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I’d fully intended to write a long blog about this fascinating trip but I’m currently holed up in my hotel in Kuala Lumpur after another busy day and I’ve realised I’m really not going to be able to do the trip justice is such a short time. I need a full morning to write about the trip, not just half an hour, so the trip report will come tomorrow.

After 6 days constantly on the move I’m having a day off tomorrow. I’m staying in a hotel with all the facilities I need like a desk, plenty of power sockets and wifi and if I get lonely there’s a big mirror over the desk so I can always talk to myself. I even have a TV with Netflix, so this is a cut above where I normally stay. I’s in the old Chinatown district where I’ve been staying for years – although it’s changed as Covid sounded the death-knell for many businesses. There’s a lot of vacant shops but life is slowly returning to the place. I’ll explore more tomorrow and explain as I’m having an admin and rest day, rather than gallivanting around the city’s public transport network. I’ve got plenty of time for that in the next few days. So, my apologies if you were expecting a magnum opus today. Still, here’s a couple of taster pictures for you.

My train heads North on the early part of the trip. As you can see, it’s not just a case of laying another track next to the old one. In many places there’s a completely new formation and all flat crossings have been replaced with overbridges. The lineside also has much improved drainage and many gradients have been flattened.
An increasingly rare sight on Malaysian Railways, once there were a network of sleeper trains carrying you around the network. Now there’s just on on the ‘jungle’ line from Kuala Lipis. Here’s the Southbound working passing us at the huge new station and yards at Menkibol.
The old Victorian colonial railway has well and truly vanished. A single track line with station that often just had a single platform and a loop or two have been swept away with four platform places like this which have level access to all areas.
The old station at Gemas, the junction for the jungle railway with the new station in the background. This is currently the Southern limit of double tracking and electrification. The old stations’ been preserved but plans to turn it into a museum have fallen by the wayside. Even a few years ago it still maintained an excellent cafe/restaurant but this has fallen on hard times. Now it’s just teas, soft-drinks and boiled eggs. Still, it’s cool for cats (many occupy the station as someone feeds them). As for the rest of the place, Gemas isn’t exactly a thriving town, it’s not even one-horse…
I made a friend…
An all to common sight around KL’s Chinatown at the moment.

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