When I heard the news of the exchange of land between Malaysia and Singapore a few months back. I know I have little time to kind of getting a chance to visit this old train station and try taking a train from this station to Malaysia.
Luckily I had 4 days off last week so I took this opportunity to take a train to KL on Thursday and then back again during the night. So literally its just a 24 hour trip back and forth.
This may sounds crazy to some but I really like trains. I think they are elegant and a very efficient transport (in terms of going green). The thing is that we always heard a lot of negatives comments on the train services and the last time I took the train to JB was during my secondary school days. And its actually not a very good experience the last time. Train was late for almost 2 hours.. :P
Nevertheless. I believe this old structure and the railway will be gone soon. There are already notices at the station informing the closure in end of July 2011. I will be away from Singapore in December so I guess its the last chance for me to experience the track for one last time. Do I roped in my photo buddy Mr Dog (u saw hime a few times in my travels) to have this little trip.
Pricing wise is crazy. The price is $34 SGD and $68 for VIP. All air-conditioned but here's the funny part. If you buy at TP (Tanjong Pagar). The price is in SGD. But if you buy in Malaysia (like JB or KL) Its the exact same amount but in bloody Malaysian Rinngit!!! So for those who want to try the experience and want to save some money.. Maybe you can board from JB instead. I decided to go ahead as I want to go through the whole process of buying the tickets at the station and board the train at TP.. :P
I bought the tickets a day earlier and the gentleman at the counter is very helpful. Do remember to bring more cash. No nets or credit cards at the station. The nearest ATM is DBS and its 2 blocks away from the station. (I learnt my lesson.. :P)
I bought the morning train which leaves TP at 8am. The ticket mention it will reach KL at 14:56. We reached there around 6.30am and had our breakfast at the station canteen. Nasi Lemak and a cup of Kopi. We board the train at around 7:45am and here's the funny part. The immigration for Malaysia (not Singapore hor!!) is at the station and we have to cross the immigration and customs of Malaysia before boarding the train. I still need to fill out the arrival card. No stamp was chopped on my passport. Only on the arrival card and they did not even tear the arrival part.
The train departed on time and as usual, Mr Dog went to sleep while I enjoyed the scenery. Its really an old track and not really well maintained. Technically, we are in Singapore but legal wise, we are in Malaysia. Very strange feeling... What if the train breaks down and I stepped out of the track... consider me as illegal immigrant anot har?? :P hehe. Along the way we cross some bridges and I spotted a few homeless people sleeping there. I was not fast enough to take a picture. Moving trains and the dirty glass panel is a pain in the ass.
The train took about 45mins to reach Woodlands checkpoint. Here all of us got out and have our passport scanned. They have a waiting area after you finish clearing the Singapore immigration. Here we wait for the rest of the passengers and they will only open the gates for us to board the train until everyone of us are cleared.
Below is a GPS snapshot of the track. I recorded it while I was on the train back from KL. Will continue part 2 in another post. Some photos taken during the trip are in my gallery. Do feel free to browse through them.
View Ktm Railway Track in a larger map