Review of Shuttle Tebrau Train from Woodlands (Singapore) to Johor Bahru (JB) (Malaysia)

11 September, 2015

Johor Bahru (JB) is great for a weekend getaway for some affordable food and shopping especially with the latest ringgit exchange rate (1 SGD to about 3 Malaysian Ringgit) but getting there can be quite a hassle at times – if you drive, you can spend hours stuck in the causeway jam; if you take a bus, you will likely also get caught in the same jam and still have to endure the hours of queuing at the Malaysian customs checkpoint.  Walking along the causeway is another option but you will have to endure the vehicle fumes, hot weather and some parts of the causeway where you have to cross quickly amidst the busy traffic.

Now there is another option for you – a shuttle train service between Woodlands Train Checkpoint and Johor Bahru (JB) Sentral train station.  It is run by KTM and called Shuttle Tebrau train service.  The ride from Woodlands Train Checkpoint to JB Sentral by Shuttle Tebrau KTM train takes just five minutes.  The Shuttle Tebrau train ticket (for the Woodlands – JB Sentral journey) costs S$5 from Woodlands and RM5 from Johor Bahru.

singapore train checkpoint woodlands

Getting to Woodlands Train Checkpoint

The Woodlands Train Checkpoint is not within walking distance from Woodlands MRT station.  Getting to Woodlands Train Checkpoint is straightforward by car and taxi – there is a drop-off point as you can see in the picture below.  Do note that you do not end up at the other Woodlands Checkpoint where buses, cars and motorcycles go to cross the causeway to Malaysia – if your car ends up there, it will be quite a hassle for you to get back to Singapore (I am not sure if the immigration officials even allow for that) or you will have to go all the way to JB and come back from there.

If you are taking public transport, you can take buses from the following stations along the North-South line:

Woodlands MRT – go down to the Woodlands Regional Interchange

Buses 911, 912, 913.  The bus 912 takes a longer route.  Other buses include 856, 903.

Marsiling MRT – go to the bus stop opposite station

Bus 856

Kranji MRT – go to the bus stop opposite station.  You will see long queues waiting for bus 170 at the bus stop beside the station – don’t queue there

Bus 170 (ensure that this is a 170 red plate which states Woodlands Train Checkpoint/JB Larkin – other 170 buses go to the Woodlands checkpoint)

The Woodlands Train Checkpoint bus stop is quite near to the taxi stand you see below (just a 2-3 minute walk away).

There are many other buses from Changi Airport (Transtar Express TS1 (S$10)), Resorts World Sentosa (Transtar Express TS8 (S$7)) and Queen Street Bus Terminal (Singapore-Johor Express (S$4) or the Causeway Link Express (S$2.50)) to Woodlands Checkpoint (not the Woodlands Train Checkpoint).  If you had boarded one of these buses or one of the public transport buses to reach Woodlands Checkpoint – don’t worry, you can still walk to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint via a bridge (just make sure you don’t clear immigration customs before you do that).

woodlands train checkpoint malaysia singapore

Shuttle Tebrau Train Singapore Woodlands – Malaysia JB Sentral Schedule

There are a total of seven trips from Johor and another seven from Woodlands every day. Each trip can carry about 320 passengers. The departure times from JB Sentral are 5.30am, 7am, 8.30am, 4pm, 5.30pm, 7pm and 10pm. From Woodlands, it’s 6.30am, 8am, 9.30am, 5pm, 6.30pm, 8pm and 11pm.  Do note there is a break in train service from late morning to early afternoon (last morning Shuttle Tebrau train from Singapore departs at 9.30am and first afternoon train from Singapore departs at 5pm – this is similar for the JB Sentral departure timings.

Departure time from Woodlands: 6:30 am 8:00 am 9:30 am 5:00 pm 6:30 pm 8:00 pm 11:00 pm
Departure time from JB Sentral: 5:30 am 7:00 am 8:30 am 4:00 pm 5:30 pm 7:00 pm 10:00 pm

shuttle tebrau woodlands schedule train

Shuttle Tebrau Train Fares and Buying Shuttle Tebrau Tickets Online or at the Counter

You can buy your Shuttle Tebrau train tickets online at Payment will be in Malaysian ringgit and can be made by Singapore credit card. There is a RM$2 admin charge on top of the ticket price (RM$16). You will need to register an account at that KTM train ticket website and you will also be prompted to select seats – just anyhow choose – it is free seating. You will need your passport number to complete the purchase. Once you have purchased your Shuttle Tebrau tickets, remember to print it out – you will need to show it to the KTM staff at the Woodlands Train Checkpoint.

ktm shuttle tebrau e-ticket train woodlands johor

You can also buy the Shuttle Tebrau train tickets over the counter at the KTM office on level 1 – as you enter the Woodlands Train Checkpoint building, the KTM ticketing office is on level 1 on your right.  You can purchase tickets here up to 20 minutes before the train is scheduled to depart. Payment is by Singapore dollars only. After you bought your tickets (or if you already have your printed e-tickets), go to level 2.

train ticket singapore shuttle tebrau ticketing

At level 2, you will see a sign “Queue for departing train passengers”.  This is the entrance to the immigration checkpoints and train platform.  We arrived here at 8.35am for our 9.30am Shuttle Tebrau train and the doors to the immigration checkpoints were closed.  The queue was quite orderly – waiting passengers were seated on the row of chairs along the wall but things started to get chaotic at around 8.45am as the crowds start to come in and some of the passengers at the back decided to walk to the front to form their own standing queue, disregarding the “sitting” queue (those seated at the chairs along the wall) and then everyone started scrambling as those seated realised that they lost their place in the queue.  Before the doors were opened, a KTM staff went around the queue to check the tickets of those in the queue – this is the only time tickets were checked.  The doors finally opened at around 9am.

queue woodlands train checkpoint shuttle tebrau

There is quite a distance to walk from the door to the Singapore immigration checkpoint – about a 6-8 minute leisurely walk.  After clearing the Singapore immigration, you will need to walk about 3 minutes to reach the Malaysian immigration and customs.  Yes. You heard me right – you clear both Singapore and Malaysia checkpoints here at Woodlands Train Checkpoint.  After you are done with the Malaysia checkpoint, then you can proceed to the train – no loitering around the train platform is allowed.  The train platform is very bare – no chairs and no vendors.  There are toilets just after the Malaysia immigration and before you exit to the train platform.  At all times, no photography/videography is allowed so no selfies on the train platform.

Delay in Shuttle Tebrau Saturday 9.30am Train from Woodlands to JB Sentral

If you can make it, I suggest going for the earlier Shuttle Tebrau train timings from Woodlands on weekends.  We took the 9.30am train and while the train journey was only 5 minutes, our train departed 45 minutes late (leaving Woodlands Train Checkpoint only at 10.15am instead of the scheduled 9.30am departure)! I am not sure of the reason for the delay but I speculate that it could be because the door was open only at 9am for a 9.30am departure plus the huge weekend crowd for the Shuttle Tebrau (i think it was fully booked or overbooked because there were not enough seats for all passengers and quite a number had to stand).  Considering the weekend crowd, the authorities should have opened the doors earlier so that some people can clear both Singapore and Malaysia immigration earlier – there could have been a bottleneck that caused the delay.  My assumption is that because this is the last train out of Woodlands until 5pm, they could have made the decision to hold off the train departure until everyone had cleared immigration.

The condition of the train itself was quite ok for a 5 minute ride – generally clean – the seats were spacious.  Take a look at the next few pictures on what the Shuttle Tebrau KTM train interior and train toilets look like.

ktm train johor woodlands jb singapore shuttle

shuttle tebrau malaysia singapore ktm train

shuttle tebrau ktm train malaysia rail toilet squatting

If you want to see the busy traffic on the causeway as your Shuttle Tebrau train zooms past them, choose a front-facing seat on your left (sit on your right for the journey back).  The train is free seating so you sit anywhere you like as long as there are seats.

causeway train woodlands jb shuttle

Arrival at JB Sentral station via Shuttle Tebrau – you already cleared Malaysian immigration at Woodlands Train Checkpoint so all you have to do is take the escalator up to the next level and follow directions and you are done with your short train journey from Woodlands.

johor jb ktm train stationThis is the JB Sentral station – lots of food and some shopping and a lot of real estate agents selling the latest condominium development in different parts of Malaysia.

jb train station johore bahru

This is the KTM ticketing counter at JB Sentral.  From what I have read from other blogs, it seems that to buy a ticket, you need to press for a queue number and wait for your queue number to be called before going to the counter to buy your ticket.  I can’t verify this as I took a bus back.

ktm shuttle tebrau malaysia ticketing train counter

Here comes the exciting part after exiting JB Sentral – this walkway links to great shopping and eating places at City Square and Komtar JBCC all without stepping a foot on the roads of Johor Bahru at all so it is quite safe.  We have all heard of horror stories of JB robbery but if you stick to these 2 big malls, you are generally quite safe as you won’t be walking out in the open in isolated alleys.  There is a lot of pedestrian traffic from JB Sentral station all the way to the 2 malls.

city square how to walk jb customs

As you enter the walkway, on the left, you will find City Square with H&M, F.O.S and many others and ….

city square malaysia johor jb singapore shopping

… on the right, you will find Komtar JBCC – another big shopping mall (a relatively new one).

komtar jbcc johor malaysia singapore shopping

Zhiqiang & Tingyi

Comments (44)

  • TinaReply

    15 September, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Singapore is definitely worth visiting. People are friendly, the place is clean. Lots of tourist attractions. My concern only is few of them understand english.

    • ClementReply

      25 February, 2016 at 1:38 am

      Don’t worry, it’s not how it used to be. Modern Singaporeans are generally English educated – just don’t be surprised to hear Singlish more.

    • AxelReply

      5 May, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      Singapore first language is English. You sure you been to Singapore?

    • SankarReply

      29 June, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Huh.. Which country u r from? R u Hindi speaking one?

    • GordieReply

      8 August, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      Singaporeans English can be difficult to understand. Unlike Malaysian English, which is clear, I find Singaporenclosed is hard work.

      • NickReply

        11 April, 2017 at 11:21 am

        Hi Gordie, are serious. Malaysian English in majority is broken English.

    • LeenaReply

      15 March, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Hi, i hope by now u’ve visited Singapore more frequently and still enjoy your visits. Like someone mentioned in a previous reply, Singapore now is not what it used to be. Language-wise, in general true blue Singaporeans actually are able to understand and communicate effectively in English. The ones that don’t understand and cannot speak English AT ALL tend to be foreigners who’re from other countries who’ve managed to make S’pore their new home. Many of these foreigners are the NON-EXPATS type fr ctys such as China, India and even some European ctys. There’re also local (Singaporeans) who can’t speak much English due to their upbringing or prior education; usually this wud be some of the older generation or even the younger generation who fell through the cracks somewhere along the line.
      Having said all this, there’s also a chance that some S’poreans simply are confused by the accent in which tourists speak English to them. In addition, again like someone mentioned previously, we S’poreans often speak Singlish which may cause us to be relatively hard to understand by some tourists, especially if the tourists are not familiar with Singlish. Nevertheless, i hope u still visit Singapore. Best wishes.

  • AlisantaReply

    17 September, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    From what you described, I sense that lots of time wasted if one chooses this method. Train time is only 5 minutes, but waiting for it and delay may add up to 1 hour.

    Probably using bus #170 still the best option into JB, imho.

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      17 September, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      my experience is with the Saturday 9.30am train – the earlier and later trains might depart on time. I suggest checking the road conditions webcam for the causeway traffic before making a decision on bus or train.

    • GordieReply

      8 August, 2016 at 8:10 pm

      You are correct. The train is not worth the hassle. For one thing, why the illogical queue of people on the hot overpass? The waiting room just before Singapore clearance is empty but full of chairs and air con. Because if this silly wait outside, the trains are mostly always late to leave as passengers are still clearing customs well after the departure time. Take the’s easier and faster and a he’ll of a lot cheaper.

  • Sin NingReply

    19 November, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Hey thanks and really appreciate your time doing the review! It’s a really detailed one and must’ve taken you quite a while to do!

    You’re the only review I found that clearly shows train passengers will clear customs in a different, and hopefully faster queue from the one for the buses. Which to me would make it worth the $5 then since I don’t go to JB often.

    You even put the link there – super convenient for lazy people like me. Will try it out tomorrow (*crosses fingers no train delay !). Thanks very much ! 🙂

  • 5 Things You Can Do Within A day in Johor Bahru - Singapore Travel Blog | Singapore Travel BlogReply

    19 November, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    […] here for more on what I thought of the train ride from Woodlands to JB Train […]

  • Straight LinesReply

    8 December, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    Enjoyed reading your review above. Very informative.

    Keep up the good work.

    Thank you.

  • akashReply

    26 December, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Your review was quite detailed, and provided good tips. Worth spending time together at a place for both immigrations. Well documented.

  • CaptPabloReply

    30 December, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Great review. Very informative and useful. Thanks. Planning to take the 0930 shuttle this Saturday. Cheers.

  • silverbellReply

    2 January, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Hi this is really useful! However I am unable to select under the seat option. Able to help me on this?

  • cathleenReply

    3 January, 2016 at 11:43 am

    hi..i have registered the online e-ticket but when each time i tried to login, an error message pop up and said that my username and password are invalid. I have even tried to register a new one but still the same. Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with it?

  • cyyReply

    3 January, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Hi, can anyone tell me why i cant login the online e-ticket? i have registered but when each time i login, it shows my username and password is invalid or not match.

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      5 January, 2016 at 12:09 am

      it seems their website might have some problems these few days – try again another day or just buy it on the spot at the train station

  • AirporReply

    6 January, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    If I had to give a great example of top quality content, this article would be it. It’s a well-written commentary that holds your interest.

  • AnuReply

    8 February, 2016 at 10:31 am

    thank u for the informative blog.

    • HenryReply

      13 February, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      The KTM website is rather old school. I’ve had some issues before including a double transaction. Sometimes the seats appear full but if you refresh, the seats reappear. Good luck. Malaysia boleh! 😛

  • Mdm Hjh RohaniReply

    2 March, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Hi…it’s my first trip taking the trip fm JB central to Woodlands checkpoints. It’s worth taking the departure trip fm JB. Why? My sis n I did shopping at Larkin and Angsana …we took bus 170 to Larkin and then a metre Taxi fm the Taxi station . We are always extra careful esp with the many robbery case . Lunch was at the buffet style kampung restaurant just near the bus interchange at Larkin.
    With so many shopping items and a trolley with bags …imagine we were so tired to take the normal route so we decided to leave Angsana at 4pm head to JB Sentral n buy tickets back to Woodlands . We arrive at JB Sentral at 4.40pm , quickly buy our tickets n go straight to the train coach free seating . Exactly 5pm it move and in 5 mins reach Woodlands. It was s relief , with our big bags , other passengers helped to bring out our heavy trolley … Be careful of the big gap as you have to stretch your legs to jump over the platform . We wee so happy our singaporean counterparts Chinese and Indians helped us 2 Malay seniors to carry our things . Them clearance at wdlands checkpoint were so smooth , we walked towards the taxi stand only a short distance and reached home safely. Yes …we avoid all the hassle and traffic jams ….and next time , we certainly take shuttle train back to Woodlsnds. No regrets just make sure you are early to get your tickets at least 30 mins before departure. Thank you KTM -JB Sentral-Woodlands ..

  • LyndonReply

    13 March, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Hi! Your article is truly fantastic! Got so many tips and hints. Though I still have to ask some questions for clarifications please. Hope you can help me. My girlfriend and I are scheduled for a trip to KL from SG. We purchased night sleeper coach at 22:30 from JB Sentral to KL Sentral. It says in some sites that there are tickets sold at Woodlands for that Woodland-JB Sentral trip departing at 10 pm but the picture in your article shows the last shuttle to depart Woodlands is at 8pm. Was it bogus or they just simply opened more schedules? And what perfect or ideal time should we allocate ourselves as we leave Singapore for the travel time, some delays, clearance with customs, immigrations and all that at Woodlands to be able to catch the train from JB to KL Sentral at 10:30pm and would the train exaclty depart at 10:30? Because we wish to maximize our last day in Singapore. Hoping you can really assist us with this. We will be coming from the Philippines so everything is new to us. Thank you in advance and have wonderful day!

    • LyndonReply

      13 March, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Hi sorry it may take you awhile reading this. To cut it short, how early or late should we alot ourselves to cover for the travel time from the main city of SG to Woodlands; delays; some errands; walking; waiting time; queueing; immigrations/customs processes and all other factors; to be able to catch our trip at 10:30pm from JB Sentral to KL Sentral. As mentioned in my prevoius email, we just want to maximize our last day in Singapore. It falls on a Saturday by the way. Thank you.

      • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

        19 March, 2016 at 10:59 pm

        if you are travelling from city area to woodlands by train, pls set aside at least 1 hr 30 min – it will take about 60 min train ride from City Hall to Kranji MRT and then you will need to take a bus from Kranji MRT to the Woodlands Train checkpoint – this will take some time depending on the timing the buses arrive and whether you will be able to get on in view of the crowd. I strongly suggest you take a taxi from either Woodlands, Marsiling or Kranji MRT to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint – please be very clear with the taxi driver – you r going to the Woodlands TRAIN checkpoint – dont let them bring you to Woodlands Checkpoint which is a totally different area from where you want to go.

        So in summary, if you are taking public transport, I recommend 2 hours (2.5 hours to play very safe) – customs clearance can take some time and this is excluding time for you to do errands.

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      19 March, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      they have opened up some new train timings in view of higher demand so it could be true for 10pm departure – double check on the KTM website i provided for latest timing.


    16 May, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Thank for such a great run down. We are heading up for some KL then back for Christmas Light Up.
    Is the Sunday night JB to KL overnight train the hardest train to get tickets for ?

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      21 May, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      sorry. i am not sure about that

  • collReply

    18 May, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    It is truly a nice and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful info with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • James QuahReply

    18 July, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Wow, a very detail piece of information. Would like to check if I were to go to JB in the evening by Bus around 7pm. Viable to take bus 170 or train?

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      18 July, 2016 at 11:37 pm

      if there is train available – always take train. 7pm is peak period for buses – workers knocking off work and student going back home to JB

  • NikkiReply

    16 August, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    Hi! I’m one of the thankful reader of your blog! I am worried about our plan to go to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore. Our first train in JB Sentral in at 10:10 in the morning and I’m really worried that clearing the immigration might take a lot of time and make us miss our train. Can you tell me what time the immigration office opens and how long it would take us to clear it? Any advice would really be appreciated. I really hope we can catch the !0:10 train leaving Johor… T_T

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      17 August, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      immigration checkpoints is open 24 hours. if you leave during weekends, expect long queues.

  • GMReply

    12 September, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Hi, thank you for the information. Very informative. Just wondering if its a usual thing for tourist to travel from JB to Singapore daily for activities? JB accommodation is cheaper than Singapore side but trying to work out if its worth the saving if travelling by taxi and train daily. Any information in regards to this will be greatly appreciated. Regards

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      8 October, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      not worth it – you will waste a lot of time getting stuck at the checkpoints. Also cross-border taxis are very expensive.

  • AppleReply

    8 October, 2016 at 1:37 am

    Hi, thank you for the clear direction by train from sg to jb sentral. I have never been to jb before and would like to know how to come back to Singapore from jb sentral by bus. Is it near jb Sentral and would I be able to see the bus station easily. Which bus is more convenient as I stay in Sembawang. Thanks

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      8 October, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      The bus interchange is just under the JB customs checkpoint – after you clear the Malaysian checkpoints, follow where everyone is going and you will reach the buses. You can buses that go Kranji and then take MRT to Sembawang

  • TanReply

    14 October, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Hi I heard that there used to be delays in the departure. is this still happening?
    All customs clearance are within the train stations? meaning once you’re out of JB Sentral station or Woodlands station you’re good to go?

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      16 October, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      i am not sure abt the delays. to your second question, yes

      • TanReply

        17 October, 2016 at 9:16 am

        Thanks for the advise, may I know too, in the event we missed the train, from the train station, is it possible to walk to the normal customs clearance like when we take bus?

        Thank you.

        • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

          25 October, 2016 at 9:30 pm

          yes you can

  • EddieReply

    6 November, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Starting 1 Dec 2016, tickets can only be buy at KTM counters at Woodlands and JB Sentral. Tickets available 1 day in advance only. You CANNOT buy tickets a few days in advance.

    NO online ticket. Malaysia Boleh!

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