“Let’s take a train from Tanjong Pagar Railway Station before it closes in July!”
Grown adults we were – but only one of us had ever been on a Singapore-Malaysia rail journey. So a date was set. 4 June, 2011. There were 6 takers.
The train was delayed. When we first got onto our second class seats, we were hit by the smell of stale upholstery and takeaway fried breakfasts.
“Actually, I think it’s pretty clean.”
“Sit down everyone, let’s take a picture!”
Out whipped the cameras, bringing forth a glut of photos.
“Hey, this one’s bad. Look here again!”
“Are you done already?”
“Oi, take the train, not me!”
Snappity snap went the cameras.
More time passed. At 8.30am, we heard wheels moving, gears shifting. There was a sudden, welcome jerk. The train started chugging along, taking its own sweet time.
We discovered, to our dismay, that our seats were facing the wrong way. Trains, HDB flats, the causeway, fields, appeared without warning, looming large before receding back into the horizon. No biggie, except for one of us, who got slightly carsick. She fell asleep. The rest of us yakked like ducks throughout, despite having to wake up in the wee hours to catch this train.
We reached Kluang at 11.30am. Left for home at 6.55pm, and arrived back at Tanjong Pagar Station at 10.30pm.
One full day.