KTM Komuter Northern Sector 2956up: Butterworth to Padang Besar by Train

From my Rapid Ferry ride and Penang Sentral Temporary Transport Terminal bus drop off, it was just a short walk to Butterworth Railway Station where I continued my journey by KTM Komuter Northern Sector to Padang Besar where I was hoping to shop for some goodies before returning home later in the afternoon.

As I didn’t have much time to roam around the station due to my tight connection planning, I headed straight up to get my KTM Komuter Northern Sector ticket.

Purchasing my KTM Komuter Northern Sector ticket to Padang Besar from the ticket counter.

After getting my ticket, I headed down to the platform to wait for my train as the gate was already open.

A quick ticket check by the porter and I’m in the platform area.

My checked ticket (by the porter) for my trip from Butterworth to Padang Besar.

The KTM Komuter Northern Sector departs from Platform 4 of Butterworth Railway Station.

The incoming train, 2953dn, from Padang Besar arrived at Butterworth station 6 minutes late. As such, it was a quick turnaround for my train, 2956up.

SCS31 was on duty for my 2956up train to Padang Besar.

Hmm, didn’t I just take this set the previous day from Sentul to Sungai Buloh? Wonder what happened overnight that warranted this set to be sent up to the KTM Komuter Northern Sector between Saturday and Sunday. (Stock transfers are usually done on Friday and Sunday nights.)

The destination LED sign showing Padang Besar.

The interior of the 92 Class SCS train set.

The most important facilities for a long-distance KTM Komuter service include transverse seating, ample legroom, and the all-important power socket.

The dynamic route map is not in use for the KTM Komuter Northern Sector.

Departing from Butterworth Railway Station.

Crossing over the Prai Swing Bridge.

More people boarded the train at Bukit Tengah.

Even more people came on board at Bukit Mertajam as this is the interchange station from the Padang Rengas – Bukit Mertajam Line.

Turning left to the Padang Besar sector after Bukit Mertajam. The KM posts on this sector denotes the distance from Bukit Mertajam junction, and NOT Butterworth as commonly assumed.

The scenery on the way to Sungai Petani.

Approaching Sungai Petani station.

More people boarded the train here. However, some from the train alighted as well, so the load factor is still quite balanced.

About half the train alighted at Alor Setar.

Passing by the old Alor Setar Railway Station preserved just beside the current station.

Passing by the Alor Setar Tower.

Making a brief stop at Stesen Diraja Arau or Arau Royal Station.

Approaching Padang Besar.

The Padang Besar Depot as seen from the main line.

Passengers waiting to go to Butterworth are already at the platform to board this u-turned train.

Alighting from my train at Platform 2, with another 92 Class SCS in front of the same line with permissive working.

In a way, SCS31 took me from Sentul to Padang Besar with a missing sector in between. A rather strange feeling.

Tickets are checked and taken by the porters at the platform.

Heading up to the station concourse.

Exiting from the concourse to the station proper and onwards to Padang Besar town.

Overall, the KTM Komuter Northern Sector has improved leaps and bounds since the initial short-sector services and the regular 83 Class screw-ups on weekdays. With the 92 Class SCS now being a staple on the Butterworth – Padang Besar Line, passengers are now more or less guaranteed a spot in the train (passengers were left behind at stations previously due to the low frequency and low density of trains) with double the capacity, along with modern facilities such as wider seats, better air-conditioning and power sockets. The cheap subsidised fares and improved almost-hourly frequencies are also attractive for locals to depend on it for transport.

I would say that the KTM Komuter Northern Sector is now a successful service with sufficient daily demand and supply.

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