Butterworth Railway Station (GPS: 5.3927, 100.36774; Malay: Stesen Keretapi Butterworth; Mandarin: 北海火车站; Penang Hokkien: Park1 Hai4-eh3 Hoay1chia3cam33) is a major train station and terminus for trains to Penang. If you are heading for Penang Island by rail, this is your rail terminus. Read my article, Arriving in Penang by Train, for details.
Passenger rail services to Penang began in July 1899, when the railway line was extended from Bukit Mertajam to Perai. This enables train services to commerce all the way from Seremban in 1903, from Johor Bahru in 1901, and on the northern portion, from Padang Besar in 1918. Completion of the railway line to Padang Besar also enables the commencement of rail services from Bangkok's then Thonburi Station to go all the way to Butterworth that same year.
Completion of the now demolished old Butterworth Railway Station in 1967 enabled rail services to extend from Perai to Butterworth, via the old Swing Bridge. That station was opened to the public by the fourth king of Malaysia, Tuanku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah, on 14 September, 1967. It was and still is the only station in the country with a 0 km distance meter, indicating that it is the beginning of the railway line heading north to Padang Besar and heading south to Singapore.
The old railway station was officially closed on 5 August, 2011, to make way for the construction of a new (and present) Butterworth Railway Station. In the interim, the trains to Butterworth stop at a temporary station located about 3 km away, near the KTM Bhd Postal Office. The fully air-conditioned temporary station has a ticketing counter, two VIP lounges, a station master office, a police beat, a surau and toilets.
26 June, 2015Poskod.my reports that the electric train service (ETS) will be extended to Butterworth with operations expected to commence in July, 2015. The service will reduce travelling time between Kuala Lumpur to Butterwoth to approximately 3 hours. The express trains are able to operate at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour, and are able to carry 350 passengers. Presently the ETS service between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh runs at a maximum speed of 140 km per hour. The service uses coaches built by CSR Zhuzhou, a China train manufacturer that also builts the Class 92 trains for the KTM Komuter Line.
Once the ETS service to Butterworth is in operation, plans are already underway to extend it to Padang Besar.
6 December, 2014The Star reports that a three-hour Electric Train Service (ETS) will begin operations from June 2015. The service will be expanded to 10 new coaches from January 2016. This is part of the step taken to provide electric train service between Kuala Lumpur and Padang Besar.
Many commuters complained that the temporary station is inadequate, citing width of platform being half the former one, as well as the roofing not providing enough protection from the elements.
Construction of the new Butterworth Railway Station is going in tandem with the double track electrification project on the Ipoh-Padang Besar railway line. It is expected to be ready by 2014.
If you need to go to the Butterworth Railway Station, this is what you do:
By car from Penang Island by ferry
Upon getting off the ramp at Pengkalan Sultan Abdul Halim, you arrive at your first traffic lights at Jalan Metcher, with the elevated Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) above you. Turn right at the traffic lights to Jalan Bagan Dalam (the road that parallels the BORR) until you reach the junction of Jalan Assumption, where you make a U-turn to go to the other side of Jalan Bagan Dalam. The station is immediately after the Butterworth Post Office.
Make a U-turn here.
By car from the BORR/Perai
Exit the BORR at Exit 1702.
By car from the BORR/Bagan Ajam
Esit the BORR at Exit 1703. This takes you to the intersection with Jalan Metcher. Go straight along Jalan Bagan Dalam until you reach the junction of Jalan Assumption, where you make a U-turn to go to the other side of Jalan Bagan Dalam. The station is immediately after the Butterworth Post Office.
Location of the Butterworth Railway Station on the map
Butterworth Railway Station before the renovation
This is how the Butterworth Railway Station looked like, before it was renovated in preparation for the electrification of the railway line from Ipoh to Butterworth.
Butterworth Railway Station (22 October 2006)
Platform level at Butterworth Railway Station (22 October 2006)
Vintage Train at Butterworth Railway Station before the renovation. This train has since been relocated to the Bukit Mertajam Railway Station. (22 October, 2006)
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