Padang Besar is the train station which is at the top end of Malaysia’s West Coast train line, near to the border with Thailand.
There are five different train services operating out of this station:
- KTM Komuter services to Butterworth.
- ETS Gold services to Kuala Lumpur via Ipoh.
- ETS Platinum services to Kuala Lumpur via Ipoh.
- State Railways of Thailand intercity services to Bangkok.
- State Railways of Thailand shuttle services to Hat Yai.
Padang Besar Train Station
Padang Besar is a busy station which has the only direct rail connection between Malaysia and Thailand. There is a joint Thai and Malay Immigration and Customs service inside the train station itself. Thai and Malay officials jointly operate this station.
Padang Besar is rarely an end destination for the people using the station. This station is a transit point and this newly constructed station is not particularly attractive, nor a station with many facilities inside or nearby. The station is, however, clean and efficiently run and its easy to locate the correct platform to get your train.
Train Times to Kuala Lumpur
There are currently 3 daily train services from Padang Besar to Kuala Lumpur.
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- Buy train tickets from Padang Besar to Kuala Lumpur.
Train Times to Ipoh
There are currently 3 daily train services from Padang Besar to Ipoh.
- Buy train tickets from Padang Besar to Ipoh.
Train Times to Penang
There are 14 daily train services from Padang Besar to Butterworth Railway, which is the closest train station to Penang Island.
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- Tickets for this KTM Komuter service are not available for purchase in advance. Buy your tickets for to Butterworth (Penang) at Padang Besar Train Station.
Buy Train Tickets Online
Use the Search Box below to buy train tickets from Padang Besar:
Facilities at Padang Besar Station
There are toilets in the station, a waiting area and a restaurant which sells canned drinks and snacks as well cooked food. The restaurant is actually pretty good as train station restaurants go, selling tasty classic Malaysian dishes such as nasi kandar at reasonable prices. This is where most people using the station come to wait and they will eat at the same time.
There is not much around the train station, although there is a single hotel, the Homestay Motel Padang Besar, in the near vicinity of the train station (4.9 km by road) which costs around 100 MYR a night (2018 prices). If you need to spend the night near to Padang Besar Railway Station to travel from Thailand down to Kuala Lumpur the next day then you will find a better range of facilities, including cheap accommodation and places to eat, on the Thai side of Pedang Besar, which is town split in half by the border.
Buying Tickets at the Station
You can buy your train tickets at Padang Besar Railway Station at the two ticket windows upstairs in the part of the station building above the train platforms. The people who work selling tickets here speak English, Thai and Malay and perhaps a few words of other languages. The only problem with buying tickets here is that it can take a long time to get served. Passengers on Thailand Train #45 from Bangkok often miss their Komuter train connection to Penang at 10:25 because they don’t have enough time to get to the front of the queue to buy a ticket and therefore have to wait 2 hours for the next train to Penang at 12:25.
The ticket counters at Padang Besar train station get really busy at the weekends with Malaysian and Thai tourists visiting each other’s countries. This is a journey people don’t do that often and many people seem to have communication and comprehension issues in relation to the ticket purchasing process and what train ticket they need. It seems to take a long time for get to the ticket counter at this station because the line moves so slowly. Bear in mind there can be a whole train full of people wanting a ticket for the next connecting service. If you are travelling to Ipoh or Kuala Lumpur on an ETS Gold or Platinum service you should save yourself the headache of queuing with the people wanting to buy the KTM Komuter services and buy your train ticket online in advance.
Transport to Thailand
There two ways to get from Padang Besar Railway Station in Malaysia to destinations in Bangkok: train or road.
There are three train a day from Padang Besar to Thailand. Two of those trains are shuttle services to Hat Yai departing at 09:55 and 16:40 Malaysian Time and scheduled to arrive in Hat Yai 55 minutes later. You can only buy these shuttle service tickets at the train station, again creating long queues at the ticket counters on the Thai side of the station. The other train service is the single daily intercity service from Padang Besar to Bangkok (Train #46) departing at 18:00 Malaysian time which travels via Hat Yai, Surat Thani and Hua Hin. You can buy tickets for Train #46 online to avoid the ticket queues and guarantee yourself a sleeper berth.
If the train times are not convenient for you then the best alternative is to go by road to the Thai side of Padang Besar and take a minivan from there to Hat Yai Bus Station. The standard rate for a taxi from the train station to the road border is 20 MYR and 10 MYR for a motorbike taxi (2018 prices). Once you cross the border you then need to take another taxi or motorbike taxi to the minivan station in the town. Minivans depart from Padang Besar (in Thailand) to Hat Yai every 30 minutes, cost 50 THB per person, and complete the journey in a fairly standard time of 50 minutes. From Hat Yai Bus Station there are bus services to destinations across Thailand. Hat Yai Train Station is 2.9 km from Hat Yai Bus Station.