The KTM Shuttle Tebrau is a train service that operates from Johor Bahru in Malaysia to Woodlands in Singapore.
This cross-border shuttle service travels via The Johor–Singapore Causeway (1.056 km). It’s the world’s shortest scheduled rail service and one of the few international train services in Southeast Asia.
About the KTM Shuttle Tebrau
Shuttle Tebrau is operated by the Malaysian national railway, KTM. The shuttle service is a remnant of the railway that previously operated from Tanjong Pagar in Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. This rail service was shortened from Tanjung Pagar to Woodlands in 2011, and the old Singapore railway line has been turned into a park. The Singapore to KL service was then discontinued in 2015 and replaced with the shuttle. Passengers from Singapore change at JB for services to KL, though this is not a simple trip to take. Here is how to get from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur by train.
Shuttle Tebrau map
[Map of Shuttle Tebrau.]
Buying tickets for the Shuttle Tebrau
[KTM ticket office at JB Sentral.]
Tickets can be bought via KTM.
Online ticket agent 12go Asia has a more user-friendly site:
Even though this is only a 5-minute shuttle train, tickets for the Shuttle Tebrau often sell out weeks in advance. The shuttle is the easiest way to cross the border by land, so daily commuters book tickets as soon as they become available.
The first time I tried to travel on the shuttle train, I arrived at Woodlands without a ticket. There were no seats available so I had to get the bus.
[Causeway bus from Singapore to Johor Bahru.]
In peak periods, it can take over an hour to clear immigration if you do the border crossing by bus.
[Immigration crowd at JB.]
I finally got to ride the train after booking a midday ticket a month in advance. There are thousands of workers who commute every day, so getting the train saves a lot of time for them.
Travel on the Shuttle Tebrau
Despite the trip only taking 5 minutes, the service only runs every 1-2 hours throughout the day. You can only go on the train that you have the ticket for.
[JB Sentral Station.]
There is a waiting area at JB Sentral where they display when the next train is. Only passengers for the next train are allowed through.
[Queue for shuttle train at JB Sentral.]
This a reminder to have your travel documents prepared before clearing immigration.
The immigration process is quick compared to the border crossing by bus.
[Shuttle train at JB Sentral.]
Onboard the shuttle train from JB to Woodlands.
There is no assigned seating on the Shuttle Tebrau.
Crossing the Johor–Singapore Causeway.
Singapore immigration was also efficient. Most passengers are Singaporean or Malaysian, so the queue moves fast.
The future RTS Link
The shuttle will eventually be replaced by the RTS Link. This will run on a metro frequency, so you will be able to just turn up and travel without pre-booking a ticket. A new bridge is being built for this service, so the Johor–Singapore Causeway railway will no longer be used.
[Route maps of RTS Link.]
Future cross-border railways
Malaysia and Singapore were planning to build a high-speed railway from Singapore to KL but that project was cancelled in 2021 by Malaysia. There are talks to revive the project, but if it is built it will not use the Johor–Singapore Causeway.