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Kuala Lumpur is the capital and principal commercial centre of Malaysia. This city of 1.7 million is located within a larger metropolitan area known as Klang Valley (2243 km2) with a population of 7.5 million. The larger area is served by a multi-modal rail network.

The Malaysian government commissioned several rail projects in the early 1990s with private consortiums constructing and operating metro-style lines under the Build-Operate-Transfer principle. The first light metro line began operations as the STAR LRT Line (L3) in 1996, with subsequent expansions producing different ownership, name, mode-type, and line designation. This created a fragmented network but more recent consolidation under the Rapid KL brand has formed a larger and better integrated system, with the metropolitan area now hosting a five-line metro/light metro network of more than 150 km, and a monorail. These are supported by three KTM suburban rail lines and a privately operated airport rail link.


The network formerly known as STAR is a light metro system which commenced revenue service in three stages between Dec 1996 and Dec 1998. Despite being referred to as LRT, the routes are segregated with at-grade and elevated sections. STAR LRT operations were transferred to Rapid KL in 2004 and renamed the Ampang and Sri Petaling Lines. In 2015-16 an elevated southern extension to Putra Heights opened, coinciding with the arrival of new CRRC trains to replace the original Adtranz LRT stock. Both lines have 10 min frequencies with services dovetailing on the shared Sentul Timur - Chan Sow Lin section, creating 5 min headways in the central KL area.

Sentul Timur – Ampang/Putra Heights; 45.1 km, 36 stations

16 Dec 1996: Sultan Ismail - Ampang (12 km)
12 July 1998: Chan Sow Lin - Sri Petaling (12.7 km)
06 Dec 1998:
Sultan Ismail - Sentul Timur (3 km)
01 Nov 2015: Sri Petaling - Kinrara BK5 (5.5 km)
31 Mar 2016: Kinrara BK5 - Bandar Puteri
(6.5 km)
30 June 2016:
Bandar Puteri - Putra Heights (5.4 km)

Ampang Line Ampang Line Ampang Line

More Sri Petaling & Ampang Line photos!


Construction of the mainly elevated line started in 1994 with the 4.4 km underground section between Ampang Park and Masjid Jamek finally completed in 1998. When service on the PUTRA system commenced in Sept 1998 it was the world's longest fully automated driverless line, until Lille's Line 2 was extended in 2000. KL Sentral station opened in April 2001 and, in 2004, PUTRA joined STAR under the Rapid KL banner with the line renamed ‘Kelana Jaya’. In 2016 a southern extension to Putra Heights was completed, forming a southern loop with the Sri Petaling Line. Bombardier Innovia 200/300 series trains operate 3/5 min frequencies.

Gombak – Putra Heights; 46.4 km, 37 stations

01 Sept 1998: Kelana Jaya - Pasar Seni (14.1 km)
26 June 1999: Pasar Seni - Terminal Putra (now Gombak) (14.9 km)
01 April 2001: KL Sentral station opened
24 Dec 2010: Sri Rampai station added
30 June 2016: Kelana Jaya - Putra Heights (17.4 km)

Kelana Jaya Line Kelana Jaya Line Kelana Jaya Line

More Kelana Jaya Line photos!

 KL Monorail Line (Line 8)

A 16 km elevated monorail line through the commercial area of KL was planned in 1990 although, when construction began in 1997, only the northern section was developed. KL Monorail operations commenced in 2003 using locally built SCOMI stock, based on Seattle Monorail trains. Built 10m above main roads, distances between the stations range from 600-1000 m and they are served every 5 – 7 mins. Although initially isolated from other rail services, when monorail operations were transferred to Rapid KL in 2007, retrospective physical integration was carried out at Hang Tuah and Titiwangsa for seamless transfer to the Ampang Line.

Titiwangsa - KL Sentral; 8.6 km; 11 stations

31 Aug 2003: Titiwangsa - KL Sentral (8.6 km)

KL Monorail KL Monorail KL Monorail
 MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line (Line 9)

Although originally intended to be of LRT standard, the route, length and capacity levels of the Kajang Line were changed during planning. In 2011, construction of the city’s first full metro line began with revenue services commencing in late 2016 on the western section of the line and the full route opening in mid-2017. The line is mainly elevated, running underground for 9.5 km through the city centre in twin-bore tunnels (7 stations). The MRT is automated and driverless, using Siemens Inspiro 4-car trains with 4 to 7 min frequencies. Although owned by MRT Corp, the Kajang Line is operated by Rapid KL, with full integration to other Rapid KL services. (Project Website)

Sungai Buloh – Kajang; 51.0 km, 31 stations

16 Dec 2016: Sungai Buloh - Semantan (21 km)
17 July 2017: Semantan - Kajang (30 km)

09 Oct 2021: Kwasa Damansara - Sungai Buloh (4.1 km) closed to prepare integration into line 12 (Putrajaya Line)

MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line

More Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line photos!

 MRT Putrajaya Line (Line 12)

Like line 9, fully automated metro line built to the same standards, and integrating the section Kwasa Damansara - Sungai Buloh which opened in 2016 as part of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line. When completed, the line is 57.7 km long, of which 13.5 km is underground through the city centre, the rest mostly elevated.

Kwasa Damansara – Sungai Buloh – Putrajaya Sentral; 54.9 km

[16 Dec 2016: Kwasa Damansara - Sungai Buloh (4.1 km)]
16 June 2022: Sungai Buloh - Kampung Batu (12.1 km)
16 Mar 2023: Kampung Batu – Putrajaya Sentral (38.7 km)


LRT3 will be a 37 km metro line with 26 stations starting from Bandar Utama station on the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line and serving the western parts of the metropolitan area (2020, Project Website)

MRT3 will be a large circle line to be built by 2030.


 KLIA Express

Owned and operated by Express Rail Link, KLIA Transit and KLIA Ekspres are different service types operating on the 57 km standard-gauge line from KL Sentral to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Commencing operations on 14 April 2002, KLIA Ekspres is branded as the fastest train in South East Asia, providing 28 min non-stop journeys to and from the airport at 15/20-minute frequencies, whilst KLIA Transit services operate every 30 mins and have three intermediate stops, including Bandar Tasik Selatan for transfer to the Sri Petaling Line (L4). Four-car Siemens Desiro and CRRC Equator trains are used on both services.


 KTM Suburban Rail

Although part of the Klang Valley Integrated Rail Network, the suburban rail system in Kuala Lumpur functions separately from Rapid KL. Using existing infrastructure, the national railway, Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM), commenced a two-line operation in mid-1995, branded as KTM Komuter. The metre-gauge lines cover 255 km, sharing a 4.2 km section through central KL from Putra to KL Sentral, via the historic Kuala Lumpur Station. Fleet Modernisation (CSR) and operational changes have occurred since services began, including the inauguration of the Skypark Line (L10) in 2018. Services in the main urban area run at 30/60 min frequencies.




MyRapid - Official Public Transport Portal

KLIA Ekspres - Airport Express Line

KTMB - Malaysian National Railways

Public Transport in Kuala Lumpur at Wikipedia

Monorail Society's KL Monorail Special

Stesen Sentral - KL Integrated Rail Services

Mc Leong's KL Site includes LRT info



KL Monorail KL Monorail KL Monorail



Craig Moore reports from Kuala Lumpur in Aug. 2018:

The historic development of urban rail in Kuala Lumpur has been very fragmented, with the system being created, and expanded, through different ownership, construction, mode and operational styles. It was not until 2004, when Rapid KL took operational control of the LRT lines, that some semblance of integration became evident. In 2007 the Monorail was also brought under this brand and since then there has been an attempt to better assimilate urban rail provision in the capital area. Initially, this had mixed success but, more recently, there has been a strengthening of ambition and resources to make this work – and this has largely been successful. This trend, together with recent expansions of rail provision, means that metropolitan KL now has a significant rail ‘footprint’ with 10 lines and several different modes throughout the Federal District and surrounding parts of Selangor. Whilst Rapid KL services (MRT/LRT/Monorail) are undoubtedly the backbone of rail provision, this is supported by KTM suburban rail services and a private airport line to PutraJaya and KLIA.

Rapid KL Services
The first modern rail provision in KL was the Ampang/Sri Petaling Line (37km to Sri-Petaling and 8.1km branch to Ampang from Chan Sow Lin). It runs on standard-gauge track with third-rail power supply from the Sentul area in the north on an elevated structure along the Gombak River and through the original city centre. This part of the route is the most characterful and the rail elevation is a great way to see the city and its, somewhat, indiscriminate development. The central section includes interchange with the Monorail at Titiwangsa and Hang Tuah, with the Kelana Jaya Line at Jamek Mosque, and via a long barrier free corridor at Plaza Rakyat to the MRT (Merdaka Station). Here the line returns to grade on its way to Chan Sow Lin - a two island platform/three line station. Only the northern island is used (the Ampang line splits 100m further east) and services dovetail well for transfer between Sri Petaling and Ampang (and v.v.). The shared line between Sentul and Chan Sow Lin offers 5min headways with each branch being served by alternate trains (10min headway). East of Chan Sow Lin, the Ampang line heads north through densely populated areas to the busy terminus of Ampang with its substantial station, sheds and bustling community. The line to Sri Petaling makes use of a flying junction to turn southward, ....

Click here to download full report in PDF!



2007 © Robert Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)