Train Review: KTM ETS Platinum Business Class 9174up from KL Sentral to Butterworth by Train

KTM ETS Platinum Business Class 9174up from KL Sentral to Butterworth by Train

KTM ETS Platinum Business Class 9174up is a daily lunchtime train from KL Sentral to Butterworth. Heading to Butterworth and Penang for the new Penang Ferry, I caught ETS Platinum 9174up in Business Class to get to Butterworth by train, since I haven’t taken ETS Business Class in a long time.

Kuala Lumpur Sentral Railway Station (KL Sentral)

Heading in to Kuala Lumpur Sentral Railway Station (KL Sentral).

ETS trains depart from Gate B at KL Sentral.

However, as I am travelling on ETS Business Class, I can use the Ruby Lounge located 1 level above KL Sentral Gate B.

The Ruby Lounge can be seen from the waiting area outside Gate B.

Heading up the escalator to the Ruby Lounge.

The Ruby Lounge is accessed via the lift lobby beside the food court.

Ruby Lounge

As I was early to my Ruby Lounge visit, the Ruby Lounge was still closed.

The Ruby Lounge opens at 10.15am for my 11.08am ETS Platinum 9174up.

The Ruby Lounge opened right on time at 10.15am.

ETS Business Class advertisements line the path to the Ruby Lounge.

Heading into the Ruby Lounge.

The interior of the Ruby Lounge.

Single sofa seats are available in the Ruby Lounge, arranged in singles, pairs, or groups.

The seats are basic with no power sockets provided. Tables are also placed congregational in groups or as side tables between seats.

Basic drinks are provided, which are cold water, hot water, hot Teh Tarik, and hot Milo.

The hot Teh Tarik and hot Milo comes from a Nescafé dispenser. Ironically, no coffee is available from the Nescafé dispenser.

The Teh Tarik was strangely bitter, perhaps the Teh Tarik inside the dispenser had been left for too long already.

The Ruby Lounge offers a view down to the Standard Class waiting area at Gate B. A bit of Squid Game VIP feels.

WiFi is available in the Ruby Lounge, with the password available at the counter where the steward or stewardess is sitting.

The WiFi speed is good.

Toilets are also available, though I’m not sure feminists would appreciate the sign.

The toilets in the Ruby Lounge are possibly the cleanest available in the whole KL Sentral.

At 10.35am, the steward came around to check and scan everyone’s tickets on the Mobile Validator (MV).

At 10.45am, boarding commenced in batches via the lift available inside the Ruby Lounge, leading directly to the ETS platform.

ETS Platinum Business Class 9174up

A sign pointing to the Business Class coach at Coach A is placed outside the lift landing at Platform 1.

I was a bit taken aback at the new coach letters in huge fonts on the train doors as it was my first time seeing it as it was about half-human-sized.

I definitely know where coach A is.

My booked single seat at 5A.

The legroom on board ETS Business Class.

A 3-pin and 2 USB power sockets are available on the wall beside my seat.

A reading light is available at the top ledge above the window.

A tray table is located in the right armrest.

An entertainment screen food ordering and internet screen is available in the left armrest.

It was a full train on this Sunday noon from KL Sentral.

Surprisingly, the internet was working well in the covered platforms of KL Sentral.

The entertainment screen certainly had more functions when I first took the ETS Business Class when it launched in 2019.

My ETS Platinum Business Class 9174up departed from KL Sentral on time at 11.08am.

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

Making a brief stop at Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. This is where catering is loaded on the ETS Platinum Business Class 9174up.

WiFi was available but not working on my 93/2 Class ETS set, ETS 218. This was a common problem for all passengers as well, based on overheard conversations from my seat.

Passing by Simpang Batu.

It’s back onto a single track after Simpang Batu with the ongoing Klang Valley Double Tracking (KVDT) rehabilitation project. The bypass wye to Sentul is also completely removed.

Lunch & Snack

Shortly after departure, lunch and snack was ready to be served, with the service trolley on standby at the vestibules.

Lunch is served by both the steward and a Segi Seri catering staff 2 rows at a time.

The service cart has the Segi Seri branding on it.

For lunch and snack, a main of Nasi Bukhara, Ayam Kuzi, and Acar Rampai was served, along with a bottle of mineral water and a snack box. Only 1 meal choice is available.

The Nasi Bukhara, Ayam Kuzi, and Acar Rampai was served in a bento box with ETS Business Class and Segi Seri branding.

The lunch of Nasi Bukhara, Ayam Kuzi, and Acar Rampai was very flavourful, but perhaps a bit too flavourful.

The rice was fragrant with lots of spices, which some foreign tourists found it spicy by itself, but I’m 99.9% sure that there was no chilli.

The Ayam Kuzi is supposed to be a Kelantanese thick based curry, but it was 70% oil here. This was certainly very delicious when mixed with the rice, but I’m sure that’s not how it’s supposed to be done or taste like, and I don’t think the Health Promotion Board of Singapore will approve of me saying that I enjoyed my oil.

The snack box consists of a box of apple juice, a packet of peanuts, and… a set of ETS Business Class-branded earphones.

Mmm, yummy earphones.

Tanjung Malim Railway Station

Making a brief stop at Tanjung Malim Railway Station. This is the current northernmost terminus of the KTM Komuter Klang Valley Sector.

I headed for a short walkabout after departing from Tanjung Malim Railway Station.


Toilets are available in coaches B, D, and E.

The toilet in coach D is universally-accessible.

Standard Class

The rest of the train is made up of Standard Class which was also full.

ETS Café

The ETS Café is located in coach C.

A new selection of pastas is available with Spaghetti Chicken Bolognese and Mac & Cheese with Sausage.

Other Malaysian local meals available include Nasi Putih Ayam Butter Meleleh, Nasi Putih Ayam Sismik Korea (or maybe not local), Nasi Lemak Ayam Rendang, Mini Lekor Cocktail, and Nasi Briyani Daging Rendang Tok.


A Surau is available on board coach D for Muslim prayers.

A wudhu washing area is provided for ablution behind the door.

Ipoh Railway Station

Making a brief stop at Ipoh Railway Station. A crew change takes place here.

Hot Drink & Sandwich

The hot drink service for ETS Business Class passengers is also on standby at Ipoh Railway Station, with the Segi Seri staff pushing the trolley to coach A via the platform.

The hot drink service commenced after departing from Ipoh Railway Station. This time, only the new stewardess who had boarded at Ipoh served all passengers row by row.

This smaller snack service trolley also has the Segi Seri branding on it.

A choice of coffee and tea is offered for the hot drink, along with a cheese sandwich for a snack. Only 1 sandwich choice is available.

The cheese sandwich was served at room temperature with slices of cucumber.

I opted for a hot coffee. Sugar and creamer with a stirrer and a serviette is served in a separate packet.

Kuala Kangsar Railway Station

Making a brief stop at Kuala Kangsar Railway Station.

Heading into the Bukit Berapit Tunnel.

Taiping Railway Station

Making a brief stop at Taiping Railway Station.

Heading across the Bukit Merah Lake.

Parit Buntar Railway Station

Making a brief stop at Parit Buntar Railway Station.

Heading across the Prai Swing Bridge.

The short last stretch onwards to Butterworth Railway Station.

Butterworth Railway Station

Entering Butterworth Railway Station.

My ETS Platinum Business Class 9174up arrived at Butterworth Railway Station on time at 3.23pm.

Heading down the platform to the exit. There is only 1 lift available which got very crowded as passengers with big luggage crowded for it.

Thank you, 93/2 Class ETS218.

The new look of the KTM northern sector at with the new 93/2 Class ETS set and “new” ex-SkyPark Link 83 Class train sets for the KTM Komuter Northern Sector service.

Heading up the stairs to exit.

There was a crowd to scan out of the Automated Control Gates (ACG), but this was quickly relieved by a station staff who held 1 gate open for arriving ETS Platinum Business Class 9174up passengers to exit.

Passengers for the returning ETS Platinum 9177dn also enter the paid area at this time. This train will be formed by the same train set, ETS218, to go back to KL Sentral.

I asked the friendly station master at Butterworth for permission to enter the Komuter platform for just 5 minutes to take a shot of ETS218 from the opposite platform, which he obliged.

Following my short trainspotting session, I headed down to the linkbridge to the old Penang Fast Ferry served by Langkawi Ferry Services.

Unfortunately, due to the crowd and ridiculous frequency then, I was unable to board the 4pm ferry despite being in the departure hall, and the next ferry was at 5pm. To cut my time losses, I caught a Grab over to Penang Island to get on with my day.


ETS Platinum Business Class 9174up is convenient lunchtime train to catch from KL Sentral to Butterworth. However, my schedule onwards to Penang Island was marred by Penang Port’s old Penang Fast Ferry served by Langkawi Ferry Services.

The Ruby Lounge at KL Sentral was very basic with just seats and side tables, with 2 choices of drinks, Teh Tarik and Milo, which both tasted weird. Not even coffee was available from the Nescafé dispenser, let alone other drink choices. Probably the most useful thing about the Ruby Lounge was the separate boarding path with the dedicated lift bringing ETS Business Class passengers directly down to the platform from the lounge.

The ETS Business Class seat was comfortable with a 2+1 seating and good legroom, though arguably some buses plying on the KL-Penang route offer better seats *cough*Aeroline*cough*. The entertainment screen is basically now a web browser with Café food ordering capabilities, which did not work well as most items were listed as “sold out” despite them being available at the ETS Café at coach C.

The new food served on board ETS Business Class by Segi Seri, the new caterer, was better than I had expected, but I didn’t go in with high expectations for food, which probably helped in my impression on this trip.

My ETS Platinum Business Class 9174up train both departed and arrived right on time perfectly, which I am impressed with, especially with the single-track operations in the Klang Valley area. Perhaps the padded timetable helped, with the long stop at Tanjung Malim Railway Station as my ETS Platinum 9174up was running before time.

The biggest downer is the connectivity in Penang with onward travel relying on the Penang Ferry, as while Grab is on-demand, the Penang Sentral  E-Hailing pick-up point on Level 8 (you read that right) delays the arrival of the driver, and the shortest road route from Penang Sentral to Georgetown requires a big detour going via the Penang Bridge. Whereas if I had taken the right bus, it would have crossed over to Penang Island for me, eliminating the need for me to deal with the inefficient old Penang Fast Ferry served by Langkawi Ferry Services.

The old Penang Fast Ferry served by Langkawi Ferry Services is now a thing of the past, with a new schedule for the new Penang Ferry now up. Hopefully this will enhance ETS connectivity with Penang Island, as the train cannot physically cross the Penang Strait.

One comment

  1. Thanks

    About to Do the same trip. Those big yellow letters an excellent idea.

    Those Langkawi ferries were not good. Even the first trip of the day was crowded.

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