Dummy's Guide to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Train System

On my first day in an unfamiliar city, i always try to grasp hold onto understanding the transport system basic at the least. So on my recent trip to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, i was mesmerized by the train transport system that I decided to put up a step by step guide for those who are interested in visiting this amazing city.

Information on the train systems, types of trains, route maps, different type of transportation card and scenarios are all included in this post.
I will also link up any further information and references in this post so that it is much more detailed and useful for future references.

What you must know about the train systems in KL?

There are 3 types of train company operating within KL namely Rapid KL & KTM Komuter while KLIA Ekspres/Transit works as an airport transfer by train.

1: KLIA Ekspres only have 1 stop which is KL Sentral from KLIA 1/2 Airport. Refer to Purple Line on map. You will need to buy a train ticket from departing station.
KLIA Transit have 4 stops on its way reaching to KL Sentral. Refer to Light Blue Line on map. You will need to buy a train ticket from departing station.

2: RAPID KL run on 3 different routes. Ampang Line (Yellow), Kelana Jaya Line (Pink) and Monorail Line (Green). (You will definitely use this line more than the KTM Komuter.) You can choose to buy a MyRapid/Touch N Go card (loaded with value) or a standard single ticket.

It is more recommended to buy a MyRapid/Touch N Go card to save you the hassle of queuing up in each station to buy a ticket to your destination. In fact buying a standard single ticket is even worst in my opinion especially when you have to exchange lines between other Rapid KL trains which is usually the case, there is no connecting subways like the ones in Singapore and you have to get out of one station to another station to switch....and repeat the whole process of queuing up again. The use of a MyRapid/Touch N Go card is to tap it before you enter and exit a RapidKL line train station and it will automatically deduct the fares that is top up into your card. Your MyRapid/Touch N Go card also can be use on bus routes here. Very convenient and save a lot of your time!

3: KTM Komuter run on 2 different routes. From Port Klang (Pel Klang) to Batu Caves and from Rawang to Seremban. This places are a bit further from KL City Centre and does not recognised MyRapid cards instead uses Touch N Go. You can refer to their route map here.

*I will explain more about the Touch N Go and MyRapid card at the bottom of this post.

Below is a map outline of all the routes in the city and also a brief explaination to get you started. It is also recommended that you download the PDF train city map here before you are out of data connectivity in KL.

It can be confusing on your first day but you will get used to it. I promised.

Okay, so you have reach Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Now how,what,when and where? I have got you at least 90% covered here! Read on!

How to get to KL Sentral from KLIA 1/2 Airport: ETA 28 minutes

You will need to take the KLIA Ekspress from KLIA 1/2 Airport.
KLIA trains runs on 2 lines. One straight to KL Sentral is called KLIA Ekspress while the other is transiting at certain parts of KL which is called KLIA Transit as already explained above.

The one i'm talking about is KLIA Ekspress to KL Sentral, which is KL main hub and city centre to all the other connecting trains from different companies. You will definitely need to proceed here first to change trains to your next destination and this is also the fastest way to reach the hub and airport without worrying about their crazy jams. It also offers free wifi!!!, free seating and so comfortable through out your journey! They have dedicated spaces for your luggage near to your seat as well.

You need to buy a ticket to KL Sentral from KLIA 1/2 Airport right after the immigration. The airport can be quite confusing though but the ticket counter is quite prominent with shades of pink and purple on a cubicle.

Below are the price fare and schedule for the said train service. Price is in Ringgit Malaysia (RM). 
KLIA Ekspres Fares

KLIAekspres Schedule

You can find out more about KLIA Ekspres & KLIA Transit Services fares here and schedules here.

Alright, about 30 minutes or so you have reach KL Sentral. Now is the time to decide where is your next destination and which line runs through them. I'm sure you would like to know the basics. 

Let's do an easy scenario case to help you through. 

How to get to KLCC from KL Sentral? 

You have arrived KL Sentral from KLIA Ekspres train and you wishes to visit KLCC first to see the twin towers. 
From the map clearly shown above, KLCC lies on the Red line of Rapid KL Kelana Jaya Line.

This is what you should do:
1. Exit KLIA Ekspress station.
2. Buy a MyRapid Card/Touch N Go Card with value or a Standard Single Ticket card.

Should you choose to buy a MyRapid/ Touch N Go Card:
1. Load your card with sufficient value, say $20? to last you for a few days.
2. Since you are boarding from KL Sentral, there are a few other lines around so make sure you find the main station of Rapid KL. Usually it is logical to be just next to the control station where you buy your card from. Tap in.
3. Get into the correct direction towards Gombak on the Red line and stop at KLCC. Tap out.

Should you choose to buy a Standard Single Ticket card:
1. Buy your card from the ticket machine next to the control station. Let me warn you that the lines are endless.
2. Pick your destination and pay the amount on the spot.
3. Use the ticket to enter from boarding station and exit from the selected destination.

Easy right!? So now i will explain to you about the cards used for transportation in KL.

Touch N Go vs MyRapid Card? Which one to use?

Touch N Go can be used on Rapid KL buses and rail routes, KTM Komuter routes, KLIA Ekspres and Airport coach (KLIA & KL Sentral only)
As quoted from the official website:
  • It is a prepaid smartcard that uses Mifare contactless technology. 
  • Touch N Go card can be use as a mode of payment for highways, publick transports, selected parking, retail and theme parks.
  • Touch N Go card can be purchase from our Touch N Go Hubs, Touch N Go SPOTS at selected petrol stations and Touch N Go Sales Counters located at highways such as PLUS, ELITE, Ampang KL Elevated Highway, Penang Bridge, Besraya, SILK, Linkedua, New Pantai Expressway. Metramac and Shapadu.
  • You can also get a Touch N Go card from selected Petronas Stations, LRT Stations and third party agents. 
  • Customer needs to fill in an application form at Touch N Go Sales Counters. The card cost RM10 each and comes with a one-year warranty period.

Myrapid card however is limited to the usage of Rapid KL buses and rail routes only.
As quoted from the official website:
    • MyRapid Card is a Stored Value Card (loaded with purse value) that is used to pay for the journeys made on the RapidKL LRT System (Ampang and Kelana Jaya Line). The fare is deducted from card’s purse value by the exit gate at the end of your journey. 
    • MyRapid Card can be purchased at all RapidKL LRT Station counters. Subsequent purse value reloads can be performed at all Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) at RapidKL LRT stations. 
    • The normal card price is RM10 with a purse value of RM5. 
    • Passengers holding an existing Magnetic Stored Value Ticket (SVT) may exchange their SVT with a MyRapid card free of charge provided the SVT value is at least RM3. If the SVT balance is less than RM3, then the SVT must be reloaded with a minimum of RM10.
          It could be quite confusing and as a traveler whom likes public transport...i have to admit that it really depends on your preferences. I would prefer to use MyRapid rather then Touch N Go as i will only travel within the city area, not unless i am a local or traveling across the country, i would have chosen Touch N Go card instead. 

          Of course this article is obsolete if you decide to take the cheap taxis instead. I hope this has been somewhat useful in helping you get around the city. Also, all information are up to date as of the time i published it. If there were any changes, please kindly let me know. Safe travels!


          1. Hi there! Thanks for this! I grew up in KL but I'm just starting to get used to using the public transportation system here (i.e. I've been living in other places before, time to get acquainted with my own city now :P).

            The only thing I'm wondering now tho is if there's a price difference between the fares for MyRapid, Touch n Go, and standard single tokens. I can't really find any information on the official websites tho. Hmm.

            Anyhow, have a lovely weekend. :)

          2. Thanks a lot. What an amazing and useful post you have written. It has helped me understand KL's transportation much better. The only change is that as of November,2016 - KL Express' fare is 55 RM (one way from the airport to KL Sentral)

          3. Hello! Thank you for this article.
            This is seriously helpful. Me and my friends will visit in a few months and I barely find articles about KL's transportation (rail) system.

            How much is the usual fare deduction? I cant seem to find a fare matrix in the internet.

            Btw, do you have any suggestions as to how much to load if you will just stay from 1-2 days?

            Thank you :)

            1. "How much is the usual fare deduction? I cant seem to find a fare matrix in the internet."
              For this, you would need to go to the stations and have a look - they have the fare matrix at the stations (not exactly a fare matrix, but they do have a list of how much would it take to get to your destination).

              "Btw, do you have any suggestions as to how much to load if you will just stay from 1-2 days?"
              Assuming if you're just gonna use the MyRapid card, RM15-35 should be enough for 2 days

              But for Touch N Go, I would recommend RM20-60, since it has much more usability compared to other cards.

              But RapidKL provides more benefits than Touch N Go when it comes down to RapidKL services.

            2. Thanks for the reply Ernest!

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          Thank you for leaving a comment! Safe travels!

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