If you ever in northern area of Peninsular Malaysia namely Penang, Kedah, Perlis and north Perak, you can use the rail as it is the cheapest way to travel. There are 2 local rail line in northern Malaysia operated by KTM (national railway company) called as KTM Komuter Utara and 1 ferry line to Penang Island operated by RapidFerry. For reminder, KTM Komuter Utara are running with less frequency, so check the timetable before using it.

One of the station in KTM Komuter Utara network.

These lines are operated by KTM and RapidFerry in north Malaysia:

  • Komuter Butterworth (KTM)
  • Komuter Padang Rengas (KTM)
  • Penang Ferry (RapidFerry)

The lines

KTM Komuter Utara use 3-car train coach.

There are only 3 lines in this sector, so it is easy to identify them. The first two are commuter local rail line, one go all the up to Padang Besar at the Malaysia-Thailand border and another one go south up to Padang Rengas. Another line is the ferry line between Butterworth (main land) to Georgetown (island).

How to buy ticket?

For KTM Komuter network, passengers can purchase tickets at the station by cash only. For RapidFerry, passengers can purchase tickets at both ferry terminal also by cash only.

The timetable and fares

Click here for timetable for KTM Komuter Utara

Fares for KTM Komuter Utara:

Fares and hours of Rapid Ferry:


Intercity trains: ETS

There are train service for long distance journey provided by KTM (national railway company) and called as ETS. Refer KTM’s website for timetable.

The major routes for ETS trains are:

  • Gemas – KL Sentral – Padang Besar
  • KL Sentral – Ipoh
  • KL Sentral – Butterworth
  • KL Sentral – Padang Besar
KTM ETS train at Kuala Lumpur Station. -Photo: KTMB

How to buy ETS ticket

Passengers can purchase tickets at counters at KTM Intercity stations or by online at KTM’s website. KTM Intercity station are the station which ETS train service are stopping and available. You can refer here for all KTM Intercity stations and ETS stops.


Connection to Hat Yai

There are shuttle train service from Padang Besar Station to Hat Yai, Thailand provided by SRT (Thailand national railway company). Passengers will need a passport since they need to go through the immigration at the Padang Besar Station. The tickets can be purchased at the ticket counter. Click here for more information.

Hat Yai-Padang Besar Shuttle train. -Photo: Train36

Free bus in Georgetown by RapidPenang

Launched in 2009 and operated by RapidPenang CAT Shuttle bus is the initiative by the State Government to encourage the use of public transport and for the convenience of travellers. The service runs from 6 am in the morning until 12 am midnight and each bus frequency from Weld Quay Bus Terminal and other bus stops are within 15-20 minutes. Click here for more information.

Penang CAT Shuttle bus operated by RapidPenang. -Photo: PenangFoodie

Connection to intercity bus

Passengers can get intercity and express bus at Penang Sentral terminal. This terminal is connected with Butterworth Station (rail) and Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim (ferry terminal). There are also city bus service connection that covers Butterworth and its surrounding.

Penang Sentral and the ferry terminal. -Photo: NST


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