Every time I see a train, I will take its photo. The good shots I shared on my blog and the ordinary photos go to my Flickr account. In the last ten years, I have also posted on my Facebook with a written apology for my indulgence with too many of the train and railway stations. I even wonder why I like trains and love to travel by train for my commuting as well as when I travel overseas. Looking back to my schooling days in SDAR, Tanjung Malim and Technical Institute Kuala Lumpur(KL), I discovered my answer. Every school term, three times a year, I had to take the train from Palekbang in Tumpat, via Gemas to Kuala Lumpur and Tanjung Malim. Over a span of eight years, I travelled 48 times! Each journey is about 24 hours. With that period of exposure during my younger days, I have been conditioned to like the train, especially KTM(Keretapi Tanah Melayu).
Since I moved to Bangi more than ten years ago, I usually take Komuter Train from UKM to KL Sentral or from MRT Kajang to KL. From KL Sentral/ Pavilion KL, I can go almost every where to my preferred destinations either by LRT trains or bus. I am taking this alternative to travel because I want to avoid stressful traffic jams and reduce my cost of transport if I had to use my own car. Since eight years ago when I qualified to become a senior citizen, my train fares is cut by half. From Kajang MRT Station to Pavilion MRT, KL I need to pay only RM2.10
When I was a student at SDAR/TIKL, I travelled on 3rd class coach using warrant tickets given by the government. I dreamt then that one fine day, I will travel first class. Thirty years later, when I have two young boys, I took my family from KL to Johor Bharu by train and we had a holiday in Singapore. It took six hours and I had a great time with my wife and kids on the train. As they say, the journey is the destination. Travelling by train brought back my memories when I was a student in England way back in the early ‘70s. The good old British Rail was my preferred choice of transport from Sheffield to London.
My longest train travel was from London to Lancaster more than a decade ago. Whenever I am in the UK, I travel by train to enjoy watching English rolling countryside passing by my train window. The memories of my life in Sheffield from 1973–76 started rolling in at the speed my train travels. One scary ride of Eurostar from London to Paris was a few weeks after the tunnel caught fire. My kids and my wife were having fun during the journey but I was praying for safety all the time. As they say, ignorant is bliss. Knowledge is at times a burden.
In April 2012, I went to Holland to visit a sick friend living in Leiden. He passed away a year later. When my plane landed at Schipol Airport, I went straight to the railway station and took the double-deckers train. I love every minute of the journey, not to mention having a preview of tulips gardens along the route. Two days later, my late friend Guus Liberstein and his wife Marjolein took me to visit Keukenhof. And that made my day. During my five days stay in Leiden,I went cycling with them. But then, it is another story of my hobby-cycling.
In May 2017, I joined a group to go cycling in Holland. On the way home to Kuala Lumpur, we took a detour by taking a EuroStar from Amsterdam to London. That was fun.
Whenever I visit London, I usually take The Tube( London Underground Train Service). It can take me wherever I want to go. My latest travel on British Rail was in May 2017
. If I were to close my eyes, I still know when I am on The Tube. The smell and the sound have never changed since my first ride in September 1973. It the same thing with KTM. The ambience remains but the memory comes back from different times of my life..