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Finally, I found time to blog on my experience riding on the spanking new electric train from Stesen Sentral @ KL Sentral to Ipoh and share photos of the new electric train. Please be forewarned that some of these photos did not turn out so well because of low lighting and there is no anti-shake feature in the iPhone. I was travelling light, you see, and left the digital camera at home.
So like I mentioned in my earlier post, I went to KL for one day and bought my two tickets (Ipoh – KL Sentral – Ipoh) a week in advance. I didn’t trust ETS (Perkhidmatan Tren Elektrik) to launch their service on 12th August like they said they would since the service was supposed to start in December 2009, and then it was postponed to April 2010, July 2010, the first week of August 2010 and then finally, it really did start on 12th August, 2010.
Even though I already bought my tickets, I tried to get a refund so that I could ride on the electric train just for the experience. Since the office at Ipoh Railway Station was still closed on the afternoon of 11th Aug, I thought, what the heck, I’ll just try my luck in Stesen Sentral @ KL Sentral itself.
On the morning that I arrived in Stesen Sentral @ KL Sentral, I made my way to the ETS counter. Do note that ETS, a subsidiary of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad, has its own office which is on the opposite wing of KTM counter in Stesen Sentral @ KL Sentral. Do you know the counters of Go Genting and Genting Highlands Taxi Services? ETS is directly opposite. Coming in from the entrance facing Hilton and Le Meridien hotels, turn right.
The counter girl was very friendly and helpful. I managed to buy my ticket for the express service (I see no point taking the transit service) for MYR30 and made my way to the KTM counter to cancel my KL Sentral – Ipoh ticket, getting back 50% of what I paid. I had to submit a form to request a refund. I lost money because of this but it was not a big loss, luckily.
The ETS girl told me to return to the office to wait for the train 30 minutes before departure time. When I arrived in the evening, I was quite surprised to see the crowd outside the office! There were seats inside for customers but those were for passengers waiting to buy their tickets. Those of us who already had tickets were basically milling around outside the office. Some, like me, just sat on the floor.
We waited until the time the train was supposed to arrive and then were ushered by an ETS “stewardess” to Platform 2, where the train was supposed to stop. The platform was dark and hot (it’s underground) and there was no where to sit at all. The floor was inviting but dirty. We waited this way, luckily no one fainted, until the train arrived after a 30-minute delay. What a relief it was to hop on board the electric train!!!
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