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Home Malaysia Singapore to Chiang Mai ⇒ Ekspres Tebrau

Singapore to Chiang Mai by Train

3The Ekspres Tebrau to Kuala Lumpur

The ticket counter at Singapore Railway Station
The ticket counter at Singapore Station

With only a handful of trains a day, Singapore’s only railway station is an oasis of calm. A large, airy colonial building, it is so quiet inside that we found ourselves whispering as if we were in a cathedral. The centrally situated ticket counter sells tickets in advance and for same day travel.

 

There are three trains a day to Kuala Lumpur Sentral (KL), two in the morning and one in the late afternoon. The ride is smooth but the train doesn’t get up much speed and the views are mostly cassava fields and sugar palm plantations on hills, interspersed with wooden houses and colourful glimpses of Hindu Ghats. All formalities take place just before the causeway where everyone has to get off the train and race through several buildings to get everything stamped before piling back onto the train.

The platforms at Singapore Railway Station
The platforms at Singapore Railway Station

The diesel-pulled carriages are run down affairs, even in first class, with tatty seats and dirty windows and were noisy from the television in every compartment. I escaped by sitting in the television-less buffet car. At least during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of daytime fasting, the food available was very limited; desiccated fried rice and luke-warm pot noodles. This line is currently being upgraded and electrified so the service should see some big improvements in the near future.

 
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