The Ekspress Rakyat Timuran is West Malaysia’s only sleeper train service and runs once a day in each direction along Malaysia’s East Coast Railway Line, also known as the Jungle Line.
The East Coast Railway Line starts in Tumpat, which is near to the far eastern section of the border with Thailand not far from Sungai Kolok, and travels south to Johor Bahru, which is the connection point for services to Singapore. Most foreign visitors who use the Ekspress Rakyat Timuran are travelling between either Wakar Bharu (near Koha Bharu) and Gemas (for connecting serves to Melaka), or between Wakaf Bharu and Johor Bharu for travel to Singapore. Another popular stop on route is Jerantut, from where passengers can travel to Taman Negara National Park.
Train times of the Ekspress Rakyat Timuran
The southbound Ekspress Rakyat Timuran departs from Tumpat just before sunset and arrives in Johor Bharu at midday on the following day.
Northbound Ekspress Rakyat Timuran services also depart just before sunset and reach Tumpat at lunch time the next day.
For passengers alighting in Wakaf Bharu there is ample time to reach Hat Yai by public transport by the early evening in time to check into a hotel and go out for an evening meal.
Buy Malaysia Train Tickets
Before you board the train you should print out the electronic booking voucher you are sent after paying for the ticket to show to the ticket collector on the train.
Sleeper berths on the Ekspress Rakyat Timuran
Ekspress Rakyat Timuran services have several carriages of sleeper berths. All sleeper berths on the Ekspress Rakyat Timuran are same, there are no 1st class compartments available.
Sleeper carriages on the Ekspress Rakyat Timuran have 40 berths arranged bunk bed style with a corridor down the middle and fixed ladders to make the upper bunks accessible.
The carriages are air-conditioned and each berth has a privacy curtain.
Each passenger is provided with a pillow and a blanket. Unlike on Thai trains, both the lower and the upper bunks have windows.
Seating on the Ekspress Rakyat Timuran
The Ekspress Rakyat Timuran also has seating only carriages as well which are cheaper but less popular.
There is only type of seating carriage on the Ekspress Rakyat Timuran, which is air-conditioned with partially reclining airline style seats arranged in pairs, all facing the same direction.
Food on the Ekspress Rakyat Timuran
The Ekspress Rakyat Timuran also has a restaurant car, usually located towards the rear of the train and accessible from all carriages.
The restaurant car on the Ekspress Rakyat Timuran has a limited number of seats and many customers choose to take the food back to their seats. Smoking is banned in the restaurant car but some customers smoke anyway.
The menu in the restaurant car on the Ekspress Rakyat Timuran is limited to basic rice and noodle dishes, as well as some pre-packaged food items. Tea and coffee are available as well but no alcohol. The items in the restaurant car are reasonably priced and only slightly more expensive than if you had purchased them before you boarded the train.