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Keretapi Tanah Melayu

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Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad
HeadquartersKuala Lumpur
Reporting markKTMB
LocalePeninsular Malaysia
Dates of operation1885–present
Track gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz AC overhead catenary
Length2,783 km (1,729 mi)
Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad
Company typeGovernment-owned companies thru Minister of Finance (Incorporated) (Malaysia)
HeadquartersJalan Sultan Hishamuddin, 50621 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Key people
Musa Sheikh Fadzir, Chairman
Mohd Rani Hisham Samsudin, Chief Executive Officer
  • ETS
  • DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit)

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) (Jawi:كريتاڤي تانه ملايو برحد) or Malayan Railway Limited, colloquially referred to simply as KTM, is the main rail operator in Peninsular Malaysia. The railway system dates back to the British colonial era, when it was first built to transport tin. Previously known as the Federated Malay States Railways (FMSR) the Malayan Railway Administration (MRA), and the Malayan Railway, Keretapi Tanah Melayu acquired its current name in 1962.[1] The organisation was corporatised in 1992, but remains wholly owned by the Malaysian government.


A KTM Intercity train in Singapore.

In 1948, the FMSR was renamed the Malayan Railway. The railways had been devastated by the Japanese invasion of Malaya, and efforts were taken to rebuild the two main lines, but many branch lines were abandoned in the process.

The MR began to modernize the equipment with the ordering of diesel locomotives and railcars to replace steam-hauled services, and the first diesel locomotive entered service in 1957. The railcars entered service in 1960, initially on short-haul services.[2] Rapid services were introduced later, cutting travel times from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur down to six hours, which was competitive at the time.[3] MR and later KTM continued ordering more diesel locomotives through the decades, rendering the old steam locomotives redundant. The last steam locomotive was withdrawn from service in 1974.

Malayan Railways also operated an air service from 1954 to 1958, known as Federation Air Service. The service was transferred to Malayan Airways in March 1958.[4]

The 1970s saw the closure of many branch lines, such as the Batu Arang branch in 1971 and the historic Taiping to Port Weld branch in 1972. The Port Dickson branch was converted to freight-only operation in 1972, although seasonal passenger service did continue for a short while.[5] However, construction did continue for a new line to Subang Airport used to transport fuel, which opened in 1980.

Railbuses were introduced in the 1980s for short-haul commuter services. They were deployed in the Klang Valley, on Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh, Ipoh to Butterworth, Gemas to Mentakab and Kulai to Singapore services.[5] On certain routes such as Kulai to Singapore, the railbuses were faster than conventional trains, and in this instance saved travel time of 15 minutes.[5] They lasted until the introduction of KTM Komuter in 1995, which took over commuter services in the Klang Valley.

KTM was corporatised in 1992, with all assets now under the ownership and management of the Railway Assets Corporation (RAC). The company runs as a private enterprise although owned and subsidized by the Malaysian government. There were attempts by private companies to take over the operations since then, but such proposals were rejected by the Malaysian government.[6]

The 1990s saw the start of another modernization programme. Proposals were made to electrify the West Coast line, which started with the Klang Valley area. Electric trains made their debut on 3 August 1995 with KTM Komuter, with services from Port Klang to Sentul and Rawang to Seremban. Under this programme, existing stations were renovated or rebuilt and new stations were built.

The programme was faced with delays throughout the 2000s, with the government postponing many electrification projects. However, from 2007 onwards there was a renewed effort to electrify the west coast line. The completion of such electrification projects from Padang Besar to Gemas to date has allowed the commencement of electrified intercity services in the form of ETS. As the projects were completed in stages, the KTM Komuter and ETS services were expanded over the years to take advantage of the upgraded lines. The East Coast line, which had not seen upgrades for many years, will see upgrades in the form of rehabilitated track, new DMUs and rebuilt stations by 2021.

Railway network[edit]

The 1000mm gauge network consists of two main lines and several branch lines.

West Coast Line[edit]

The West Coast Line runs from the Malaysia-Thailand Border, where it connects with the State Railway of Thailand, to Woodlands Train Checkpoint in Singapore, serving the West Coast states of Peninsular Malaysia. The line runs through most of the major stations in Peninsular Malaysia, such as Gemas, KL Sentral, Ipoh, Butterworth and Padang Besar railway station.

East Coast Line[edit]

The East Coast Line branches off from the West Coast line at Gemas, running to Tumpat in Kelantan, serving two of Peninsular Malaysia's East Coast states, namely Pahang and Kelantan. Despite its name, it only meets the coast when it reaches Tumpat railway station. It runs through the interior, often through deep jungle, thus earning the nickname Jungle Railway.

Branch lines[edit]

There are several branch lines running from the two main lines. Some are mixed traffic, catering to passenger and freight traffic while others only cater to freight trains.

  • Subang Jaya - Terminal Skypark (Passenger - Not In Service [7] )
  • Putra - Batu Caves (Passenger)
  • Butterworth - Bukit Mertajam (Mixed Traffic)
  • Port Klang - Pulau Indah (Freight)
  • Butterworth - North Butterworth Container Terminal (Freight)
  • Kempas Baru - Tanjung Pelepas (Freight)
  • Kempas Baru - Pasir Gudang (Freight)


The total network spans 1,641 km (1,020 mi). The total length of the network was 1,700 km (1,100 mi), however due to the closure and subsequent removal of the section of tracks between Tanjong Pagar railway station and Woodlands Train Checkpoint, the network is now shorter.

The West Coast line is double tracked and electrified between Padang Besar and Gemas, along with all branch lines used for passenger service along this stretch. As part of the upgrades, all level crossings have been removed and modern signalling installed.

The stations along these line are a combination of heritage stations from the colonial era, such as Ipoh Station and Kuala Lumpur Station, and modern stations that were built when the line was double-tracked, such as Taiping, Butterworth, and Arau stations.

The remainder of the West Coast main line from Gemas Station to Johor Bahru Sentral Station is still in the process of being double-tracked and electrified under the Gemas - Johor Bahru Electrified Double Track Project.

The East Coast line is single-tracked. Having not seen many upgrades over the years, the line is considerably less modern than the upgraded sections of the West Coast line. Level crossings are still prevalent and the traditional token signalling system is still used. The stations along this line are older and smaller. Although the line will remain single-tracked, rehabilitation works are underway to replace the worn track and many stations are also being upgraded.

Most of the lines use concrete sleepers, which replaced wooden sleepers from 1982 for the Kerdau-Jerantut and Sungai Yu-Tumpat lines and became more widespread after upgrading works in recent years.

When the East Coast Line rehabilitation work and West Coast line double tracking is complete, the network will exclusively use concrete sleepers.

Rolling stock[edit]

List of Shunters
Class Image Manufacturer Year Built Built Numbers Type Status
15 United Kingdom English Electric Co. Ltd. 1948-1949 20 15101-15120 Diesel-Electric Decommissioned.

as of July 2021: 1 unit, No. 15101 is preserved at KTMB Sungai Petani Station.

16 United Kingdom North British Locomotive Company 1955 6 16101-16106 Diesel-Hydraulic Decommissioned
17 Japan Kisha Seizo 1964 15 17101-17105 Diesel-Hydraulic Decommissioned
18 Netherlands Brush HMA 1979 10 18101-18110 Diesel-Electric Decommissioned. As of February 2024: No. 18109 is preserved at Johor Bahru Old Railway Station @ Museum and 1 unit preserved at Batu Gajah Depot.
19 Japan Hitachi 1983 10 19101-19110 Diesel-Electric In Service. As of February 2024: 4 units active, 6 units inactive.
List of Mainline Diesels
Class Image Manufacturer Year Built Built Numbers Type Status
20 United Kingdom English Electric Co. Ltd. Associated

Vulcan Foundry Locomotive Works

1957 26 20101-20126 Diesel-Electric Decommissioned. No. 20125 preserved at Sultan Alam Shah Museum, Shah Alam and one of the cab of No. 20116 is on display infront of Victoria Station Restaurant in Jalan Ampang.
21 Japan Kisha Seizo 1965


25 21101-21115


Diesel-Hydraulic Decommissioned. As of February 2024: 1 unit, No. 21111 is preserved at People's Museum, Malacca.
22 United Kingdom English Electric

Associated Electrical Industries


1971 40 22101-22140 Diesel-Electric Decommissioned.

As of February 2024: 5 units preserved : National Museum (No.22121, re-numbered to 22102),

First Galleria Taiping (No.22125),

Tampin District Garden (No.22131),

Johor Bahru Old Railway Station @ Museum

3 transferred for use by civil engineering contractors.

23 Japan Hitachi Ltd. Japan 1983 15 23101-23115 Diesel-Electric In Service.

As of February 2024: 4 units active, 11 units decommissioned with 1 unit preserved at Istana Sultan Johor

24 Japan Toshiba Corporation Japan, associated Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. Japan. 1987 26 24101-24126 Diesel-Electric In Service. as of February 2024: 8 units active, 2 units inactive, 16 units decommissioned with 1 unit preserved at Mess Sri Kota, Bukit Tunku KL
25 Canada Electro-Motive Diesel 1990


17 25101-25112


Diesel-Electric In Service. As of February 2024: 15 units active, 2 units inactive.
26 Germany-United States Adtranz 2003 20 26101-26120 Diesel Electric In Service.

As of February 2024: All 20 units active.

29 China Dalian Locomotive & Rolling Stock 2005 20 29101-29120 Diesel Electric In Service. as of February 2024: All 20 units active.
YDM4 United States American Locomotive Company 1996 39 Diesel Electric Exported
List of Electric Locomotives
Class Image Manufacturer Year Built Built Numbers Type Status
EL China CRRC 2015 2 EL001-002 Electric Decommissioned, returned to China
List of Diesel Multiple Units
Class Image Manufacturer Year built Type Status
27 Australia Commonwealth Engineering 1960 Diesel-Electric Railcar Decommissioned
28 Japan Hitachi 1966 Diesel-Electric Railcar Decommissioned
Railbus Hungarian People's Republic Ganz Mavag 1988 Diesel Railbus Decommissioned
61 China CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive 2019 Diesel-Electric

Multiple Unit

In service
List of KTM Komuter Electric Multiple Units
Class Image Manufacturer Year built Built Numbers Status
81 Austria Jenbacher 1994 18 EMU 01-EMU 18 5 refurbished and in service
82 South Africa Union Carriage & Wagon 1996 22 EMU 41-EMU 62 Decommissioned
83 South Korea Hyundai Rotem 1996 22 EMU 19-EMU 40 In Service
92 China CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive 2012 38 SCS 01-SCS 38 In Service
List of KTM ETS Electric Multiple Units
Class Image Manufacturer Year Built Built Numbers Status
91 South Korea Hyundai Rotem

Japan Mitsubishi Electric

2009 5 ETS 01-ETS 05 In service
93 China CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive 2015


19 ETS 201- ETS 210

ETS 211 - ETS 219

In service


Northern Depot[edit]

  • Padang Besar Depot
  • Bukit Tengah Depot
  • Batu Gajah Depot
  • ETS Batu Gajah Depot
  • Central Workshop Batu Gajah

Central Depot[edit]

  • KL Sentral Depot
  • Port Klang Depot
  • Sentul Depot

Southern Depot[edit]

  • SCS Seremban Depot
  • Gemas Depot
  • Kempas Baru Depot

East Coast Depot[edit]

  • Tumpat Depot
  • Kuala Lipis Depot


As a national railway company, KTMB is involved in the business of providing rail-based transportation. This can be divided into four major services:

KTM Intercity[edit]

KTM Intercity (Malay: KTM Antarabandar) is the brand name for long-haul passenger trains that connect cities and major towns served by the KTMB rail network.

The service is provided using conventional locomotive-hauled coaches and DMUs. Services span the length of the network, except branch-lines. Daily services convey passengers from:
Locomotive-hauled coaches:


  1. Gemas - Kuala Lipis (2 return trips daily)
  2. Kuala Lipis - Tumpat (1 return trip daily)
  3. Kuala Lipis - Gua Musang (1 return trip daily)
  4. Gua Musang - Tumpat (2 return trips daily)
  5. Dabong - Tumpat (1 return trip daily)

It is possible for customers to rent specialized coaches for event management, conferences and even weddings.

It has also been involved in various types of collaborations, joint-promotions, and cross-promotions with all state-level tourism bodies, travel agencies and travel-related industry players in developing rail packages for group travellers.

ETS (Electric Train Service)[edit]

KTM ETS, which stands for Electric Train Service, is a rapid intercity train service by KTM utilizing electric train-sets. The service started in 2010 using metre-gauge.

It currently operates on the lines from Gemas, Negeri Sembilan to Padang Besar, Perlis, Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh, Perak, and Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth, Penang.

The trains travel up to 140 km/h (87 mph) on electrified lines.

For example, the travel time between KL Sentral and Ipoh is about 2 hours and 20 minutes, which compared favourably with the previous intercity train travel time of 3 hours and 30 minutes while buses can take up to 3 hours.[citation needed]

Each train set is capable of carrying up to 350 passengers.

KTM Komuter[edit]

A KTM Komuter Class 83 at Bank Negara station.

KTM Komuter is a commuter rail service serving the Klang Valley and Northern part of Malaysia.

The central sector consists of the Batu Caves Line, Seremban/Pulau Sebang Line, Port Klang Line and Tanjung Malim Line. Since 2018, KTM Komuter also operates an airport train service - the KL Sentral-Terminal Skypark Line linking KL Sentral to the Subang Airport. The fleet presently consists of Class 83 (three cars) and Class 92 (six cars).

The Northern Sector consists of two routes, namely the Butterworth/Bukit Mertajam-Ipoh route as well as the Butterworth-Padang Besar route.

KTM Komuter is a heavily utilised mode of transportation by commuters working in Kuala Lumpur as the service is an alternative for road travel, which is occasionally hampered by congestion. Virtually all KTM Komuter stops offer "Park & Ride" parking lots for those who drive to and from the station or halt.

KTM Kargo[edit]

KTM Kargo provides cargo conveyance services, with a network that spans almost the whole of the KTMB rail network. It is accessible from seaports and Inland Container Terminal (ICT) as well as industrial centres.

Cargo services are a major contributor to KTM's overall revenue.

Currently, there are 45 cargo train services daily with 23 routes daily, of which about 70% are concentrated in the Northern sector. KTMB runs 37 freight train services daily of which about 80% are concentrated in the Northern sector.

The services include

  • Bukit Ketri - Kuang (Cement)
  • Padang Rengas - Batu Caves (Cement)
  • Padang Rengas - Gelang Patah (Cement)
  • Kanthan - Padang Jawa (Cement)
  • Tasek - Gelang Patah (Cement)
  • Prai - Padang Besar (South Thai Cargo)
  • Pelabuhan Klang - Prai (Landfeeder)
  • Pelabuhan Klang - Padang Besar (Landfeeder)
  • Pelabuhan Klang - Ipoh (Landfeeder)
  • Pelabuhan Klang - Pasir Gudang (Landfeeder)
  • North Port - West Port (Inter Terminal Transfer)
  • West Port - North Port (Inter Terminal Transfer)
  • PTP - Pasir Gudang (Inter Terminal Transfer)
  • Prai - Thungsong (Landbridge)
  • Prai - Surathani (Landbridge)
  • Prai - Padang Besa (Thai) - (Landbridge)
  • Pelabuhan Klang - Hatyai (Landbridge)
  • Sungai Way - Bangkok (Landbridge)
  • Prai - Sungai Buloh (Sugar)
  • Gurun - Butterworth (Urea)

Main commodities carried by rail comprise the following:

  1. Maritime containers
  2. Landbridge cargos
  3. Cement
  4. Sugar
  5. Gypsum
  6. Chemicals

Generally, cargo is moved either in open or covered wagons. In the future, all covered wagons will be replaced with containers to allow for flexibility i.e. goods can be dismounted from the train and delivered directly to customers' premises.

Non-rail subsidiaries[edit]

KTM operates several non-rail subsidiaries. Though considered as non-core businesses, KTMB has benefited from these two operations, which are:

  • Multimodal Freight (MMF)

Multimodal Freight Sdn. Bhd., incorporated in 1988, was licensed as a Government approved Container Haulier in 1991, and went on to obtain the Government approved Multimodal Transport Operator (MTO) status in 1999. The company operates a fleet of 225 Prime Movers and 1,300 trailers of both 20-foot and 40-foot configurations. The fleet is deployed at all major seaports and the inland ports of Ipoh and Nilai.[8]

  • KTM Distribution (KTMD)

Its core business was in the provision of express parcel distribution services to the commercial, industrial and administrative sectors and operated within Malaysia and Singapore. Parcel distribution previously carried out via parcel train cars attached to intercity services where items like parcel and motorbikes could be carried, but this practice has since moved to trucks after rail modernisation and the closure of Tanjong Pagar Railway station in Singapore. Previously, KTMD was also licensed by the Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission as a courier service provider, which enabled it to carry letters and documents up to 2 kg (4.4 lb). On 1st November 2022, KTM Distribution announced it would be ending its service after 38 years of operations. [9]


Since the corporatisation of KTMB, a programme of modernization has been underway. In 1989, it embarked on the double-tracking and electrification of the trunk line between Rawang and Seremban, the branch lines between Batu Junction and Sentul and between Kuala Lumpur and Port Klang, allowing KTM Komuter services to start running in 1995.[10] Successive double tracking projects has allowed for expansion of electric traction to intercity services in the form of ETS. The entire West Coast line is scheduled to be fully electrified by 2022.

Completed projects[edit]

  • Rehabilitation of 327 km (203 mi) long metre-gauge tracks from Paloh to Singapore and from Slim River to the main Seremban line in Malaysia (1988–1994) (US$70 million)
  • Electrification and double tracking of the Rawang-Seremban route (1990–1994) (US$62 million)
  • Electrification and double tracking of the Kuala Lumpur-Port Klang railway route, including spur lines to Subang Jaya and Sentul (1991–1994) (US$66 million)
  • Construction of railway bridges, road over bridges and underpasses along the Rawang-Kajang route (1991–1994) (US$6 million)
  • Construction of railway bridges, road over bridges and underpasses along the Kajang-Seremban route (1991–1994) (US$16 million)
  • Widening of railway tunnels near Seremban (1994–1995) (US$4 million)
  • Construction of railway culverts and box pushing along the Nilai-Seremban route (1994–1995) (US$4 million)
  • Track linking Port Klang to Pulau Indah (1997–1999) (US$4 million)
  • Construction of the Port of Tanjung Pelepas, a rail link in Johor (1999–2002) (US$121 million)
  • Track works at Kuala Lumpur Sentral station (1999–2001) (RM14.3 million)
  • Electrification and double tracking of the Rawang-Ipoh route (2000-2008) (RM2.57 billion)
  • Electrification and double tracking of the Sentul-Batu Caves route (2006-2010) (RM515 million)
  • Electrification and double tracking of the Seremban-Gemas route (2008-2013) (RM3.45 billion)
  • Electrification and double tracking of the Ipoh-Padang Besar route (2008-2014) (RM12.5 billion)
  • Electrification and double tracking of Subang Jaya-Subang Airport route (2013-2018) (RM521 million)
  • A new integrated station named Penang Sentral built which will connect KTM Railway, monorail, bus and ferry service in one building at Butterworth.

Current projects[edit]

  • Electrification and double tracking of Gemas-JB route (2018-2025)
  • Rehabilitation of tracks in the Klang Valley(KVDT), Phase 1 (2016-2021)[11]
  • Rehabilitation of tracks in the Klang Valley (KVDT), Phase 2 (2019 - 2030)
  • Rehabilitation of tracks Gemas - Mentakab (Package A) (2016 - 2020)
  • Rehabilitation of tracks Jerantut - Gua Musang (Package B) (2016 - 2020)
  • Rehabilitation of tracks Gua Musang - Tumpat (Package C) (2016 -2020)

Proposed projects[edit]

  • Outer Ring Railway Service to connect all suburbs in the Klang Valley without going through the city centre.[12]
  • Construction of the Subang Jaya - Sungai Buloh Link which will act as a freight bypass to allow freight trains to avoid having to enter the Kuala Lumpur Komuter network. Works are divided into two phases; Phase 1 is from Subang Jaya - Subang Airport; Phase 2 is from Subang Airport - Sungai Buloh. As of now, Phase 1 has already been completed.
  • Extension of the ETS service to Hat Yai, Thailand.

Board of directors[edit]

  • Chairman: YBhg. Datuk Musa Hj Sheikh Fadzir
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO): YBrs. Encik Mohd Rani Hisham Samsudin
  • Non-Independent, Non-Executive Director: YBrs. Encik Iszad Jeffri Ismail
  • Independent Non-Executive Director: YBrs. Encik Md Silmi Abd Rahman, YBhg.Datuk Seri Yew Teong Look
  • Heads of Strategic Business Units;
    • KTM Intercity: Puan Nurul Azha Mokmin
    • KTM Komuter: Encik Roshidi Yahaya
    • KTM Kargo: Encik Mohd Din Mohamad

Previous and current logos[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "KTM Berhad". Transport Malaysia. 6 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Pin by Kiran Ludher on Malaysia | Vintage travel posters, Vintage train, Vintage posters". Pinterest. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  3. ^ "KTM Brochure circa 1967". Facebook.
  4. ^ "Twitter". Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Malaya Railway History 1950-2000". Archived from the original on 17 June 2014.
  6. ^ "Govt rejects MMC-Gamuda bid to take over KTMB ops". Suara Rum. 4 February 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  7. ^ Aziz, Fazlenna (20 January 2023). "Skypark-KL Sentral rail link to be temporarily halted starting Feb 15". The Star.
  8. ^ "Multimodal Freight Sdn. Bhd. Company Info". KTM berhad.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "KTM Distribution (Kiriman Ekspres) Closing Down on 1 November 2022 • RailTravel Station". Rail Travel Station. 1 October 2022.
  10. ^ "KTM projects introduction". Archived from the original on 26 August 2007. Retrieved 14 June 2007.
  11. ^ Bernama (3 September 2019). "Rehabilitation of double track could be ready in 5 years: Loke". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Commuter line for suburbs". The Star. Archived from the original on 21 April 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2008.


  • Shamsuddin, Haji (1985). Malayan Railway, 1885 – 1985: Locomotive Centennial. Kuala Lumpur: Hidayah. ISBN 9679800024.
  • Smith, Patrick G. (2006). Malayan Railways: A Brief Introduction. Greenwich, UK: British Overseas Railways Historical Trust. ISBN 1901613011.
  • Stanistreet, J. A. (1974). Keretapi Tanah Melayu: the Malayan Railway. Lingfield, Surrey, UK: Oakwood Press. ISBN 0853611327.