Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh, Malaysia Train Guide + Insider Tips

by Jackie
Published: Last Updated on
People with luggage walking to their train car at KL Sentral to go to Ipoh

Looking to take the train from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh, Malaysia? 

We highly recommend it as it’s an eco-friendly, convenient, and affordable way for locals and travelers to travel long distances in Malaysia. 

Also, the timing is very similar if taking a bus, taxi, or having a private driver, and you don’t need to worry about the traffic on the road. Ipoh has an airport, but the infrequent flights aren’t a suitable option. 

It was our first time riding the train in Malaysia, and we enjoyed it. 

In this post, we’re sharing everything that you need to know about taking the train from Kuala Lumpur (KL) to Ipoh. From the advantage of taking the train to where to buy tickets to the train schedule, we have you covered so you’ll have a smooth experience.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, we receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. Appreciate the support.

How far is Ipoh from Kuala Lumpur?

The distance is 209 kilometers (130 miles) and takes around 2 hours and 40 minutes by train. Everyone leaves KL Sentral (or any stations along the route) and arrives at Ipoh Station.

If driving by car from KL Sentral to Ipoh Station, the expected time of arrival is 2 hours and 50 minutes.

Reasons to Take the Train from KL to Ipoh

The train is very comfortable and spacious.

The train has air-conditioning which helps cool you down with the heat. The seats are also comfortable, so you can sit back and relax, nap, read a book, or do anything that you’d like. 

If you’ve taken the high-speed bullet trains in Japan or Taiwan, this train setup is similar to the trains in Malaysia. Or even in Indonesia (when we went from Surabaya to Yogyakarta).

It’s an environmentally friendly way to travel compared to bus and car.

There are fewer carbon emissions with this mass transportation. 

The train is also fast.

Expect to take 2 hours and 40 minutes for the train ride each way. 

Tickets are super affordable for budget-friendly travelers.

You can buy tickets in advance on the official KTM website here. Or, you can buy tickets at the KL Sentral train station (the main train station in KL).

Expect to pay around 35 to 38 MYR ($7.50 to $8.10 USD) per person which is a reasonable price.  

Read more: Malaysia Budget Tips

You can choose your seats in advance.

The benefit of buying your seats in advance is that you can choose your seats and specific train car. 

Each of the rows is in a 2-2 seat format. Some seats near the front and back of the train cart face each other so it’s great for families, families, and groups. 

Also, some of the seats face forward or backward depending on the direction of the train. 

If you are buying tickets online, you’ll see which way the seats face. So if you don’t want to go reverse for your 2.5+ hour ride, choose the seats going forward. 

Seating arrangements inside the KL to Ipoh train

Here is the seating arrangements inside the KL to Ipoh train

You could go to Ipoh from KL Airport.

If you’re coming from KL International or Domestic Airport, you can take the KLIA Ekspes (express line) to KL Sentral for an hour. Then, take the KTM train from KL Sentral to Ipoh for another 2.5+ hours.

If you time it right, you can get to Ipoh on the day of arrival, so you don’t need to stay overnight in KL. 

There are toilets available on the train.

We saw one worker managing the bathrooms and checked it often to refill toilet paper. 

Where is the train station in Kuala Lumpur?

KL Sentral is the main train station hub in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Click here to see the location on Google Maps. 

So, you’ll need to get to KL Sentral from your accommodations. Either take Grab (ride-hailing app) or a taxi. Your accommodations may have a shuttle, so you can inquire with them. 

All of the trains go through KL Sentral – ETS, KTM Intercity, KTM Komuter, Rapid KL, KL Monorail, KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit 

It will be confusing on which train line to take. But just remember that you’ll take the KTM ETS as ETS is for long-distance train travel. 

The ticket gate for KTM Komuter at KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

What is the train schedule for KL to Ipoh?

There are five trains per day to go to Ipoh from KL. 

Note: The train schedule may vary so the online ticket website will have the up-to-date schedule and pricing. 

Train NumberDeparture Time from KL Sentral to Arrival Time at Ipoh StationTime Duration
Gold #90228:47 to 11:282 hours 41 mins
Gold #902411:32 to 14:132 hours 41 mins
Gold #902815:00 to 17:362 hours 36 mins
Gold #903219:03 to 21:392 hours 36 mins
Silver #905221:40 to 00:182 hours 38 mins

If you plan to return from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station, there are also five trains.

Train NumberDeparture Time from Ipoh Station to Arrival Time at KL SentralTime Duration
Silver #90515:10 to 7:512 hours 41 mins
Gold #90258:22 to 11:002 hours 38 mins
Gold #902712:02 to 14:402 hours 38 mins
Gold #902915:30 to 18:082 hours 38 mins
Gold #903518:35 to 21:132 hours 38 mins

We took the first train of the day from KL Sentral at 8:47 am and arrived at Ipoh Station at 11:28am and spent three days.  

For our return trip from Ipoh to KL Sentral, we needed to arrive at the airport around 4:00pm. So working backwards, we took the 12:02pm train to arrive at KL Sentral at 2:40pm. Then took a Grab car from a pick-up spot at NU Sentral Mall for 1 hour to go to the airport for arrival at 3:45pm. 

Where can you buy tickets for the KL to Ipoh train?

Buy at the Station

For those who have a flexible schedule, you can buy tickets at the KTM ticket booth in KL Sentral Station. 

But you run the risk of not getting a seat if the train is full. This can be a problem during the peak travel season or holiday times. 

Buy Online

The more convenient way is to buy the tickets online at the official KTM website hereThis is what we did!

Step 1: Follow the instructions and input the appropriate information, such as starting location (origin – KL Sentral), destination (ending location – Ipoh), departure date, return date, and number of people. 

The KL to Ipoh ticket pricing will be between 35 to 38 MYR ($7.50 to $8.10 USD) per person. 

Step 2: Then, use a credit card to pay for the ticket. 

International credit cards are accepted, and we didn’t have any issues with using my U.S.-issued Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. Also, we were not charged any international transaction fees. Click here to learn more about Chase Sapphire Preferred. 

The website does not add any additional processing fees to the final cost. 

Step 3: You’ll receive a PDF of the ticket in your email. If you’re buying the ticket for more than one person, all of the tickets will be on one PDF. 

Step 4: You can print out a copy of the tickets or use your phone to scan the QR code at the ticket gate. 

When should you arrive at the KL Sentral train station?

We recommend that you arrive at KL Sentral train station 30 minutes before your train departure. You’ll have extra time to use the bathroom or grab a quick snack from NU Sentral Mall. 

The train boards 10 to 15 minutes before departure, so you’ll want to be ready by then.

What to Do on the Day of your KL to Ipoh Train Ride

There is a process to board your Ipoh train. 

Do not attempt to scan your train ticket QR code at the main KTM Kommuter ticket gate as it will not work. 

Step 1: You’ll need to go up the stairs or escalators to Gate B, and then scan the code at the ticket gate. There will be a group of people waiting as the boarding is staggered. 

The ticket gate at KL Sentral's Gate B is the waiting area for the KL to Ipoh train

You’ll need to visit this Gate B to wait until departure time

Step 2: Then, you’ll need to go back down the stairs or escalator to the KTM Kommuter main gate to enter. No need to scan your ticket again.

There will be a KTM representative holding a sign for Ipoh, so you’re at the right spot.  

Step 3: Go down another set of stairs or escalator to Platform 3 where the ETS trains are located.

Groups of people with luggage heading to their train car to go to Ipoh Station

Each of the train car is labeled by a letter so you find your car easily

Step 4: Afterward, find the train car and your seat and enjoy the ride!

Other Insider Tips & Things to Know About the Train Ride from KL to Ipoh

  • Store larger luggage at the end of the train car. There is a section for the large luggage storage and you’ll have more leg room. For smaller luggage or backpacks, there are overhead racks above the seats. 
  • Bring water and snacks to enjoy on your ride. We didn’t see any carts passing by selling coffee and drinks, so you’ll want to bring your own. 
  • Keep your ticket on hand. We had our tickets verified when boarding the train from KL, so ensure that your phone or physical ticket is nearby. But on our return ride from Ipoh to KL, the tickets were not checked. 
  • Bring a light jacket. Depending on the car, the air-conditioning may be on blast so it’ll be super cold. We almost turned into a popsicle! So, we recommend that you have a light jacket or a shawl for coverage. 
  • Please be considerate and keep your voice down when talking on the phone. We heard people speaking loudly on their phones or super loud music when the volume was turned up on the phone. It was a bit of a nuisance. 
  • Wearing a mask is optional. 
Jackie Szeto and Justin Huynh, Life Of Doing, sitting on the train at KL Sentral and heading to Ipoh

We’re excited to take the comfortable train!

  • Bring garbage with you. Let’s keep the train clean for the next guests, so please do not leave any litter behind and dispose trash at the train station. 
  • Once you arrive in Ipoh, use Grab (ride-hailing app) to go to your accommodation. If you haven’t thought about a place to stay in Ipoh, click here to find options on Booking.com or here on Agoda
    • If staying in Old Town, the Grab car ride will be $1-$2. There isn’t any additional cost for entering the parking lot of Ipoh Station. 
Train arrival at the Ipoh Station

We’re finally here at Ipoh Station!

Final Thoughts

We loved riding the train and the experience was great. We hope you consider riding the train as it’s a stress-free way to travel between KL and Ipoh and vice versa. 

When you arrive in Ipoh, feel free to browse the incredible street art, eat at delicious restaurants, see cave temples, and see gorgeous views at Qing Xin Lin Leisure and Cultural Village.

Enjoy your time!

Here are other posts that we’ve written about Ipoh:

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