KTM ETS service is a comfortable and convenient way to get from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, departing from KL Sentral in the heart of the city and arriving at Butterworth station, connected to Penang island by bus and ferry. Taking the train removes the stresses of getting stuck in a traffic jam along the highway or being early at the airport for check-in procedures, providing for a fast and seamless journey between the two cities.
Now you can easily book your train tickets in Malaysia with Baolau.
KTM train service
KTM Berhad, or KTMB for short, is the main railway operator in Peninsular Malaysia. The operator provides regional, inter-city and commuter services across the national rail network. Passenger services currently offered by KTM include KTM Intercity, ETS and KTM Komuter.
ETS are the most modern trains on KTM’s network, running at a maximum speed of 140 km/h on electrified double track sectors between Gemas and Padang Besar, with multiple trains a day serving the KL Sentral – Butterworth route, connecting the major cities of Kuala Lumpur and Penang by train.
ETS trains are classified as Platinum, Gold and Silver services. ETS Platinum provides the fastest service with minimal stops only at key stations. ETS Gold is the most common service class of the ETS, offering a limited-stop service at major stations along the route it serves. ETS Silver offers an almost all-stop service with the lowest fares.
Departure from Kuala Lumpur
When booking your ticket, it may be easy to confuse KL Sentral and Kuala Lumpur stations. Passengers are recommended to head to KL Sentral, which is the main railway station of the capital. Kuala Lumpur refers to the older Moorish-style railway station built in 1910, which serves the modern ETS trains as well. However, it is not as well connected with other modes of transportation as compared with KL Sentral.
Access to KL Sentral station is easy, as it is well connected to KL Monorail, KLIA Express, and other mass rapid transit services in the city. Boarding for the ETS Gold to Butterworth will be called approximately 10 minutes before departure. There isn’t much time for boarding, so be ready at the gate for the announcement. If you book your train tickets online with Baolau, just flash the electronic ticket for your train to Kuala Lumpur at the boarding gate to enter the platform.
ETS Gold trains are usually formed of 93 Class 6-car train sets manufactured by CRRC Zhuzhou, with Coach F on the Butterworth (north) end and Coach A on the KL Sentral (south) end.
In the 93 Class train set, there is only one class of travel on board, in a 2+2 seating configuration.
Seats can be reclined, and have a power socket underneath in between the pair of seats.
Seats are sufficiently comfortable for the 4-hour journey, along with on-board washrooms for comfort and a Bistro to purchase food and beverages.
An advantage of taking the train from Kuala Lumpur to Penang is the Bistro available on board, selling food and drinks – not something that you can get on most buses while enjoying the breathtaking views of the nature that Malaysia has to offer. The Bistro is located at Coach C in the middle of the train.
Meals on offer are displayed on the Bistro counter (and may not always reflect the full range of the menu). Local Malaysian dishes are on offer, along with a range of hot beverages. Cold beverages may be limited or even unavailable on certain trains. A Fried Noodle Combo can cost RM9 and comes with a bottle of mineral water.
There is a very small seating section in front of the Bistro if you wish to have your meal there instead of at your own seat.
Meals on board the ETS are microwaved meal boxes but are pretty tasty nonetheless. You might find them similar to in-flight meals. As the authentic Malaysian meals onboard may get a bit spicy, you might want to check with the staff if the meals contain chili if you are not used to the spiciness level in Southeast Asia.
The ETS service between Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth is touted as a journey of less than 4 hours, but in reality, it takes a few minutes more than that.
Departing from Kuala Lumpur with the familiar landmark of KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers behind.
On the way to Ipoh, the scenery gives way to nice views of paddy fields and the Titiwangsa mountain range in the background.
The ETS Gold makes a brief stop at the classic Ipoh Railway Station built in 1917, with new platforms and electrified tracks but with the original station building still intact and in operation by Platform 1.
The sector from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh is the busiest for ETS trains, with all three routes of northern ETS services, namely, KL Sentral – Ipoh, KL Sentral – Butterworth and KL Sentral – Padang Besar serving this parallel sector.
The typical scenery after Ipoh – a vast difference from the metropolis of Kuala Lumpur just two hours behind.
Passing by the limestone hills and cliffs around Bukit Berapit.
After the Bukit Berapit Tunnel, the train passes over the Bukit Merah Lake.
This viaduct runs 3.5km across Bukit Merah Lake, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding nature.
Crossing over the Prai Swing Bridge on approach to Butterworth Railway Station.
Arriving at Butterworth Railway Station.
Arrival to Penang
The journey from KL Sentral to Butterworth takes around 4 hours.
Butterworth is the terminal station and the rail gateway to Penang.
The train station is located on the mainland, connected to the Penang Sentral Bus Terminal for bus services around mainland Penang, and the Penang Ferry to cross the strait over to Georgetown on Penang Island.
How to book your train tickets from Kuala Lumpur to Penang
Tickets on the ETS train runs out pretty quickly for popular departure times, so we recommend that you book your tickets early in advance to secure your seat once you have sorted out your travel plans.
Baolau lists the ETS services available, so you can compare and select the most convenient schedule and price.
Fill in the passenger form and select your seat. Proceed to complete the payment before submitting your booking request. Once your reservation is confirmed, you will receive an email with the electronic tickets attached.
The electronic tickets are valid boarding passes, which can be used to board the KTM train at the departure station. Passengers can print the e-ticket in advance or carry a digital copy in the mobile phone or tablet and present it before boarding.