Sunday, June 19, 2016

Test ride for tourism plan

Making its debut: The Eastern Holiday Train making its way
to the entry point of Kelantan at the Gua Musang station.

PETALING JAYA: KTM Bhd (KTMB) will be unveiling its maiden “tourism” train to the east coast of the peninsula at the end of this month.
Called the Eastern Holiday Train, the service is priced at a premium, with a one-way adult fare from Kuala Lumpur to Tumpat, Kelantan, starting from RM87, going up all the way to RM132 in what is billed as promotional pricing for the festive period.
A bus ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Baru costs as low as RM45, with a travel time of about eight hours. The train will take about 15 hours.
This maiden service, consisting of 10 trips using existing basic coaches, is meant to serve the urgent need for travel during Hari Raya, said Mohd Noordin Kimi, KTMB’s senior marketing manager for intercity services.
The first train will pull out from Tumpat on June 30, while the last train leaves Kuala Lumpur on July 11. No services will be available on July 6 and 7, the expected dates for the Hari Raya this year.
The ticket comes with two pre-packed meals as well as an unspecified “rail-based” memento which KTMB said costs RM44.
KTMB restarted its Johor Baru to Tumpat service on May 19, a 725km-journey that takes slightly more than 17 hours, averaging at 43kph.
The Eastern Holiday Train will move at pretty much the same speed.
The train will make 12 stops along the 702 km route between Kuala Lumpur and Tumpat – Kajang, Bandar Tasik Selatan, Seremban, Pulau Sebang (Tampin), Jerantut, Kuala Lipis, Gua Musang, Dabong, Kuala Krai, Tanah Merah, Pasir Mas and Wakaf Bharu.
With the exception of the last train on July 11, all seats have been sold, when The Star enquired at KL Sentral yesterday morning.
Noordin said this was only the beginning of better things to come as the actual holiday train will feature totally refurbished coaches and better timing for tourism purposes.
Without committing to a deadline, he added that a lot of time was needed to freshen up the interior, though it is unlikely that the services of any interior designer would be called upon at this juncture.
“The future Eastern Holiday Train will feature new curtains, mattresses and bedsheets.
“As far as rail tourism is concerned, we are also working with the Culture and Tourism Ministry to bring in tourists who will pay a premium to experience our service.”
More information is available at www.ktmb.com.my.
-thestar online.

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