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KTM Train Service between Singapore – Kuala Lumpur (and back)

3 October 2011 36 Comments

Train at KTM Tanjung Pagar station

A train ride up Peninsular Malaysia hardly fits anyone’s idea of the start to an exciting journey, but for the two of us on the trip, this simple yet memorable ride will be remembered for years to come – for several reasons. Firstly, this was a new experience for both of us. Although between the two of us we are veterans of rail transport in five continents, and despite the fact that we both live ‘practically next door’ to Malaysia (we hail from Indonesia and Singapore respectively), this was our first ride on KTM – Malaysia’s state railway company – trains.

Secondly, the train that we took departed from Singapore’s Tanjung Pagar railway station, a grand old dame from an age gone by (more about the station here), which at the time was scheduled to close down in the next few days. This ride was our last chance to get a feel of the historic station and its grandeur – as passengers, of course.

Inside KTM train, 2nd class car

Inside the 2nd class train car

KTM maintains only a small operation in Singapore, and their website is not exactly user friendly. Unfamiliar with the system, we initially had plenty of questions regarding the ride: ticket bookings, conditions aboard the train, staff service, immigration procedures, and other similar questions; the answer to these would probably be of interest to some readers.

After a brief search for information online, we decided to book the tickets thru KTM website. The reason for this was that although we could have gone down and buy the tickets at the station, there was a price differentiation (discrimination, if you may) policy in place. All tickets bought from Singapore will be charged in Singapore Dollars (e.g. If a KL – Singapore ticket costs RM 50, the corresponding Singapore – KL ticket will cost SGD 50, effectively making tickets from Malaysia cost less than half the Singapore counterpart due to the Dollar to Ringgit exchange rate). Worst of all, for tickets booked in Singapore, the return trip will also be charged in Singapore Dollar. Booking the return ticket as a separate journey online, however, will save you some cash as the return ticket will be charged in Ringgit instead.

Woodlands Station

At Woodlands Station

The online booking process was pretty straightforward, but did not go trouble free. Our first attempt to book the ticket unexpectedly ended with a connection error at the payment page, and we had no notification whether the purchase went through. It was only after we attempted to re-book the tickets that we realise that the first transaction was indeed successful, and we had double-booked ourselves for the ride out. We had to go down to the station and talk to an officer at the ticketing counter, who had us fill up a refund form. We thought he looked somewhat unsympathetic to our plight, and with the station closing for good real soon, it won’t come as a big surprise if the refund form would end up missing. We were delighted to hear that the promised refund did arrive about 5-6 weeks later, the amount credited straight to the credit card we used for payment.

View from Singapore Malaysia bridge

View from Singapore Malaysia bridge

On the day of departure, we arrived an hour earlier at the station, hoping to spend some time taking pictures and having a light meal at the station’s cafeteria. From our experience, the departure gate and the accompanying immigration service open only about 30 minutes before departure, unlike the two hour rule for international air travel. There was one quirky detail about the immigration process at Tanjung Pagar station, which would have changed by now. Because the station technically sat on Malaysian land, and that immigration exit from Singapore can only be done at Woodlands station (the first stop of the journey, at the north most end of Singapore), passengers technically get to enter Malaysia first, before exiting Singapore. To solve this, our passports were not stamped at the station, and instead were only inspected and the entry ‘white’ card was filled to indicate that we departed from Tanjung Pagar (hence explaining the lack of an entry stamp). After we crossed the bridge to Malaysia, immigration officials boarded the train for a final check. We were rather worried of losing the entry cards, for that would likely mean having a load of trouble on the way out of Malaysia.

The train we rode on was clean and reasonably well maintained. The first half of seats in the carriage was arranged facing forward, while the other half was facing backward. Space between rows of seats was approximately of the same distance as that of your regular airline’s economy seating. Everything was pretty much what we expected.

KTM dining car

Inside the train’s dining car

Snacks sold at the dining car

The space between carriages, however, was a different story. This was where the true age of the train became obvious. Exposed to daily grinding and wear and tear, the metal plates covering the gangway between carriages have became so worn off at the sides, and the gaping hole on the floor so big, that the tracks running under the train are fully visible from inside.  This made each trip to the toilet feel like an Indiana Jones adventure.

Oil palm plantation in the distance

Oil palm plantation in the distance

Back to the ride, our train left the Tanjung Pagar station promptly at 1pm, and after a short journey of approximately 40 minutes reached the Woodlands station. This new station will be the starting and ending point for all future train journeys in Singapore. All passengers were requested to get off the train for immigration checks, leaving all their belongings on board. The station was built with a functional design in mind, but it looked a little Spartan. The immigration clearance process was efficient and without hassle, and in no time we were back on board the train, ready to continue the journey.

Smaller Malaysian settlements along the way

Smaller Malaysian settlements along the way

The train ran along its tracks on a leisurely pace, allowing us to absorb the vista outside. The landscape is dominated by forested areas and palm oil plantations, with smattering of villages here and there.

We arrived at KL Sentral on schedule at approximately 8 pm. The trusty KTM train transported us safely to our holiday destination, and several days later back to Singapore. The only difference was that we took the sleeper coach for our overnight ride back. Our experience says that the quality of train ride between these two cities is pretty consistent, and given the cost (our two way ride – one of which is on the 1st class sleeper cabin, costed less than SGD 100 in total), KTM train is a good choice for travellers with budget in mind.

1st class sleeper bunk

1st Class sleeper bunk, attached bathroom below

 1st class sleeper bunk toilet

Travel Info

KTM official website http://www.ktmb.com.my/

Note: We stumbled upon the following site while gathering info for our trip to Malaysia, which proved very useful to us. We would recommend you to visit the site, seat61, before you book your KTM ride.
Website http://www.seat61.com/Malaysia.htm

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  • junior said:

    oh the toilet not bad ah..

  • Larasati said:

    Jd kalau mau naik kereta api dr Sin to KL sekarang stasiunnya di Woodland dan beli bila beli ticketnya utk tujuan Sin-KL melalui ktmb.com.my tidak ada ya ? Atau Sin-Kajang ? kemudian turun di KL Sentral ? Mhn informasinya. Terima kasih

  • admin said:

    @Larasati: Betul, perhentian kereta api dari Singapura sekarang di Woodlands CIQ. Untuk booking bisa dilakukan melalui website KTMB, pilih jurusan dari ‘Woodlands CIQ’ ke ‘Sentral Kuala Lumpur’.

  • Belinda Myurbey said:

    hii .. lagi nyari2 cara booking nya kok ga bisa2 ya ..mohon bimbingannya hehehe

    thank you

  • admin said:

    Hi Belinda,

    untuk book tiket, bisa dibeli dari http://www.ktmb.com.my/
    Klik ikon ‘e-ticket’ di bagian kiri halaman.

    (To book KTMB ticket, go to http://www.ktmb.com.my/, then click the ‘e-ticket’ icon on the left side of the page.)

  • ely said:

    Apakah pemegang kartu kredit (visa or master) bisa , melakukan pembelian untuk pihak lain ( pemegang kartu bukan penumpang)

  • elmi said:

    kita dari singapore mau naek kereta api ke KL..di singapore,darimana naiknya? apakah benar dr stasiun tanjung pagar naiknya?thankss…

  • admin said:

    @ely: Mohon dikonfirmasi langsung dengan pihak KTMB. (NB: Pengalaman kami,tiket dapat dicetak sendiri, dan kartu kredit tidak dicek lagi di stasiun).

    @elmi: Layanan kereta api di Singapura sekarang ditempatkan di Woodlands CIQ. Stasiun Tanjung Pagar sudah ditutup sejak tahun lalu.

  • novi said:

    tanya donk, klo dari stasiun Woodlands mau ke MRT harus jalan jauh ga ya?? thx

  • Catatan Perjalananku said:

    kemarin udah nyoba, naik kereta dari singapore ke kuala lumpur, startnya dari woodlands checkpoint.

  • Paul Young said:

    saya mau beli tiket dari Kualalumpur ke singapore, sudah masuk ke website, tetapi ketika register user dan sudah isi form lengkap tetapi tidak bisa register. Apa masalahnya ya?

  • stevanny novita said:

    kalo beli tiket ktm dari sin ke kl melalui website ktm < kita kena charge nya dalam myr atu sin$ ya..?

  • Saudi said:

    I would like to book for train ticket from singapore to KL on 23 August 12, wanna train in the night time, please advise.

    Saya suka mereseravasi kereta api dari singapore ke KL Malaysia, hari 23 augos, mau waktu malam, di website manakah aku dapat mebuat reservasinya. Sila beri tahu, terima kasih.

  • use said:

    kalo beli e-tiket untuk pp nnt hasil prinnya d tukar dengan tiket asli ga? kalo di tuker, tiket yang pulang di ambil di tempat pergi atau
    stasiun saat akan pulang?
    terima kasih

  • Dwi mulya ningsih said:

    Mau tanya..utk 1st class…singapore Kl brp ya harganya…utk tanggall 21 agustus 12 yg perjalanan malam hari sampai kl pagi d KL…

  • winda said:

    Mohon bimbingan,,kami sudah pesan tiket ke woodland fom KL malam ini PP,,,untuk ke Marina Bay,,bus atau MRT ada tidak?dan perjalanan brapa jam dari woodland ke marina bay? Trimakasiih,,,mohon jawabannya segera

  • anna said:

    Dear admin,,mohon rute dari woodland menuju Marina bay?sebaiknya naik bus atau MRT?

  • Sigit PM said:

    Menarik sekali informasinya, saya ada rencana perjalanan tapi masih lama, berhubung bawa bayi & anak kecil saya memang berencana mencari transportasi yang ada tempat tidurnya semacam sleeper bus or train. Sepertinya KTMB ini bisa jadi alternatif solusi.

    Sekalian bantu jawab untuk winda & anna (walau mungkin jawabannya sudah terlambat hehe…), kebetulan saya juga udah pernah ke Singapore. Untuk informasi lama perjalanan & harga tiket MRT Singapore bisa cek di sini:


    Saya cek untuk Woodlands to Marina Bay, trip details:

    17 stations in about 41 mins*, 0 transfer
    STANDARD $2.20
    ADULT $1.83
    CHILD $0.58
    SENIORS $0.87

  • aji said:

    mau tanya kalo beli tiket KTMB via online pas mau brangkat di stasiun nya pake disuruh nunjukin Credit card nya ga??

  • admin said:

    Halo Aji,

    Dari pengalaman kami, pada waktu keberangkatan penumpang tidak perlu menunjukkan kartu kredit mereka.


    Kru Travcult

  • luki said:

    jadwal kereta dari KL ke Sing, jam berapa saja ya?

  • Emi wijayanti said:

    Cara pesen tiket ktmb Sin – Kl gimana? mohon infonya…karena saya sudah masuk ke e-ticket, tetapi mau register tidak pernah berhasil. mohon info dan bantuannya

  • aminudin said:

    Saya perlukan tiket pergi dan pulang dari singapura ke bahau untuk 7 orang,pada 11.2 2013 dan 13 2 2013,urgent.

  • HjhF said:

    Kami mau beli tiket dari Singapure ke KL on 23 Dec 2013,
    Tapi beli diKL. Please advise macam mana cara nya.

    awaiting for your reply.


  • Naomi said:

    Saya mau Tanya klo dri sg – kl
    Saya beli tiket ktm nya di stasiun Woodlands langsung bisa Ga ya ?
    Oya temen2 klo ada yg mau ikutan backpackeran oktober 2013 ke sg-kl-thai email me ya omii_l@yahoo.com 🙂

  • Odah said:

    Mau tanya, kereta dari kl ke sin, turunnya dimana ya? Kalo mau ke universa deket ga?

  • Norlin said:

    Saya ingin beli tiket ktm dari Singapura (woodlands ciq) ke Seremban pada 13 October (2 way tickets-pulang pada 16 Oct dari Seremban) bagaimana caranya. Berapa harga tiket untk 1 orang?

  • muhammad shahrin said:

    Boleh saya tahu, anak berumur 2 tahun ke bawa perlukan tiket atau tidak?

    Terima kasih.

  • Nemy said:

    Saya nak booking tiket kat woodland pergi Kluang macamana ah…berapa kalu first clas tempat duduk…?

  • TAN KOON PENG said:

    New train scheduled from 1 july 2013.

    Ticket 34rm(2nd class seat)
    Morning schedule Woodland(SIN) to KL- Departure 0835 arrival 1550
    Afternoon schedule KL to Woodland(SIN) )-Departure 1400 arrival 2200

    Day schedule Woodland(SIN) to KL- Departure 1400 arrival 2200
    KL to Woodland(SIN) )-Departure 0830 arrival 1630

    Night schedule Woodland(SIN) to KL- Departure 2330 arrival 0730
    KL to Woodland(SIN) )-Departure 2230 arrival 0700

  • murni siregar said:

    Mau tnyk ni harga tiket kereta api dari singapura-malaysia

  • dini said:

    harga tiket KTM SIN-KL berapa ya gan adult per orang ????

  • pchy said:

    dear admin,,
    mau tanya nih, bookingnya kok susah ya?
    step 1 udah register tapi milih keretanya blm bisa juga, mohon bantu itu di menu mana ya? thanks

  • mutiara said:

    dear admin atau siapapun yang mau bantu.
    buat yang mengerti cara reservasi kereta dari woodland-sentral KL juga cara dari singapura ke stasiun woodland atau yang mau meluangkan waktu buat saya tanya2 boleh donk wasap or sms ke 083893495666. soalnya bulan depan mau ke spore-malay naek kereta. plis banget butuh bantuannya. makasii :))

  • Jerzy said:


    Is it true that all nearly all night trains from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur are delay ?

    If YES, do you know how mayny minutes/houres it can be ?



  • riyanti said:

    selamat siang,
    mau nanya, kalian beli tiket secara online dari Indonesia atau dari singapura? diskriminasi harga yang dimaksud krn membeli langsung ke train apa ya?


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