Effective 18 November 2017, the KTM Komuter Northern Sector operates with 2 sets of 92 Class EMUs on Saturdays and Sundays to cope with the increasing passenger demand and load. The 92 Class EMUs are transferred from the KTM Komuter Klang Valley Sector overnight to the Northern Sector after the end of revenue services in the Klang Valley on Fridays, and serves mainly on the high-demand Butterworth – Padang Besar Line.
Do also take note of the frequent cancellations of trains on the KTM Komuter Northern Sector, though these are usually services operating with 83 Class EMUs. Visit the KTM Komuter Northern Sector page to find out which services are using which type of trains on weekends, and to view the predicted reduced service timetables.
The crowd at Padang Besar waiting for the 4.25pm 2969dn KTM Komuter Northern Sector service to Butterworth. The significantly big crowd is due to both the weekend travellers as well as the previous 2967dn train at 3.25pm being cancelled, combining two train loads into one. Thankfully, it’s a weekend with the 92 Class Six-Car Sets in operation.
If not for the announcements and station signs, I would have mistakenly thought I was back in KL at Midvalley or Bandar Tasik Selatan or something.
The 92 Class EMU pulling into Padang Besar. This train is the 2964up from Butterworth, which will return back to Butterworth as 2969dn after a scheduled layover of 9 minutes and a crew change.
The passengers at Padang Besar at the platform, waiting to board the train. Due to the previous train being cancelled, some of these people have waited up to 2 hours for this train.
Please allow passengers to alight before boarding.
The crowd situation on board the 92 Class SCS at Padang Besar, with standing room only as I was one of the last persons to board the train.
It’s very unlike me to say this, but if you are travelling for a long distance on the KTM Komuter Northern Sector, please rush into the train to find a seat, or else you will end up standing for 2 hours to Butterworth. Or even better, bring your own stool so that you have your own guaranteed seat every time.
The views of Perlis and Kedah along the way from Padang Besar to Butterworth.
Crossing over the Prai River to Butterworth.
Arrived at Butterworth Railway Station.
The 92 Class EMUs on the Butterworth – Padang Besar Line on Saturdays and Sundays provide a much needed capacity boost for the ever-growing popularity of the KTM Komuter Northern Sector, especially with the frequent service cancellations forcing passengers to wait for the next train.
However, forward planning still needs to be in place to cater for further passenger number growth, and the 92 Class EMUs which were originally ordered for the KTM Komuter Klang Valley Sector will be definitely insufficient to cater for both sectors in the long run. The 92 Class EMUs serving the line currently get almost no rest as they are sent overnight as empty stock on Fridays after services in the Klang Valley has ended, and then sent back as empty stock again on Sunday nights after services in the Northern Sector has ended to operate in the Klang Valley again immediately in the morning, making them pretty much two sets of over-worked “borrowed” trains.
KTM, MOT, MOF and perhaps SPAD needs to decide if the KTM Komuter Northern Sector needs the additional capacity, treating it with equal importance as the KTM Komuter Klang Valley Sector, or leave it as the status quo with bi-hourly cancelled trains, no dedicated one-stop maintenance facility, and crammed long-distance rides without air-conditioning on the 22-year-old 83 Class EMUs, where the decision makers are currently satisfied and promoting this service as a positive first-world transformation to the Northern Corridor Economic Region.