Type of Trains in Malaysia

There are 7 different types of long distance train service currently operating in Malaysia. These long distance train operate on the two main railway lines in Malaysia, the West Coast Railway Line and the East Coast Railway Line, as well as two train lines connecting Kuala Lumpur to Port Klang and the Batu Caves. The majority of the train services are on electric trains, with diesel powered services in operation only on the East Coast Railway Line and on the stretch of the West Coast Railway Line to the South of Gemas.

ETS Komuter

ETS Komuter trains run on four routes in Malaysia:

  • Padang Besar to Butterworth
  • Bukit Mertajam to Padang Rengas
  • Batu Caves to Tampin / Pulau Sebang
  • Tanjung Malim to Pelabuhan Klang
ETS Komuter Train

ETS Komuter Train

Komuter services are the cheapest and the slowest of the ETS services operating in Malaysia. There are no other types of train than a Komuter train running on the Padang Besar to Butterworth (Penang) train line, or the other three lines they run on.

Seating on an ETS Komuter Train

Seating on an ETS Komuter Train

Komuter Trains are air-conditioned throughout with automatic opening and closing doors. Komuter trains have padded seats and hard plastic benches in areas near the centre of each carriage which are designed to accommodate larger number of standing customers during busy hours. Komuter trains have no on board facilities such as toilets, restaurant car, or shop.

Standing area on ETS Komuter Train

Standing area on ETS Komuter Train

You cannot reserve tickets for ETS Komuter trains in advance, they must purchased at the train station on the day of travel. If there are lots of people waiting on the platform then you may need to be quick getting onto the train in order to secure a seat.

ETS Platinum

ETS Platinum trains run on two long distance routes in Malaysia:

  • Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth
  • Padang Besar to Gemas

All ETS Platinum trains stop at Ipoh and KL Sentral in addition to any other stops on their route.

Inside an ETS Platinum Train Carriage

Inside an ETS Platinum train carriage

Platinum trains are the fastest and most expensive of the ETS services. They stop at fewer stations than other types of train service, which reduces the journey time.

Seating on an ETS Platinum Train

Seating on an ETS Platinum Train

ETS Platinum trains have comfortable padded seats arranged in rows of two as well as groups of four seats facing each other, with a table in the middle. ETS Platinum trains also have toilets in at least two carriages on each train and a buffet car selling drinks and snacks, including microwaveable ready meals.

Food counter on an ETS Platinum Train

Food counter on an ETS Platinum Train

You can buy your tickets on ETS Platinum services upto 30 days in advance of travel either in person at a train station in Malaysia or online (you can use the search box at the bottom of this page to buy your Malaysia Train Ticket).

ETS Gold

ETS Gold trains run on three long distance routes in Malaysia:

  • Padang Besar to Gemas
  • Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth
  • Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh
ETS Gold Train

ETS Gold Train

ETS Gold services use the same type of train carriages as ETS Platinum services, however, they are cheaper than ETS Platinum services and slower because they stop at more stations on route.

Facing seats on an ETS Gold Train

Facing seats on an ETS Gold Train

ETS Gold trains have a buffet counter, two toilets per train and seats in rows of two and groups of four with a table in the middle. They also have TV screens playing a variety of programmes with English subtitles.

ETS Gold Train Carriage

ETS Gold train carriage

ETS Gold train services can be booked online or in person at a train station up to 30 days before the date of travel.

ETS Silver

ETS Silver trains run on one route in Malaysia:

  • Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh

ETS Silver services are the cheapest train services between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh, and the least frequent: there are currently two daily ETS Silver services running each way on the Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh route. Tickets on the ETS Silver service to Ipoh are 30% less than on the ETS Gold service, and the journey only takes 10 minutes longer. The train carriages used on the ETS Silver service are older models than the ones used on the ETS Platinum and Gold trains and have only seats in rows, no buffet car and no toilets. These services are great value for money and normally need to be booked in advance because local people doing the journey frequently tend to prefer to take these trains because they are cheaper.

Southern Shuttle Trains

Southern Shuttle trains run on one route in Malaysia:

  • Gemas to Johor Bharu

Southern Shuttle trains are diesel trains rather than electric trains, which only run on the northern section of Malaysia’s West Coast line from Padang Besar down to Gemas. There are three of this class of train running each day each way on the Gemas to Johor Bharu route. Shuttle Trains have padded seats in rows of two, air-conditioning, but no on board catering. These older trains have toilets in all carriages although recent reports suggest that they are frequently ‘out of order’ because of a lack of maintenance. You can book your seats in advance for these services online or at a train station.

Ekspress Rakyat Timuran

Ekspress Rakyat Timuran trains run on one route in Malaysia:

  • Tumpat to Johor Bharu

There is a single Ekspress Rakyat Timuran train each day running in each direction on this route. The Ekspress Rakyat Timuran is the only train service which travels the entire length of Malaysia’s East Coast railway line before joining the West Coast line at Gemas for the remainder of the journey down to Johor Bharu, where you can catch a shuttle train to Singapore. The Ekspress Rakyat Timuran is a diesel train which features sleeper carriages arranged in bunk bed style in a similar way to sleeper carriages in Thailand. The major difference between the sleeper berths in the Ekspress Rakyat Timuran compared to sleeper berths on trains in Thailand is that the upper berth has its own window. The Ekspress Rakyat Timuran has toilets and an a buffet car, although most passengers opt to buy their food at the stations on route as its better and cheaper. You can book normal seats and sleeper berths on Ekspress Rakyat Timuran services either online or at a train station up to 30 days in advance.

East Coast Shuttle Trains

East Coast Shuttle trains run operate on two routes on the East Coast Railway Line:

  • Tumpat to Gua Musang
  • Gua Musang to Kuala Lipis

East Coast Shuttle trains are diesel powered trains which are amongst the oldest trains passenger trains operating in Malaysia. This is a 3rd class only service, which runs twice daily in each direction on both routes. Tickets are only available for sale on the day of travel at the station of origin. This service is primarily used by people living in more remote parts of the two East Coast states through which the train line runs through. Punctuality and maintenance is an issue with these shuttle services, however, train enthusiasts will enjoy taking these trains as the views on route are magnificent and the wooden station buildings and railway workers’s houses date back to the early part of the 20th Century with little modernisation work having taken place in the past 100 years.

Buy Malaysia Train Tickets

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