Rail Transportation

Kuala Lumpur’s rail-based transit system consists of two Light Rail Transit lines (rapid transit), one monorail line, two commuter rail systems consisting four lines, and an airport rail link.

Light rail

There are three systems which are called light rail transits in Malaysia. Two are used in Kuala Lumpur to ferry paying passengers while the third is used at Kuala Lumpur International Airport to ferry passengers from the Main Terminal Building and the satellite building.

The two lines in Kuala Lumpur are the Kelana Jaya Line and the Ampang Line. The Kelana Jaya Line is a driver-less automatic system and is 29km long, running between the northeastern suburbs of Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya to the west of Kuala Lumpur. It is mostly elevated except for a 4km stretch where it goes underground and there is a short at-grade stretch. The Kelana Jaya Line was completely operational from June 1999. The older Ampang Line is 27km and consists of two lines, running between the suburb of Sentul in the north of Kuala Lumpur, and Ampang in the east, as well as Sri Petaling in the south. Trains branch off to either Ampang or Sri Petaling at Chan Sow Lin station about midway of both lines. The system is mostly at-grade outside the city, and elevated with it runs through the city. Unlike the trains on the Kelana Jaya Line, those on the Ampang Line have drivers. The line was completely opened on 1998.

The light rail system at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, called the “Aerotrain”, is a simple people-mover shuttle system running along two 1,286 m guiderails between the Main Terminal Building and Satellite Building. The two ends of the guiderails are elevated while the middle portion goes under the main airport taxiway. Each rail has a three-car automatic driver-less train.

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Monorail

Malaysia’s only monorail system is used for public transport in Kuala Lumpur. It is 8.6km long, running from Titiwangsa in the north of central Kuala Lumpur, to KL Sentral just to the south of the city center. It has 11 stations. The line consists of two parallel rails for most of the way except at the end stations where switches merge the two rails into a single rail before entering the station. The entire network is elevated. The system uses two-car trains which were manufactured in Malaysia. It is operated by KL Monorail Sdn Bhd.

There are proposals to construct monorails in Penang, Johor Bahru and Malacca but opposition has been vociferously expressed by Penang and Malacca residents concerned about the system being out of place in the historic downtown areas. Melaka has since focused on the less intrusive Aerorail. The federal administrative centre of Putrajaya was also supposed to have a monorail network and the main station and several metres of track have been built. However, the project has been postponed because of costs and the Malaysian government felt that it was not a priority project for the time being even though good public transportation would attract many Malaysians to re-locate to this new underpopulated city.

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Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad

The main intercity passenger train operator is Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB), a corporation owned by the Malaysian government. It operates KTM Intercity passenger trains on both main lines and the Bukit Mertajam-Butterworth branch.

The other branch lines are either used for freight or not used at all, with the exception of the Kuala Lumpur-Port Klang and Batu Junction-Sentul stretch of the Batu Caves branch lines which are used for its commuter train service, KTM Komuter. The commuter service also uses the double-track and electrified portions of the West Coast Line between Rawang and Seremban. KTMB is also the main operator of freight trains in Malaysia.
Besides its own network, KTMB also operates trains on the Kerteh-Kuantan railway under contract with Petronas, the owner of the line.