Services along KTM’s electrified double track sectors have increased in numbers and destinations significantly since 10 October 2015 with the new timetable and the utilization of 4 new CSR ZELC ETS train sets. Travel times have also been cut significantly, with KL Sentral to Butterworth services, for example, now taking just 3 hours and 53 minutes.
KTM’s newest train readies herself for departure to Padang Besar from KL Sentral.
The new train’s external electronic display feature the train’s destination as well as the train number, useful at stations when there are multiple departures at the same time.
A sample of the train’s interior. The fabric is the same as the CSR ZELC SCS sets for KTM Komuter services.
Seats are arranged in a 2+2 formation.
Comparison of the seats in a reclined and upright position.
Tray tables and footrests are provided at each seat.
A power socket is also available under each pair of seats.
Retractable hangers are also provided by the window seat.
New features include a facing table seating, good for groups travelling in fours.
Luggage racks are also available at the end of the coach.
To access the various sections of the train, press the button to open the sliding doors.
In case of an emergency, intercoms and emergency brake handles are also found on board.
Television screens are also found around the coach to provide entertainment and train information.
The train travels in excess of 140km/h on most stretches of the electrified double track, providing a fast and smooth journey.
The journey includes passing through the Bukit Berapit Tunnel, the longest twin-bored tunnel in South East Asia.
Also over the Bukit Merah lake – the old single track alignment can be seen parallel to the new double track.
And over the Prai swing bridge above the Prai River (Sungai Perai) before entering Butterworth station.
The train makes a scheduled stop of 15 minutes at Butterworth to cater to the larger amount of passenger movement, as well as to facilitate the change of direction of the train, with the driver switching to the other cab to take the train to Padang Besar. The through train from Gemas to Padang Besar does not do this as it uses the Bukit Mertajam bypass line, without entering Bukit Mertajam and Butterworth stations.
Coach C is a unique coach as it has 2 additional features on board.
The ETS Bistro is found here, selling hot meals, sandwiches and drinks.
A small seating area is also available at the Bistro.
Cheese or sardine sandwiches go for RM3.20. Hot drinks are at RM3.
Hot meals such as Nasi Lemak and Bee Hoon Goreng go for RM6.20.
On board food is catered by Brahim’s Airline Catering Sdn Bhd, the same caterer for Malaysia Airlines from KLIA.
A Musholla, or prayer room, for Muslim passengers is also available in coach C.
The scenery changes once in the northern sector.
The ETS now bridges the northern states in intracity and intercity travels.
The journey on the EG9208 from KL Sentral to Padang Besar takes 5 hours and 40 minutes, but the smooth ride, power sockets, entertainment and onboard catering makes the journey less tiring.
The ETS terminates at Padang Besar, where you can wait for the International Express to Hat Yai and Bangkok, or you can walk over the Malaysia-Thailand border into Padang Besar, Thailand where you can continue your journey to Hat Yai with the Padang Besar – Hat Yai Shuttle Train.
The train will return back to KL Sentral as EG9209 departing at 4.15pm.