The KTM trains between Singapore and Johor Bahru (JB) has resumed! There are a few ways to travel between Singapore and JB. Besides driving, most would take the public buses or the KTM train from Singapore to JB.
I have never been a fan of traveling to JB due to the long queues at the custom pre-pandemic, with the news of the resumption of the KTM train between Singapore and JB, I decided to take a trip to JB to see if the process has changed.
TLDR; it hasn’t changed, and train travel between Singapore to JB is still the superior option, to me at least. If you’re also looking to save time on traveling between Singapore and JB, here’s how:
Step 1: Buying Train Tickets
You can get tickets online or physically at the counter at Woodlands Train Checkpoint (Woodlands CIQ) and JB Sentral, but I recommend them getting online beforehand as popular timings do tend to get sold out. Do book as early in advance as possible, I booked my tickets almost a month in advance!
Tickets cost RM16.05 ( ≈SGD$5) one way, so that would be RM32.20 (≈SGD10) if you’re getting a return trip.
Have your passport on standby as you will have to fill up your passport number and expiry when booking.
Step 2: Getting to Woodlands Train Checkpoint
The Woodlands Train Checkpoint is in the same area as the usual Woodlands Checkpoint which you would go to if you’re taking a bus into JB. There are a number of buses the serve the bus stop right outside Woodlands CIQ. Buses that stop at this bus stop are mainly from the West side of Singapore, like Woodlands and Marsiling Interchange. If you’re coming from town area, there is also 170 that comes from the Bugis area.
Step 3: Getting through the Checkpoint and Taking the Train from Singapore to JB
It’s pretty straightforward once you alight the bus. Follow the sign (as shown below) and you’ll find yourself at a flight of stairs. Climb up and you’ll likely see a queue waiting for the “doors to open”. Do note that you’ll only be allowed into the checkpoint area approximately 20 to 30 minutes before departure time, if you’re ahead of time, you’ll have to queue outside the door in a “waiting area”.
Despite this, do arrive at least 30 minutes before your departure time to save yourself the panic should something go wrong.
Once you’re allowed into the checkpoint area, just follow the path and you’ll have to clear both the Singapore and Malaysia customs before being able to board the train.
It’s free seating in the train, so just take your pick!
Tip: There are seats that face both directions. Use Google Maps to check the direction of your destination if you hate being seated backwards.
Returning to Singapore
The return journey to Singapore is easy as well. If you’ve booked your train tickets online, just head to JB Sentral 30 minutes ahead of your scheduled KTM train timing.
Unlike the train from Singapore to JB, you will only clear the Malaysia customs at JB Sentral before boarding the train. You will clear the Singapore customs once you alight the train.
I’ve found out that you can save some money if you book your tickets separately. The Singapore to JB train ticket would cost RM16.05 ( ≈SGD$5) and the JB to Singapore train ticket would cos RM5 (≈SGD$1.58)! If you don’t mind the hassle, you can save a few dollars with this tip.
If you’re looking for activities to do in JB, check out this alternative 2D1N JB itinerary.