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Thailand forum

Bangkok to Penang by train

Posted by Antaro on 27/7/2017 at 04:23

Hi there,

from what I found out, it seems as if the way to go from Thailand to Penang has changed last year with the introduction of new electrical trains in Malaysia. Two questions about that, as I didn't find any info:

- Is there still a train running from Thailand all the way down to Butterworth with border formalities in Pedang Basar or do I have to change trains there?
- Is it still possible to buy a ticket in Thailand for the whole way or do I need to get a new ticket at the border for the malaysian part of the journey?

Many thanks! A.

#1 Antaro has been a member since 13/1/2008. Posts: 12

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Posted by mikal83 on 27/7/2017 at 06:16

took my pc 0.00023 of a second to find this!

#2 mikal83 has been a member since 19/1/2015. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 140
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Posted by Antaro on 27/7/2017 at 06:37

Thanks Mikal, was the first place for my research, but didn't answer my questions.
(or I'm to stupid to understand it ;)

#3 Antaro has been a member since 13/1/2008. Posts: 12

Posted by jojowilliams on 27/7/2017 at 08:04

I am also interested. A few years ago I arrived in Bangkok about March 7 hoping to buy train tickets to get to Singapore to fly home and everything was sold out for a week or more so beware of that. I had to buy air tickets so I still need to get to Penang, by train I hope.

#4 jojowilliams has been a member since 26/7/2017. Posts: 6

Posted by jojowilliams on 27/7/2017 at 08:14

I just looked at and see it has changed since my last visit. There are trains marked ETS and the footnote says they are the new "ETS = Electric Train Service. New generation air-conditioned train with one class of seats & buffet car." That will be fine in one direction, to get to Penang, but I still want to ride the Jungle Line at least part way.

#5 jojowilliams has been a member since 26/7/2017. Posts: 6

Posted by Antaro on 27/7/2017 at 08:52

There are different informations on seat61. In Thai-Section they still have train Nr.45 running from Bangkok to Butterworth, in Malysia-Section it sounds like you have to change trains and probably need a new ticket?
A couple of years ago it was only one train for the whole way, you just had to leave the train for the bordercrossing ...
Jojo, the Jungle Line is a different route running down the eastcoast from Had Yai, I don't know much about that ...

#6 Antaro has been a member since 13/1/2008. Posts: 12

Posted by jojowilliams on 29/7/2017 at 08:19

Yeah, I know, and that's my dilemna, and last year when I thought I might go I read that the Jungle Line was out of service part way. I thought if I could go up the east coast to parallel with Penang and then cross to the west coast I would have had my fill of the Jungle Line and get to Penang, which I really want to visit, and then continue to Laos from Penang. I particularly don't want to return to KL.
As I'm zeroing in on Jan or Feb 2018 my research will become more intense.

#7 jojowilliams has been a member since 26/7/2017. Posts: 6

Posted by BigEnso on 30/7/2017 at 09:19

I just returned from a trip on that route. The train goes from Bangkok to Padang Besar. Try the stir-fried chicken with cachew nuts for dinner.

After going through immigration at Padang Besar, you buy a separate ticket on the KTM Komuter train which takes you to Butterworth. It takes a little under two hour. Seats are not reserved so if it looks crowded, try to board sooner rather than later. Do a last minute toilet stop before you get on the Komuter since it has no toilets.

Once at Butterworth you can take the free shuttle to the ferry. Especially recommended if you are carrying a lot.

Penang is a great place. Enjoy the wonderful variety of food there.


#8 BigEnso has been a member since 5/12/2014. Posts: 1

Posted by Antaro on 31/7/2017 at 04:57

Thanks for the Info, David!

#9 Antaro has been a member since 13/1/2008. Posts: 12

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