The sleeper train

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  • I like trains. Maybe that comes from the childhood memories of family trips to London, and the excitement of being on the train and having a conductor come down the isle saying “Tickets please.” Or maybe it’s just because trains are easy. Unlike aeroplanes, there isn’t endless security theatre to go through, and once on board the train you rarely have to become a contortionist in the way you do when travelling by air. Trains are slower, that’s a given, but they’re just so much more fun.

    Today I left Kuala Lumpur. I’ve taken the overnight sleeper train to Butterworth in Northern Malaysia. I’m scheduled to arrive there at around 7am, then catch another overnight sleeper train to Bangkok in the afternoon.

    By plane Bangkok is just a couple of hours from Kuala Lumpur, and by train it’s pretty much 2 days! It’s not much cheaper by train either, but come on, this is surely the more adventurous way to go, right?

    I have to admit I’m kind of excited about this train. I’ve never taken a sleeper train before. I’m in a second class coach and it’s pretty comfortable. I’ve heard that it’s nearly impossible to sleep on a train and in a few hours I suppose I’ll know for sure.

  • 8 comments on “The sleeper train

    1. I took a sleeper train from Stockholm to Abisko once. I was sharing my room with 3 Eastern Europeans who all seemed to have large knives. I didn’t sleep a whole lot 🙂

    2. Being an Eastern European myself (well strictly speaking a Central European) I dare to point out that it is Great Britain that is recently observing a sharp increase in violent knife crimes. And no, not due to the fact of increasing numbers of Eastern European immigrants ;-). Most of these crimes are being committed by native British.

      • The issue was not them being Eastern Europeans, I mention that only for descriptive purposes. I’d have had a problem with the knives regardless of their country of origin 🙂

        • Where I used to live there was a local TV news program called “NorthWest Tonight.” I nicknamed it “Stabbing tonight” because it seemed to always carry headline stories about how many people were stabbed that day.

          Brits are just the violent boozed up tattooed thugs of Europe 🙂

    3. This looks like quite comfortable, much better than the ones in China for sure lool if you ever try them one day be prepare to have not much sleep :p as i think they are a lot noisier than malay or thai people!

      • Actually the one from Butterworth to Bangkok was even more comfortable. It was the same bunk system in a open coach like this, but the bottom bunk was effectively a double bed. So I had a good nights sleep on that one.

      • I’ll send you a couple of pictures of the next sleeper I went on. It too was second class (not third) and was lovely! Third class was open to the elements and looked a bit like it might have been designed for cattle.

        I’m actually now on another sleeper. I could only get a first class cabin on this train to Chiang Mai. This I don’t like so much. I rather resembles a prison cell. But not to worry, I am sure when I block the AC vent it’ll be lovely. I’ll go and sit in the ‘restaurant’ carriage anyway just as soon as I’ve watched Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix 🙂

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