Terror train ride

While the KTM Komuter service is pretty efficient normally, PEGGY LOH advises against trying to get on board during the peak hours.

Rush hour at the train station
Rush hour at the train station
A cousin from Sydney was in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru recently on a family visit. After spending an afternoon in MidValley Megamall, he left for Subang Jaya to meet some relatives. Adventurous by nature, he opted to take the KTM Komuter because he had used the train before and found it to be quite a good service.

Unfortunately, this time, he caught the train during the peak hours and it turned out to be an unforgettable experience!

He boarded the train at MidValley and at KL Sentral, switched to the train headed for Subang Jaya. The train from MidValley was pretty packed but at least it was only one stop away to KL Sentral. The train ride from KL Sentral to Subang Jaya was much more interesting. As soon as the train arrived, the commuters rushed for the doors. The pushing and shoving would have done the Rugby All Blacks forward pack proud and these were only the women!

At the same time, with exiting passengers pushing in the opposite direction to get off, it turned out to be a bit of a rugby scrum! Caught in the thick of the stampede, my cousin found himself being pushed and semi-lifted into the carriage.

On the plus side he didn’t have to do anything but just move along in unison like a portable airbag! But since he was carrying a fair amount of money, he kept his hands in his pockets for fear of pickpockets. Inside, he found himself surrounded by women of all shapes and sizes. It was quite unbearable to be assailed by the blend of body aromas and intense humidity. To say the carriage was packed like sardines would be an understatement – it was more like vacuum-packed sardines!

With a smug smile, he now tells everyone that he had never had so many women pressed against him before! Ah, so much for female modesty in Malaysia!

He was a bit concerned that, with hands in his pockets, he might be mistaken for some kind of pervert so he decided to stick his hands up in the air. But with the bodies packed so close, he had difficulty lifting his arms to reach the overhead bar!

He finally arrived in Subang Jaya, safe but a bit squashed and unnerved by the experience. Perhaps it would make sense for KTM to have additional coaches or more frequent train runs to cope with peak hours. My cousin survived the ride but needless to say, he will avoid peak hour train rides in future.

This article was first published in The New Straits Times, Travel Times on 14 July 2008

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