Rail transport in Malaysia consists of heavy
rail, light rapid transit (LRT), mass rapid transit (MRT), monorails, airport
rail links and a funicular railway line. Heavy rail is mostly
used for intercity passenger and freight transport as well as some urban public
transport, while rapid transit is used for intra-city urban public transport
in Kuala Lumpur, the national capital, and the surrounding Klang
Valley region. There are two airport rail link systems linking
Kuala Lumpur with the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Sultan
Abdul Aziz Shah Airport. The longest monorail line in the country is
also used for public transport in Kuala Lumpur, while the only funicular railway
line is in Penang.
The railway network covers most of the 11 states in Peninsular
Malaysia. In East Malaysia, only the state of Sabah has railways. The
network is also connected to the Thai railway 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+3⁄8 in)
network in the north. If the Burma Railway is rebuilt, services to
Myanmar, India, and China could be initiated.
The intercity railway network in Peninsular Malaysia consists
of two main lines: The KTM West Coast Line between Singapore and Padang
Besar, Perlis, on the Malaysian-Thai border, and the KTM East Coast
Line between Gemas in Negeri Sembilan and Tumpat in Kelantan.
There are also several branch lines – between Kuala Lumpur and Port Klang,
Batu Junction and Batu Caves, Bukit Mertajam and Butterworth,
Kempas and Tanjung Pelepas, and Kempas and Pasir Gudang. The entire
1,699 km network uses 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+3⁄8 in) metre
gauge tracks. The network uses a ballasted setup with locally
manufactured concrete sleepers.
The network is linked with the Thai railway network
at Padang Besar.
A total of 438 km of the network is double-tracked and
electrified. They include portions of the West Coast Line between Gemas and Padang
Besar and the entire Port Klang branch line as well as Batu
Caves branch line. The double-tracked and electrified portions
between Tanjung Malim and Pulau Sebang/Tampin, and between
Padang Besar and Padang Rengas, as well as the Port Klang, Batu Caves and
Butterworth branch lines are used for commuter rail services.
The Sabah State Railway.
There is a 134 km (83 mi) railway line linking
Tanjung Aru near Kota Kinabalu and Tenom in the interior
of Sabah state. The line is the only railway on the island of Borneo.
Normal passenger trains operated by the Sabah State Railway Department.
The line has been suffering from lack of maintenance for many years and in
2006, the Malaysian Government funded rehabilitation works for the
line. A pipe dream is to have a railway line from Kota Kinabalu to Kuching
through Brunei though the cost of this would mean seeking funding from Brunei.
Ekspres Rail Link (ERL)
One of Malaysia's two fastest rail lines is the 57 km
(35 mi) standard gauge airport rail link between Kuala
Lumpur and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. This line may not be considered a high speed
line because the maximum speed used is 160 km/h (99 mph). The line
was constructed by Express Rail Link, which also operates the two train
services which use the line, namely the KLIA Ekspres and KLIA
Light Rapid Transit
Rapid KL Sri Petaling Line
There are currently two operational light rail systems in
Malaysia. One is used as the major public transport system in the Klang
Valley, while another acts as a automated people mover at the Kuala Lumpur
International Airport to ferry passengers from the Main Terminal Building
and the satellite building.
The LRT system in the Klang valley consist of three LRT
lines which are the Kelana Jaya Line, the Ampang Line and Sri
Petaling Line. The Kelana Jaya Line is a driver-less automatic system and is
46.4 km (29 mi) long, running between the northeastern suburbs of
Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya to the west of Kuala Lumpur, and south
towards Subang Jaya. It is mostly elevated except for a 4 km
(2.5 mi) stretch where it goes underground and a short at-grade stretch in
the north. The Kelana Jaya Line was completely operational from June 1999. The
older Ampang Line and Sri Petaling Line share a common track between the suburb
of Sentul in the north of Kuala Lumpur and Chan Sow Lin in the
central region, before branching out to their respective termini. The
15 km (9 mi) Ampang Line travels to Ampang in the east and
the 37.6 km (23 mi) Sri Petaling Line travels towards southern Kuala
Lumpur and onwards to Puchong. The system is mostly a mixture of at-grade
and elevated tracks outside the city, and is completely elevated with it runs
through the city. Both lines were completely opened in 1998. The Kelana
Jaya Line and the Sri Petaling Line both terminate at Putra
The automated people mover system at Kuala
Lumpur International Airport, called the "Aerotrain", is a simple
people-mover shuttle system running along two 1,286 m (4,219 ft)
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.