ETS Service to the North
The local press reported yesterday the commencement of ETS service from Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar which began today. The news was greeted with a stream of congratulatory messages to KTMB and the mood among people who have been looking forward to it is generally an ecstatic one.
However, what was not clearly conveyed in most publications is the fact that it is not, at least not yet, a direct service from Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar, or Butterworth for that matter. A glance at the released timetable and fare would tell you that the services are in fact Ipoh-Butterworth vv and Butterworth -Padang Besar vv. One would have to ‘hop’ trains in order to realise a trip from Kuala Lumpur to the North. To make matters slightly complicated is that the timing of the service makes it impossible for one to arrive in Ipoh in time to catch the connecting train to the North from KL. The train starts from Ipoh at 0500hrs, reaching Butterworth slightly under two hours later at 0650. The first train from KL would not reach Ipoh until 0820.
The train from Ipoh, having reached Butterworth, would then continue as another service to Padang Besar at 0730, reaching the latter at 0915. It would effect the return service at 1400hrs, reaching and leaving Butterworth at 1545 and 1700, before terminating in ipoh at 1850hrs. It is therefore possible currently for people from Padang Besar to get to KL via ETS (the last service of the day from Ipoh to KL leaves at 2000hrs) but there is no such connection from the other direction.
This whole arrangement is affected by the use of one of the older Class 91 EMU ETS, not the newer CSR ZELC Class 93s. At least not yet. And for the upcoming Hari Raya KTM is offering another service, direct to Padang Besar, using locomotive hauled coaches – the brand new INKA coaches.
Ticketwise we have been informed that ETS tickets will have to be bought separately for the separate sectors, though we imagine this is something you can do at any one station. For fares and time table, see images below (COURTESY OF MR ZAINAL RASHID ZAKARIA via Facebook)
This arrangement is temporary, however, we are sure you’ll be glad to hear. As more of the Class 93 ETS EMUs come online after successfully completing testing and commissioning, a more direct service will be introduced. Currently two sets are under testing, with the whole new fleet of ten expected to be in service by January 2016.