These days, the quickest way to travel overland from Georgetown on Penang Island to Kuala Lumpur city centre is to take the fast ETS train from Penang to KL Sentral.
These Electric Train Services depart from the mainland at Butterworth (Penang Sentral) and can take you to either the old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station or KL's main transport hub, KL Sentral Railway Station (it is only a few minutes between each station but KL Sentral is the best option for travel connections to the rest of the city or KUL Airport).
(Jadual ETS Penang ke KL Sentral)
To see the latest ETS train timetable for all services heading south to KL, click on the following link:
The average time to travel by train from Butterworth Railway Station to KL Sentral is around 4 hours and 20 - 25 minutes using these fast ETS services (much faster than taking a bus).
There are two types of ETS service on this route and travel times vary slightly depending on which one you choose.
ETS Gold Services are the cheaper of the two options and only slightly slower due to the fact that they stop more frequently along the route to Kuala Lumpur.
ETS Platinium Services from Penang to KL offer the quickest services and usually depart at the most popular times of the day (there is also a new Business Class coach on some Platinum trains if you want to travel in more comfort).
(Harga tiket ETS dari Penang ke KL Sentral)
How much you pay for your tickets depends on a few factors:
The normal price for the ETS Platinum services usually cost 79 MYR.
The normal price for the ETS Gold services is usually 59 MYR.
However, another thing you have to take into account is how far in advance you book your tickets.
With KTM now offering "Flexi Fares" for ETS trains, the further in advance you book, the cheaper the price.
If you book over 30 days in advance tickets cost a little less then the prices above.
If you book between 7 and 30 days in advance you will be able to buy tickets at the normal prices shown above.
If you book a "Last Minute" ticket (6 days or less in advance) tickets will cost you slightly more.
If you are staying on Penang Island, there is no need to go over to Butterworth Railway Station to buy your advance tickets as you can either:
Visit the small KTM Ticket Office located at the Jetty (Jeti) along the walkway to the Penang to Butterworth ferry departure area.
The Jeti is easy to get to from anywhere in Georgetown as nearly all RapidPenang buses will end up there (including the FreeCat bus) or you can walk there from places like Chulia Street in 10 - 15 minutes.
To get to Butterworth Station to take the train to KL you need to take the ferry from Georgetown to Butterworth (Penang Sentral).
The boat trip takes just 15 minutes but you should allow plenty of time to catch your train as you may have to wait a while for the ferry to depart (plan on catching the ferry at least an hour before you train departs).
Once you arrive at the jetty in Butterworth, just follow the signs to the KTM station which will take you through the new Penang Sentral Terminal building, then on to the train station (5 - 10 minutes walking time).