KTM Komuter Northern Sector: Padang Besar to Butterworth by Train

With the Thaksinarath and Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train completed, it’s time for my final train journey for the Bangkok – Butterworth route: the KTM Komuter Northern Sector.

With the rescheduling of the ETS timetable effective 1 August 2017, trains either ply the KL Sentral – Ipoh, (Gemas) – KL Sentral – Butterworth or (Gemas) – KL Sentral – Padang Besar routes only. The only train service that serves the line on the wye junction which links Bukit Mertajam to other northerly stations is the KTM Komuter Northern Sector. But not that I would have bought an ETS ticket for a short-distance journey anyway.

This post is about the travel experience onboard the KTM Komuter Northern Sector.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated KTM Komuter Northern Sector information page.

Tickets for the KTM Komuter Northern Sector can be purchased at the usual ticket counter at any time.

However, you should only buy your ticket within a reasonable time frame on the day of departure only as you will be questioned by the staff at your destination station should you be suspected of overstaying. Tickets are printed with the date and time of your purchase.

The slightly confusing fare and time table as seen at Padang Besar.

Waiting at Platform 2 for my 2957dn to Butterworth departing at 10.25am. This train is the next connecting KTM Komuter train after the arrival of the Express 947 Hat Yai – Padang Besar Shuttle Train at 9.30am.

EMU 26 operating as 2952up, pulling into Padang Besar to form 2957dn immediately after arrival.

Also on Platform 2 is the Express 948 bound for Hat Yai, but with permissive working in place, 2952up is allowed to stop at Platform 2 as scheduled.

As passengers disembarked, possibly for weekend shopping at Padang Besar, the passengers proceeding south of Padfang Besar start to board. This is to be an on-time departure for 2957dn.

With the first and last coach filling up with passengers and lacking air-conditioning, I opted for a seat at the end of the middle coach, with possibly the only air-con unit functioning in the whole train. Better be choosy since I’m given the opportunity and get comfy for the 2-hour ride.

Don’t be fooled by the small number of stations to represent the length of the line as they are placed further apart as compared with stations on the KTM Komuter Klang Valley Sector.

Departing Padang Besar at 10.25am, right on time.

All was calm on the journey…

… until the train was arriving at Arau.

Oh wow.

Within a minute, all seats in the train were taken up, leaving the remaining passengers with standing room only.

More passengers started to board at Sungai Petani. Despite me being seated at the end of the coach already, I tried to tuck in my belongings as much as possible to create a little bit more space for the standees.

Making the turn into Bukit Mertajam.

Most passengers alighted at Bukit Mertajam to transfer to the next train bound for Padang Rengas.

Crossing over the Prai Swing Bridge.

Arriving into Butterworth.

Passengers heading north rush into the train as the train arrived at 12.27pm, 11 minutes late, but their train to Padang Besar, 2960up, is formed by this same train which was supposed to depart at 12.25pm.

It’s back to Padang Besar again for EMU 26.

Meanwhile, I let the crowd from 2957dn clear from the lift and staircase first before heading up.

With the northbound crowd cleared, the 2960up departed Butterworth at 12.30pm, 5 minutes late. Also, now that the crowd for the stairs have cleared, I went up too.

The crowd at the concourse, waiting for the next ETS Platinum train to KL Sentral.

Penang Sentral ahead is finally taking shape, though I wish that it would be more integrated with the railway station.

The facade of Butterworth Railway Station once again, and it’s the end of the line for me. Contrary to my previous trips, I will not be taking the train all the way back to Singapore.




From here, I got on the Rapid Ferry to Penang Island.

This post is about the travel experience onboard the KTM Komuter Northern Sector.

This is NOT the actual information page you are looking for.

Click here to visit the dedicated KTM Komuter Northern Sector information page.



  1. In your last photo the people sitting there are waiting for a minibus that takes people over to the ferry. It saves a long walk for elderly or people with heavy luggage.

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