riding the ETS for the first time

Last few weeks, I had to go to UTP in Perak for a meeting. It was an important meeting and it has been postponed for a while. 

To me, the postponement was a blessing - I hated the journey going there. In the last few years, I've been there probably more than 5 times for discussions, meetings, alike and I did not enjoy the 3-hour car ride. Plus, Tronoh is probably the last town I'd ever be left stranded in - how people survived their 5-years uni there is a wonder. (coming from a person who's uni is in the middle of kampung Saijo, Hiroshima. In my defense, although Saijo is a kampung; it's a modern Japanese kampung where I could cycle to my classes and get things delivered to my door the next day, no hassle.)

So, my colleague suggested we take the ETS.

"The what?"

"ETS lah, the KTM fast train. It's convenient, it'd probably take you 2 hours to reach there"

Sounds luxurious. To have a 2-hour nap in the train, and not having to drive!

So I agreed.

Booked our tickets online a day before, and aboard the 9.00 am train at KL Sentral. Since Shahrul's office is near the LRT, we carpooled that morning to his office and I took the LRT from there to KL Sentral.

The 9 am train came on time. Super impressed with the punctuality! (considering KTM previous track records..) The train stopped at some stations before reaching our destination, Batu Gajah. It's a station closest to UTP.

There weren't that many people at first, but as the train stopped more and more people came in. But thankfully I still had some privacy to take my nap, because there was no one seated next to me and my coach was quite empty.

The seat is quite spacious, too. And clean!

In my high school years, I've taken probably a dozen bus rides to go back to Penang - and I have quite an experience riding those express buses. The cheap but filthy ones, the expensive and first star ones, double-decker ones..I've seen them all. 

So riding the ETS gave me quite an impression - such a huge upgrade from those torn-seats days.

The scenery was not that bad, too.

After 2 hours, we reached our destination, Batu Gajah and took a cab to UTP. If during previous meetings I was barely awake because of the tiring drive from KL in the early morning, that day I had no problem to do my technical presentation lol.

Having experienced the Japanese bullet trains several times in uni, I can safely say the ETS comes close to its quality, though not as fast as the renowned famous bullet train in the world. Malaysia can do so much better in the public transport department I'm sure - but ETS is surely one major step towards it. Even local trains in Japan was not all in perfect condition - some are old, and squeaky - but the punctuality is the one thing they'd adhere first.

Good to know we can have the similar practice here.

(For ticket bookings online, go to here)

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