Tuesday, November 01, 2011

ETS - Malaysia first Electric Train...

Well, this is new to Malaysia. They had been on this project for years already and I found the first phase was completed this year and the service start operation last May. It is call the ETS, short for Electric Train Service. As usual with me I wanted to try something new and this is surely going to be an interesting ride on an electric train in the country. So I planned to take the train to the north, to the city of Ipoh, the capital of the state of Perak. I ask my spouse whether she wanted to go too but she decline saying that it’s not that comfortable to sit for the more than two hours ride. I told her that I would go alone and try it. A relative who heard of me going call and say that he wanted to go too; so that was nice, we have now two cranky old man to take the trip together. 

On the gorgeous morning of October 13, 2011 we made history. I had told that relative of mine to meet me at the Sentral Station and we would take the 10:45AM train. This train would make a few stops on the way with the ETA in Ipoh at 13:01.  There are three types of services to Ipoh; one a nonstop, another with a few stops and the other with many stops. We decided to just take the one with a few stops that leave at 10:45 in the morning. [image on the left is the Ipoh Railway Station]

It was a beautiful day with the sun shining bright. I could see some white clouds against the blue sky.  It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day to travel. I drove the Honda to the parking lot of the KLCC then walk to the underground station of the LRT nearby and took the LRT to the Sentral Station arriving there just before ten. The Sentral Station, the hub of the railways service to all part of the country is already hived with folks like any other central station in the world are at this hour of the morning. It was really nice to see so many people on the move and going somewhere. We are actually going on a trip to nowhere. Just for the fun of it only. That folks is the beauty of been a retiree, nothing to worry and with plenty of time to ourselves. Time is ours to use how and whenever we like careless of the happening in the real world. Life if beautiful and I am enjoying it. So this first trip on the ETS is going to be an enjoyable one. Besides I had my iPad with me and could surf the net and at the same time give live commentary in Facebook for the world to share my trip today. 

I went to book the ticket and for senior we were given a 50% discount and that amount to just RM27.00 one-way. At 10:45Am we boarded the train and it whizzed it way to Ipoh with a few stops on the way. We both got seats on the front and nearer the TV screen overhead, where they show some movie and the same time the time as well the speed the train was traveling. I took my iPad and start surfing the net. It was really nice to going places when one could just take it easy and enjoy the ride. With the iPad I did a live posting of the happening on FaceBook all the way until we arrived in Ipoh. While in the train drink and snack were sold. I ordered a black coffee and a sandwich. The coffee taste good and the sandwich were as well. I relax and enjoy the ride while surfing the Net. Soon there are comments on the FaceBook posting. I replied the best I could and kept posting new images of the happening on the train and the scene outside. [Image on the left is the Ipoh tree]

On arrival we got outside the station and since Lias, my relative knows this part of the town well, he took the lead. There is a beautiful park out-front of the station. I love park so I took the time to browse along and took as much images of the well manicured garden. The greens on the park refresh me. I wonder along and found there is wealth of knowledge in that little park. Here planted in a prominent setting is the Ipoh tree, a tree where the poison Ipoh latex came from. It was use by the native to poison their blowpipes darts. The place that was once a jungle full of the Ipoh trees is now a sprawling metropolis the capital city of the state of Perak. Ipoh soon became the mining town and now the name of that humble tree is the name of that town call Ipoh. In this garden too there is a Cenotaph to commemorate the lost of lives during the second world war where many lives was lost building the infamous railway-line to south Thailand. After awhile we decided to move on and eventually went to have lunch at the food court behind the Town hall building. After that lunch of a traditional Malay food we decided to just take a spin on the town by taxi. As usual we got to talking with the taxi-man that adds to our knowledge of this town in the north. We decided to get some of Ipoh's famous White Coffee and then took the ride back to the Railway Station. 

There we decided to get the 4PM train to KL. While waiting for the train we decided to have coffee at the Station's cafe. It was nice to sit outside and watch folks gather to board the train. As usual, with the iPad I posted an image of us while having coffee there. Unlike the laptop one does not have to download the photo from the camera and then post it to FB. With the iPad it was made easy; just click and then post it using one of the Apps. In my case I use the Mypad+. Voila it got posted while we were sipping coffee there. Soon the train arrived and we board it and this time it whizzed away to Kuala lumpur. As the train approach Kuala Lumpur I saw scenes of my city that I had not seen from this angle. I took my camera and snap a number’s of the changing scenes. It was a magnificent sight to see the panoramic scenes of the city. The images are as I had posted in my earlier Blog posting here.

It was a great train ride to and fro KL-Ipoh-KL and indeed a value for money. The interior was beautifully done with a cheerful concept. The ride was smooth and comfortable all the way. How I wished this ETS would go north as far as Penang and to the South as far as Johor Bahru, our gateway to Singapore.I did had a great time on that train ride. An enjoyable day trip indeed.

Have a nice day. [Please click image to enlarge]


benadam said...

Really a great trip Pak...the interior looks like the Eurostar train from London to Paris. Shall realised this trin ride for a plate of famous Ipoh char kuew tewau...thanks for sharing Pak

el-f said...

Excellent write-up, and good PR for the ETS. Will organize a day outing with my friends and plan a similar itinerary.

el-f said...

Excellent write-up, and good PR for the ETS. Will organize a day trip with my friends and plan a similar itinerary.

Pak Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
It would be fun if I could join you on the trip. The two hour ride will not be too taxing for old people like me though I know you could easily handle it. Thanks for sharing.

Mohd Adib Noh said...

Saya sudah jeles lah,hehehe..The young man from Beris is joining his riding buddies soon going to Ipoh by ETS and we shall bring our folding bikes along.From the Ipoh Railway Station,we plan to roam Bandaraya Ipoh and paint the town red before we depart home to KL Sentral;-)

Al-Manar said...

Alas ! How I wish I would ride one from KT to KL.

Pak Idrus said...

benadam, Thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

Yes indeed a great trip that I would repeat from time to time to enjoy the ride, as well to get to see more of Ipoh as a tourist. I believe you too would enjoy the trip to and fro. It a plus point in railway traveling in our country.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

el-f, Lily thanks for the visit and the good words on this posting. It was indeed a great trip if only to enjoy the smooth ride.

As I had told you it would be great for go with friends and enjoy Ipoh, then return. In between everyone would surely get space to exchange notes as well. Bring along you laptop full-charged and facebooking from the train like I did. It would surely be an enjoyable ride.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Pak Zawi, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

Had you been around I would surely ask you to join that day. Never mind we can always go again. After all t is just a short day trip and we would surely enjoyed it.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Mohd Adib Noh, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

Yes it would be a good idea to go in a group and enjoy the trip. You going with your folded bike is a fantastic idea and I think I saw space for storing such bike on the train. Anyway do check with the ETS to make sure whether you could bring the bicycle.

I believe it would be a boost to the train as well to tourism if you folks do make that trip and then cycle around Ipoh.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Al-Manar, Hassan thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

Well I do hope you could travel from KT to KL in such train in the future. If there is such a train service I would surely use it to get to the east coast and enjoy the trip.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Note: This is an email to me from ETS. I am sharing it here for all to read.

ETS - Askus askus@ets-train.com.my

Nov 2 (2 days ago)

to me
Hi Pak Idrus,

Greetings from ETS!

Thank you for choosing us as your preferred mode of transport. Its been an honor to have an opportunity to train-ing you in ETS. The blog that you have featured your experience with ETS, gives us more motivation to improve our service and to serve our guest better in the future.

We look forward to welcoming you back. Thank you.

benadam said...

Pak Idrus,
I applaud ETS for their response to the good reviews appearing in your blog. On the same note, I do hope that the power that be at ETS will make the same quick and positive response to future complaints, if there's any.
Happy blogging Pak Idrus and keep on the good work

Temuk said...

No time, energy or RM (50% discount!) constraints, so why not? The one-day return trip is certainly worthwhile. I hope I can make the trip like what you have done one of these days. And I also hope that ETS will continue to provide its excellent service to the public.

Pak Idrus said...

benadam, thanks for the return visit and sharing your thought on this ETS.

Like you I do hope they keep the high standard of service all along. It is important that the Train not only be a mode of transport but a place to relax and enjoy too. It happens quite often in this country that the service is good and clean at the start of their service only but deteriorate as its move on. Let hopes that it does not happens to this ETS. The only way for the service to be always up to date is for the CEO to take a ride from time to time and not to leave to the staff only on such an important aspect of the service industries.

Let hopes for the best. I would take the train again and see for myself the service as at a give time.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

Temuk, Thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

Like I said in this posting I did enjoy the ride and would surely do it again. Ipoh all of a sudden became so close and could be reach in a comfort time for a lunch and back home on the same day.

As long as the service is kept in an excellence condition like now I believe it would be a hit to folks who want to enjoy train travel. I did and I believe others are too.

Let me know if you need company when you take the train to Ipoh. If I am free I would surly accompany you.

Have a nice day.

Prasetyo said...

Nice articles. I'm just blogwalking and very happy to stop here. And also give you some comment here.

Dont forget to give us some your comment into my blog too.

Thanks for share,
* Rio Prasetyo *

xplorer said...

No need to use mypad anymore. Facebook had recently released an official app for ipad.

Pak Idrus said...

Prasetyo, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts here. Yes I have visited your Blog.

Have a nice day.

Pak Idrus said...

xplorer, Thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the posting of image at FB using the iPad.

Yes I have that new Apps for FB but I still prefer to use the mypad from time to time. Other than that FB Apps for iPad I have got Photo express where I could edit and post images to iPad too.

Thanks and do have a nice day.

Cheqna said...

Assalamualaikum Pak Idrus,

This is interesting, gives me the idea of doing the same, making a trip to Ipoh this way instead of driving.


Pak Idrus said...

Cheqna, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on the subject of this posting.

Well I am glad that this posting did helps in some way in making our lives more interesting. Go and take it and I am sure you, like me would enjoy the ride.

Have a nice day.