Detour: Johor Bahru (via the KTM Intercity Train)

Johor Bahru, or “JB” as the Singaporeans call it, sits just across the Straits of Johor in Malaysia. Most people, when traveling to and from this huge industrial city, take a cab or a bus or a car across the Johor–Singapore Causeway, a roughly 1km road that links JB to the town of Woodlands in Singapore.

Fellow blogger Flora and I decided to take the train from Singapura to JB Sentral. It was such a thrill to travel on a railway line that was once a vital mode of transport between Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Truly, it was the journey of a lifetime.

KTM to Johor Bahru
KTM to Johor Bahru
KTM to Johor Bahru
KTM to Johor Bahru

If you go: Go soon! You have until July 1, 2011. After that date, trains will cease to operate at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and trains to and from Malaysia will terminate at Woodlands Train Checkpoint.

We took the 8:00 Ekspres Rakyat to JB (SG$13/US$10.45 for reserved seating) and the 9:52am commuter shuttle (RM3/US$0.99, no reserved seats) back to Singapore. Ekspres tickets can be purchased up to 24 hours prior to travel; shuttle tickets can only be purchased up to 30 minutes prior to travel.

(Additional credits: Special thanks to Jerome of The Long and Winding Road.)

7 responses

  1. When I was a kid, we took the train in to JB several times for weekend shopping. Actually, not just weekend shopping, but with the specific goal of buying pirated VHS tapes. We would return with about 20 tapes per trip, mostly Pink Panther, Tom & Jerry and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – a very good haul. Nothing, however, beat “Dirty Dancing”. That June (school holidays), I watched that movie once a day. To this day, I can recite lines and recreate dance scenes (slovenly) from it.

  2. Used to take the overnighter when I was a kid to see my grandparents in KL and Ipoh. Had the time of my life rolling around the bunk (and over my sister) and never got much sleep. I need to go again before it shuts down!

  3. What a pity! I hope they would use the train station for something else; they have such beautiful architecture inside. I love taking trains, a more human way to travel than planes and Greyhounds haha. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I read Flora’s post on the train stations just a couple days’ back and I’m definitely intending to make a photography trip to the stations. Might be taking the train too, if time permits! :)

    You know what? I reckon that you have visited more off-the-beaten places of attraction and met more interesting people than most Singaporeans actually do!

  5. I bet the bridges will have a better chance of staying but the tracks will go. I love the tracks though, makes a cool scene for photo taking.

  6. I hope the tracks stay as well.

    I took the train when I was a child and it was one of my fondest memories as it was my very first time on a train. I had not been on a plane before either. Just wonderful car journeys to Malaysia.