Skip to main content

Next stop, Sungkai

The locomotive joins the failed train

A routine trip to Kuala Lumpur Hospital for a medical check up turned out to be a nightmare for Rabiaa Dani and her husband.

Their ticket was for a day train ride to KL Sentral, leaving Ipoh railway station at 8.20am, and returning to Ipoh at night. The couple arrived safely at KL Sentral Station and proceeded to the hospital immediately.

Everything went well at the hospital. They even managed to sneak a shopping trip to KLCC for a quick look see before returning to KL Sentral for their 7.40pm train back to Ipoh.

The train (9032), like clockwork, departed at the scheduled time. Both Rabiaa and her husband fell asleep about ten minutes after the train had left KL Sentral station. They woke up shortly before hearing the sound of a heavy object hitting something; the train came to a halt soon after.

Replacement train at Sungkai station

Their nighmare had begun.

Rabiaa and her husband later learned that the train had hit a pig which was crossing the track at kilometre 259.00. The impact had damaged the twin tower air dryer pipe and train Captain declared failure at 21.57pm.

KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu or Malayan Railway) had arranged for Loko 29101 ex 155 to pull the stranded train to Sungkai's Platform 1 where all passengers would disembark. Another train, Set E203, from Batu Gajah would be on standby to pick up the helpless passengers and advance to Ipoh, the final destination for Train 9032.

It was a long wait for the locomotive, reaching Sungkai before 12.30am. The replacement train left Sungkai station at 12.34am. Thankfully, passengers could take a toilet break at Sungkai station. It was not possible to use the toilets on the failed train as stewardesses on duty had locked them as soon as they discerned the failure.

Passengers arrived at Ipoh station before 1.30am. Phew! It's time for a well deserved teh tarik and an opportunity to review what had just happened.

On the whole, passengers were well behaved with a few demanding for a proper explanation from the stewardesses who tried their best to accommodate their requests.

Rabiaa and her husband are not likely to forget the nasty incident but it has not lessen their love for trains and train rides. Their next trip to Kuala Lumpur is in December.


Comments

Popular Posts

When a card came out of the blue ...

This post is prompted by a remark made by my good friend Wei Lin. She saw me reading a card I had received from a friend recently and said: "Traditional cards are so old-fashioned."

I wondered if that was true and decided to probe into the issue. A Google search revealed numerous articles on the debate between traditional paper-based cards and e-cards. Tracey Grady's examination of the pros and cons of each type is informative.

In my opinion, e-cards are not substitutes for the real (traditional) ones and they shouldn't be. I treat e-card e-mails with suspicion because spammers could be using them to download viruses and software onto my computer.

I have never sent anyone an e-card and I don't plan to; I dislike the cold impersonality of conveying greetings electronically.

I have always liked sending and receiving cards the traditional way.

The ritual of going to a bookshop, browsing at the card section, picking a suitable one for the recipient and then walking to a p…

Why Shamsul Amri dislikes Facebook

People who do not use Facebook fall into three broad categories.

The first group is completely indifferent to it, the second finds it mildly irritating and the third dislikes it intensely.

Malaysia's prominent sociologist Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin is of the last type.

I made the mistake of asking Shamsul, who is director of the Institute of Ethnic Studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, if he was on Facebook, the social network which was hatched up in the dormitories of Harvard six years ago.

"I have a face and I keep thousands of books. Why do I need Facebook?"

How do you react to that reply?

I didn't. I meekly invited him to elaborate on his reasons.

"Facebook will take away my soul and I won't allow that to happen because I am a believer," says Shamsul fiercely, who launched into a tirade of accusations against Facebook.

Ninety per cent of the things you read on Facebook are either petty, bitter, rude or offensive.

"I refuse to rea…

In the waiting room

People are always waiting for something.

They could be waiting for the train, an opportunity, promises to be fulfilled or the return of a loved one.

But "what does waiting mean in our lives and what is life without waiting?"


That question was posed by Danny Castillones Sillada in his article "What is Life without Waiting?" (The Metaphysics of Waiting).

The passing of the old year demands another round of gloomy introspection and Sillada's article came at the right time, given the value of waiting in our lives.

"Waiting," he explains, is "an emotional and mental state, which is preconditioned to anticipate someone or something to arrive at a particular time and place".

Sillada tells us that there are two types of waiting: empirical and metaphysical.

The empirical form of waiting is "where the certainty of the waited and the occurrence of event are tangibly expected to happen within a particular time and place of the waiter".

But wh…