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The KTM ETS (commercially known as ETS, shortform for 'Electric Train Service') is an inter-city rail service operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad utilizing electric multiple units. The KTM ETS is the second electric train service to be operated by the Malaysian railway company, after the KTM Komuter service.

KTM Electric Train Service
Keretapi Tanah Melayu
ETS 5 (cropped).jpg
Native namePerkhidmatan Tren Elektrik (Malay)
电动列车服务 (Chinese)
மின்சார ரயில் சேவை (Tamil)
TypeInter-city rail - Higher-speed rail
LocalePadang Besar - Butterworth - Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Gemas - (Johor Bahru 2022)
Stations37 (as of 2019)
Daily ridership10,489 (Third quarter 2018)[1]
Ridership4.148 million (2017) [1]
Opened12 August 2010; 9 years ago (2010-08-12)
OwnerKeretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB)
Operator(s)KTM Intercity Division
Conduction systemWith driver
Rolling stock5 six-car trainset of KTM Class 91
10 six-car trainset of KTM Class 93
Line lengthCurrent:
755 km (Padang Besar-Gemas)
Under construction:
Additional 197 km (Gemas-Johor Bahru Sentral)
Track gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge
Operating speed140 km/h (87 mph)
Electric Train Service logo

Commencing in August 2010, the ETS is the fastest metre gauge train service in Malaysia (and potentially in the world, see below) and operates along the electrified and double-tracked stretch of the West Coast Line between Gemas and Padang Besar on the Malaysia-Thai border by the Malaysian national railway operator, Keretapi Tanah Melayu.

The rail service is currently operated by KTM Intercity Division. It was previously operated by ETS Sendirian Berhad, a fully owned subsidiary of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad.


Train servicesEdit


The ETS covers the section of the West Coast Main Line between Padang Besar on the Malaysia-Thailand border and Gemas on the border between Negeri Sembilan and Johor, including the branch between Bukit Mertajam and Butterworth. The line from Gemas to Johor Bahru is currently a single track and is being double tracked and electrified.

The ETS operates 5 routes, namely:

Currently, there 8 return trips on the KL Sentral-Ipoh route, 5 return trips on the KL Sentral-Butterworth, 5 return trips on the KL Sentral-Padang Besar route and 1 return trip each on the Gemas-Padang Besar and Gemas-Butterworth routes daily.

The latest timetables for the routes are available in the KTM Bhd website.


The train services are operated in 3 categories:

  • Platinum service with limited stops
  • Gold service with selected stops
  • Silver service with stops at all stations.


KTM ETS Ridership[1][2]
Year Ridership Revenue (MYR) Remarks
2018 3,932,000 N/A
2017 4,148,000 174,433,140
2016 3,565,000 145,521,561
2015 2,059,000 60,314,988
2014 1,693,000 44,328,039
2013 1,563,000 40,621,860
2012 1,180,000 31,885,949
2011 913,000 24,313,451
2010 215,000 5,569,532 Operations began in August


First phaseEdit

The original KTM Class 91 at Ipoh Railway Sation.

The service was introduced by Keretapi Tanah Melayu on 12 August 2010 between Ipoh and Seremban following the completion of the electrification and double-tracking of the Rawang to Ipoh stretch of the West Coast Line. Its inaugural run was celebrated with an opening ceremony at Kuala Lumpur railway station. The trip from KL to Ipoh was done in 2 hours on the fastest Platinum service, one hour faster than by car. Initially, services stretched southwards to Seremban, but the KL Sentral-Seremban sector was taken out of service in October 2012.[3]

Second phaseEdit

A KTM ETS Class 91 at Butterworth just before departing for KL Sentral at 1738 on 6 August 2015.

The service was extended from Ipoh to Padang Besar via Butterworth, the mainland town opposite George Town, with the introduction of the ETS Transit on 10 July 2015, with stops at 24 stations. At the inception of service, only one train service in both directions were introduced. This service was given the name ETS Transit.

On the following day on 11 July 2015, a new service called the ETS Express between KL Sentral and Padang Besar, via Butterworth was introduced, which only stops at 15 stations. Again, only one service for both directions were introduced[4] although, subsequently, on 1 September 2015, an addition service between KL Sentral and Butterworth was introduced.[5]

Third phaseEdit

The KTM Class 93 ETS train No 203 leaving Pulau Sebang/Tampin heading towards Gemas at 1435 on 1 November 2015.

On 10 October 2015, the ETS service was extended southwards from KL Sentral to Gemas with the introduction of a new service between Padang Besar and Gemas.[6] The extension of the KTM ETS service to Gemas utilizes the electrified double-track between Seremban and Gemas which was completed in 2014. This extension of service also saw the KTM ETS service returning to Seremban after being discontinued in 2012.

Also on 10 October 2015, a new service was launched between Butterworth and Padang Besar in addition to existing services but this service was subsequently reduced in frequency and ultimately terminated, with the introduction of the KTM Komuter Northern Sector.[7]

There were constant revisions of timetables and services as more trains became available, with more train service being added for each of the route segments. The Platinum, Gold, and Silver services were also reintroduced while the terms "ETS Ekspres" and "ETS Transit" were no longer used.

Rolling stockEdit

Class Image Cars per Set In service On order Manufacturer
KTM Class 91   6 4 N/A Hyundai Rotem
KTM Class 93   6 10 9 CSR Zhuzhou

First GenerationEdit

Five KTM Class 91 train sets, each comprising six cars, were purchased by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad for $67 million (USD). The train sets were designed by Marubeni Corporation and jointly built by Hyundai Rotem of Korea and Mitsubishi Electric of Japan.[8] The maximum operational speed of the ETS fleet is 140 km/h but is designed to travel up to 160 km/h.[9] The total length of each train set is 138 m and weighs 231.8 tons. Each carriage is 22.95 m long, 2.75 m wide and 4 m high.[10] Each train set has a passenger seating capacity of 350 and includes on-board facilities including toilets, a buffet car, power sockets per two seats and two LED Televisions per car.

Second GenerationEdit

Nineteen sets of KTM Class 93 trains were ordered in two batches to expand the fleet as the electrified network expands. The first ten are now in commercial service while the second batch will enter service starting October 2019.

The rolling stock were to have been put into operation for the launch of the ETS Ekspres service between KL Sentral and Padang Besar, and the ETS Transit service between Ipoh and Padang Besar. However, reports of problems during the testing and commissioning of the train sets had resulted in the Malaysian land public transport regulator, SPAD, not approving the trains for use in time for the launch of the two services on 10 July 2015 and 11 July 2015.[11]As a result, two KTM Class 91 train sets were used for some time, one for the ETS Ekspres, and the other for the ETS Transit, allowing for just one trip for each direction for both services.

The first four KTM Class 93 sets went into service on 10 October 2015. All sets from the first batch have entered service.

The second batch differs slightly from the first, with a redesigned livery and a business class coach, a first for ETS services. They will start service in October 2019.

Fastest metre-gauge trains in the worldEdit

The ETS trains travel up to 140 km/h on electrified metre gauge rail line which can be considered as higher speed rail (HrSR) based on passenger rail terminology instead of high speed rail (HSR).

The speed is similar to that of the Kamome Express and Sonic Express in Japan, the Taroko Express and Puyuma Express in Taiwan, and the Tilt Train service in Australia. However these services use the 1,067mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge.

In view of this, there is high possibility KTM ETS service is the only one inter-city rail line recorded in the world using 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge at maximum speed of 145 km/h.

On-board serviceEdit

KTM Class 91Edit

Interior of KTM Class 91.

Standard Class: This is the only class available on the Class 91. The seats are arranged in a 2+2 fashion and each seat comes with a tray table and a power outlet. The seats can be easily converted for wheelchair use should the need arise. There is an LCD TV in every coach for entertainment. Toilets are available in every coach. For Muslim passengers, there is a prayer room in every train. There is a bistro coach which sells drinks, light snacks and microwaved meals.

KTM Class 93Edit

Standard Class: This is the only class available for the original batch of ten sets. Aside from a different seat design, the facilities available to passengers are otherwise identical to those provided on the Class 91.

Interior of the standard class accommodation on KTM Class 93.

Business Class: Scheduled to enter service in October 2019, the business class accommodation and service marks a step up from the standard class. In addition to the facilities already enjoyed in standard class, there are additional features otherwise not seen on the standard class. The seats are arranged in a 2+1 configuration and are wider and able to recline up to 45 degrees. In addition to a power outlet, a USB port is provided. Each seat has its own on demand video screen for in-train entertainment. Wi-Fi is complimentary for business class passengers. Each coach has its own steward or stewardess, which the passenger can summon from his seat. On-board dining is included in the fare. Passengers are given their own amenity kit.

Interior of KTM Class 93/2 Business Class

Proposed extensionsEdit

Gemas - JB SentralEdit

The MYR 8 billion contract was expected to be tendered out by end 2008 pending a mid-term review of Ninth Malaysia Plan. The project would have included building over 200 km of parallel railway tracks, including stations, depots, halts, yards and bridges and cover systems such as electrification, signalling and communications.[12] This included the realignment between Pulau Sebang, Melaka to Gemas section.

On May 2009, Global Rail Sdn Bhd, a relatively small contractor and its Chinese partner, China Infraglobe submitted a proposal to the Government to build and upgrade tracks from Gemas to Johor Bahru at a cost of MYR 5 billion. According to them, the project would be on a private finance initiative basis and the plan submitted to the Finance Ministry later in June 2009 was conditional upon signing over mineral rights in Johor State.[13]

On 29 January 2011, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said that the Gemas-Johor Bharu double-tracking and electrification project was expected to start that year. He added that the Government hoped to appoint the contractor for the project that year and Malaysia was still in the midst of talking with China Railway Construction, but nothing was confirmed yet. Kong said two consultants had been appointed, a design consultant and an independent checker, to monitor the project. The construction of the 197 km of tracks, at an estimated cost between MYR 6 billion and MYR 7 billion, would take three years.[14]

On 27 October 2015, the public display exercise, required for all development of new railways under Section 84 of Malaysia's Land Public Transport Act 2010, for the Gemas-Johor Bahru Electrification Double Tracking Project began and will run until 27 January 2016. According to documents on display to the public, construction is expected to begin in 2016 and be completed in 2021.[15]

The Chinese company CRCC has been awarded to build the Gemas – Johor Bahru Electrification and Double-Tracking project. Construction on the project began in Jan 2018[16]. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

The length of the line to be electrified and double-tracked is 197 km between Chainage 563.040 at Gemas and Chainage 754.180 at Johor Bahru. The project includes the construction of 11 stations at Segamat, Genuang, Labis, Bekok, Paloh, Kluang, Mengkibol, Rengam, Layang-Layang, Kulai and Kempas Baru, and 3 future stations at Tenang, Chamek and Senai. The upgraded line is supposed to cater for at least 22 services daily involving ETS, KTM Intercity and shuttle train services as well as KTM Komuter.

The documents displayed also stated that the electrification for the stretch will have the same specifications as that of the Seremban-Gemas stretch, name at 25 kV AC 50 Hz single phase and supplied via an overhead catenary. Train operations for this stretch will be integrated with the Train Control Centres at KL Sentral and Gemas. The designed speed for the tracks is 160 km/h.

There are plans to extend the Electric Train Service lines in the future from Padang Besar to Hat Yai.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Statistic for Rail Transport" (in Malay and English). Ministry of Transport, Malaysia. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Transport Statistics Malaysia 2017" (PDF) (in Malay and English). Ministry of Transport, Malaysia. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  3. ^ "Recent scheduling ETS Services". KTM Intercity. Archived from the original on 26 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ "KL-Padang Besar electric train starts run today". The Star. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help); External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ "Kenyataan Media:Penstrukturan Jadual Waktu Tren Intercity dan ETS Bermula 1 September 2015 (Restructuring of the Timetable for Intercity dan ETS Trains beginning 1 September 2015)" (PDF). KTM Berhad. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Kenyataan Media:Penstrukturan Jadual Waktu Tren Intercity dan ETS Bermula 10 Oktober 2015 (Restructuring of the Timetable for Intercity dan ETS Trains beginning 10 October 2015)" (PDF). KTM Berhad. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 November 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ "KTM BERHAD". Retrieved 2017-09-10.
  8. ^ "Marubeni Gets $67 Million Malaysia Train-Car Order, Nikkei Says". Bloomberg. Bloomberg. 26 October 2008.
  9. ^ "Electric trains to reduce travel time". The Star. Central. 24 August 2010.
  10. ^ "Electric Train Set". Malaya Railway.
  11. ^ Meng Yew Choong (19 July 2015). "Manufacturer working hard to solve issues with new ETS sets before official handover". The Star. Retrieved 20 July 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help); External link in |publisher= (help)
  12. ^ Sharen Kaur (16 June 2008). "Tenders may be called". Business Times. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
  13. ^ Sharen Kaur (12 May 2009). "RM5b rail project on drawing board". Business Times. Archived from the original on 15 May 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ "JB-Gemas railway project expected to begin this year". The Star. 29 January 2011. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ All materials available for public inspection are available at[permanent dead link]
  16. ^

External linksEdit