Timothy Tye
Arriving in Singapore by Train

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I don't recommend taking the train to Singapore. I find that the present train service is still too slow compared to taking a flight or even going by bus. There is a plan to electrify the line between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and to introduce a high-speed train service, but this has not yet materialized. Until then, my preference is to take the train between Malaysia and Singapore.

Having said the above, if you want to take the train to Singapore, there are a number of services from Malaysia to Singapore. They are operated by Malayan Railway, also called KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu). The Singapore terminus of the intercity trains from Malaysia is the Woodlands Train Checkpoint.

Getting out from Woodlands Train Checkpoint

From the Woodlands Train Checkpoint, you can take a bus to the MRT Stations in vicinity for your onward journey to various parts of Singapore. Bus 856, 903, 911, 912, 913 go to Woodlands MRT Station, Bus 856 goes to Marsiling MRT Station while Bus 178, 170 Red Plate* go to Kranji MRT Station. (* Make sure to take the bus with Red Plate only, as Bus 170 Green Plate goes to Kotaraya in Johor Bahru.)

Woodlands Train Checkpoint, SingaporeWoodlands Train Checkpoint, Singapore
Author: Kyrios320 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Trains from the West Coast of Malaysia

The Ekspres Rakyat service starts from Butterworth at 8:00 am in the morning and arrives in Woodlands at 8:25 pm the same day. The Senandung Sutera service starts at KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur at 11:00 pm in the evening and arrives in Woodlands at 6:35 am the following morning.

Trains from the East Coast of Malaysia

The Sinaran Timur services starts from Tumpat in Kelantan at 7:00 am in the morning, and arrives in Woodlands, at 9:20 pm in the evening. The overnight Senandung Timuran starts in Tumpat at 8:30 pm in the evening and arrives in Woodlands at 10:15 am the following morning. The are also Shuttle services. The Shuttle service from Kuala Lipis departs at 8:15 am in the morning and arrives at 5:25 pm in the evening. The Shuttle from Gemas starts at 1:45 am in the morning and arrives in Woodlands at 5:50 am the same morning.

KTM train heading out of SingaporeKTM train heading out of Singapore
Author: kiampa (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

Coming from Bangkok

If you are coming from Bangkok, you can take a train to either Butterworth or Hatyai, and from there take change trains. I would recommend the option to Butterworth, as you only change trains once. If you take the train to Hatyai, you have to change to another train that takes you to KL Sentral, and there you change trains again to reach Woodlands. The drawback of taking trains from Thailand is that you cannot properly synchronize your arrival and departure, so you may end up losing many hours in Butterworth, Hatyai or Kuala Lumpur. For details about taking the train from Thailand, visit www.railway.co.th and select "English".
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