This is second serie of my post about hunting The Merlion. On first post I write about my intention to ride train from KL to Singapore but it turned out I have to accompany my friend to drive, hence no train experience. Thus, on this post I will jump to last episode of our journey, the train experience.
Before 2011, Singapore’s intercity train would be started from Tanjung Pagar Railway Station to Woodlands Train Checkpoint, passenger need to disembark and perform immigration check at both SG and Malaysia Authority whereas hosted at Woodlands Train Checkpoint. Currently, Tanjung Pagar has been closed. Therefore, all passenger can directly go to Woodlands Train Checkpoint. At Woodland, KTMB setup a customer and ticketing office where we can buy or change date and time of our ticket.
Okay, for you who plan to go by train like me and it would be first time experience, please be noted to stop at Woodlands Train Station and not Woodlands Checkpoint. Because these two points, though they are housed on same checkpoint but have different purpose, Woodlands checkpoint is for non-train transportation (car, bus, motor, etc) and Woodlands Train Checkpoint is for train (so obvious from the name isn’t ?). And if we stopped at Woodlands Checkpoint, there is no way to turn back, except we have to talk to the officer and explain the circumstance to him/her and they will escort us along the immigration routine to other side where Woodlands Train Checkpoint located. I know this, because I stopped at wrong side of checkpoint hehehehe.
Woodlands Checkpoint (foto: blogster.com)
Woodlands Train Checkpoint (foto: arukikata.sg)
Unfortunately, Woodlands Train Checkpoint can’t really compare with KL Sentral or Jakarta’s Gambir. Their waiting room is really simple and not convenience in my opinion. No convenient store selling food and other amenities. My train was scheduled to be departed on 23.30 and gate would be opened on 23.00, I made mistake by went early at 22.00, hence need to wait for about 1 hour. This is second notes you need to memorise, no need to rush, just make sure you reach train checkpoint before gate open. The less time you will spend on waiting gate open is better :)
Exactly at 11pm, they will open the gate (Singaporean is really efficient) and they will ask all passenger to form 2 line of queues and enter the gate for ticket checking. After done with ticket checking, we will need to walk to Singapore Immigration Checkpoint where they will check out passport and immigration form (if not Singaporean). Finish with Singapore’s checkpoint we walk again to Malaysia’s Immigration where again they will check our passport and scan our luggage. If everything okay, we are allowed to enter another waiting from and here is the place where we can eventually see train rail and the train itself.
I was not really sure if it was not my lucky day, but when we depart from Singapore at 11.30pm, we did not use the train that we should ride on. KTMB gave us temporary train with lower quality. The Train headed to Johor Baru Checkpoint where our “real” train waiting. We stepped down from temporary train and transferred to “real” train. I asked another passenger, and he said it was not what should be, normally the “real” train should already waiting for us at Woodlands.
The train is quite convenience, though some of its seats have broken spare part. Bunda’s seat food holder not working properly and mine had same issue as well. But saw Arda and Asty quite excited with their new train experience was more than enough for me. And they sleep well also on that train. Scheduled to reach Kuala Lumpur at 6.30am in the morning, it was delayed until few hours.
From this experience, I conclude train is okay but for next journey I prefer either drive, by flight or bus coach.