January 2nd, 2011
Author: Walter Lim
It has been quite some time since my wife and I travelled across the Causeway to Peninsula Malaysia, and we recently decided to embark on a day trip to Johor Bahru. To heighten the novelty of the sojourn, we decided to take a train from the Tanjong Pagar KTM Railway Station and to experience what its like to chug along the old railway line before the station is decommissioned and shifted to Woodlands.
Having trekked along the Bukit Timah Railway on foot, we were curious to feel what its like to be seated in the passenger carriages. It was also an invaluable opportunity to travel along a nostalgic, scenic and heritage rich route winding through the central core of our island. Yes, I must admit that we are quite “sua ku” (mountain tortoise) in this respect as our usual modes of transportation abroad are either by air, by car or by boat.
Here’s a visual account of our journey.
The old KTM station was built during the Colonial era and boasts of its distinctive architecture.
Inside the building, we were greeted by a cavernous hall and a high arched ceiling with natural light streaming in to illuminate the place.
I thought this wooden structure looked a little cute and charming in the middle of the station. I wondered what this was for?
Always be mindful of checking out the timings on this blue notice. Don’t trust the timings you find online as they are often inaccurate and outdated!
Queuing up to buy our tickets, we discovered that a S$3 train that we were supposed to take at 7.40 am had shifted to 7.15 am. As such, we can only take a S$13 per pax train at 8.00 am. Rrrigghht…..
A view of the train station from inside the “check in” area, after we have passed Malaysian Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ). It felt weird to have cleared the CIQ of Malaysia in our own backyard!
Another view of the track, with Tina and the train in sight.
The tickets issued were computer print outs – darn I was hoping for something more old skool and “loomantic”…
A view of the train and the track (no I’m not jumping off yet).
Tina comfortably seated and all ready to go.
As we rolled along the track, it was fun to see the backyards of people’s homes, harking back to a more rural and rustic era.
We also spotted imposing bungalows and semi-detached houses looming overhead.
Plus, of course, the ever ubiquitous HDB flats.
After travelling through Bukit Timah, Clementi, Choa Chu Kang and other estates, we reached the Woodlands CIQ complex which belonged to Singapore.
After clearing Singapore Customs and Immigration (after we have cleared Malaysian CIQ), the train (its No. 2) continued towards Johor Bahru where we were greeted by tall buildings.
The new train complex at JB was certainly impressive and spanking new. Hat tip to our Malaysian friends and counterparts!
Over here, you can grab a quick bite if you wish before venturing forth.
A view of the wave-like architecture of the train station, which was a sight for sore eyes.
Up next – eating and shopping in JB’s urban sprawl…
Tags: day trip, Holiday, Johor Bahru, KTM, Tanjong Pagar Train Station, train ride, travel