Jul 30 2012
With the closure of Singapore’s historic Tanjong Pagar railway station in 2011, all trains out of Singapore now depart from the Woodlands Train Checkpoint. Here’s everything you need to know about leaving Singapore by train.
Getting to Woodlands Train Checkpoint
Woodlands Train Checkpoint is located in the northern part of Singapore near the Causeway that links Singapore to the city of Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
The easiest way to get to Woodlands Train Checkpoint is to take the MRT to Kranji Station then hop on bus #170 or #178 and alight at the aptly named “Woodlands Train Checkpoint” bus stop. If you’re coming by taxi or car, there is a designated drop-off point.
Woodlands Train Checkpoint does not look like a train station – in fact, you won’t even see train tracks until you’re through immigration.
On the ground floor is the KTM Railway Ticketing Office. If you haven’t purchased your tickets in advance via www.ktmb.com.my, you can purchase tickets here up to 20 minutes before the train is scheduled to depart. Payment is by Singapore dollars only.
On the second level is a waiting area before you go through Customs & Immigration. The doors to this secure area open exactly 30 minutes before the train is scheduled to depart. The waiting area does not have public toilets or anywhere to eat, so there’s no reason to arrive early.
Customs & Immigration
One of the best things about leaving Singapore by train is how quick the immigration process is: the passport control counters here are solely for train passengers, so lines are much shorter. First, you need to complete your Singapore departure card and have your passport stamped to show that you have left Singapore.
Immediately after this is Malaysian Immigration where they will stamp your passport to show that you have entered Malaysia. Most nationalities are eligible for visa-free entry for tourism. There is no entry card to fill out for Malaysia, but they may scan your fingerprints. It’s also normal to have your luggage X-rayed.
Once you’ve gone through all the immigration formalities, you will be at the train platform. Check your ticket to find your coach and seat number.
Malaysian trains are generally clean and comfortable with air-con carriages and soft seats. Sleeping berths are also available for overnight trains like Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. The trains have toilets and dining cars, but the food options are a bit disappointing (especially compared to trains in Thailand), so it’s worth packing some snacks if you have a long journey ahead of you.
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