 days in advanced. But when I queued up for the ticket, I was rejected and the customer service officer showed me a hand written cardboard which he kept away (not displayed on the counter) previously that reads something along the line that you may only book tickets 24 hours in advanced.

Despite failing Maths, I can tell that if I were to depart the next day at 8am, 24 hours would mean I buy my tickets at 8am the day before. Which is exactly what I did. Again, I was turned away. This time round he kept his handwritten cardboard hidden and told me to buy tickets only on the very same day of departure. Ha. Awesome.

The food area at KTM was, simply put, bad. It had the bad of both sides: Poor hygiene, poor ventilation and they charge high in Sing Dollars. My relatives tried the Nasi Lemak store and it was, as expected, not up to standard. The Ramly burger I tried was pretty well done though, but not as WOW as some ppl sweared by.

The yellow-orange machine is the generator unit of the train. It seems to be independent of the engine. It provides power to the carriages for the air-con, lighting, doors etc.

The operators. They dun seem camera shy.

4D anyone?

The tickets to Kluang costed S$5 and before you enter the platform, your passports were stamped, as usual. Now here comes the interesting part: If you are thinking that the trains are ancient machines that rumble and rock on the way with gorgeous views, steamy engine, chu-chu sounds, magical beasts and cannons like The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, you will definitely be disappointed. The air con was stuffy, and you got to bear with it for the entire almost two hours. To make it worst, the air con broke down on the last 30mins of the trip. Granted that maybe the poorly maintained train carriages give them an authentic feeling, the sensation of me sitting in the moving train was no different from my everyday MRT ride. To add on to the similarities between the two, short distant trips are of free sitting, which means people will be sardines inside the train carriages and there is a high chance that you dun get a seat. The good news: There are no reserved seats for elder/pregnant women/disabled/parents with kids.

The joint between carriages. Note the two lobangs on the side of the flooring.

Huge gap in the joint area between carriages. Can see the track ballast through the gap.

What about my beautiful sceneries along way? Unless you consider trees, tall grasses, zinc-roof houses with undies hanging outside, regular roads with vehicles, regular buildings, some cows, trees and tall grasses and more trees and tall grasses as "beautiful sceneries", you might as well just have an eye shut while the train works its way to its destination. Trust me, you get better views riding MRT in Singapore.

The coffee shop at Kluang station

I din't get the chance to try it.

"What happened to the photos of Kluang?". No photos. Simply because there was almost nothing of interest in Kluang near the train station. It was a one day trip and we did not venture far. For breakfast, there was a chicken rice shop which smelled heavenly but the taste was mediocre. Most of my relatives are food lovers, but nothing in sight caught our attention. In fact, there were not much food stores around. We ended up at KFC for lunch, what a pity. There was a froyo store that sells froyo which melted within a minute of scooping out. We visited a few of their shopping malls and some of them were in a worst condition than Katong Mall over at SG.

There HAS TO BE one photo of interest right??? Fine, I hereby present to you the most interested photo I've got during my Kluang trip:

A decomposing dead pig in midst of a canal. I really wonder how it got there.

The return trip was much like before. Book your ticket on the spot and get on the train to get squeezed, just that now, the tix cost RM5 instead. We discovered that you can jolly well board without a tic since there was no checkpoint before board and the ticket-checking officers did not check on anyone snoozing off on board. Even if you do get caught, you can simply exit the train and get back in from another entrance, for you can easily blend into the crowd.

Shot from the mini bridge where you go over to the other side of the tracks.

Familiar scene?

All ready to chiong in for seat. Singaporean spirit.

Before reaching Woodlands, the immigration officers would go down the carriage (one officer per carriage) and inspect your passport. No stamping this time, but he used a red pen and jotted down something on everyone's passport to indicate that you have cleared M'sia customs.

Arrival platform.

Going to Malaysia via KTM is fun for the first time for experience, but I doubt I would go again.

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