My advice to anyone considering going by train to KL is: don't!
We did this trip in November, and the warning bells sounded when I saw how shabby the carriage was. Broken tables or non-existent; damaged chairs.
I asked one of the train staff an hour into the trip where we could buy a snack and drink, and he indicated that there was a dining car up front. By the time we got to the engine, we realised that he had given us a slightly less than accurate reply.
It was quite a warm trip, as the air con was really struggling.
Then the train stopped at a remote station around 9pm and we waited and waited. Then came an announcement; there was work on the tracks up ahead, and we'd have a 2 hour wait. An hour later more apologies and the promise of some buses.
Most of us left the train and walked into a small village half a kilometre away, where it was soon cleared out of fried rice, chicken and cold drinks.
The buses eventually arrived and we got to KL at midnight.
My advice. Catch a bus. they're efficient, air con works, and comfortable.
Thanks for the tip! We'll be traveling around these areas this year and now we know what to look out for.
Strange you had such a bad experience. I took the same train and had a great and easy journey. I'd highly recommend the train.
I never had a bad experience with train. This normally happend when there's an accident or other unpredicted things occur or else the journey will be just fine.
I've travelled by train many times on that route, both directions, and never once have I experienced what you described. In fact, the air con was actually too cold in all the times I travelled on the train! The coach you were on must had been experiencing some problem with the air con. As for the unscheduled stop, this happens whenever they spot something wrong on the track and needed urgent repairs. Just count yourself unlucky to have travelled that day on that coach of the train. I experienced similar things on my trip from London to Cardiff last November. The driver spotted something wrong with the track ahead and couldn't proceed until it was fixed. Half the train was in a tunnel, and we were nowhere near a station. Similar delays can happen to a bus: road works, collisions, traffic, etc.
[ Edit: Edited on 16-Jan-2010, at 03:23 by Hien ]
That's strange- I had a great train trip from Singapore to KL. The air-con worked fine.
One tip, though: save your train ticket! I had a huge hassle at the border, going back to Singapore, as I didn't have the proper Malaysian entrance stamp (they don't do that on the train) so I couldn't get an exit stamp, at first. And Singapore won't let you in, from Malaysia, without a Malaysian exit stamp.
My experience with the Singapore train both ways has always been good. I know the carriages are not the best, If your want something more up market why don't you try the Eastern & Oriental Express. Seriously though we only get what we pay for.