Ipoh Railway Station is situated in Perak State on Malaysia’s West Coast Railway Line. To the north of Ipoh is Butterworth Train and to the south Kuala Lumpur. Ipoh Railway Station building, built by the British during colonial rule, is large and magnificent with features reminiscent of India and the architecture of the Moorish Empire and is known locally as the ‘Taj Mahal of Ipoh’. The people of Ipoh are very proud of their train station which is second only to the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station in terms of it grandeur.
Ipoh Train Station
Ipoh Railway Station is conveniently located at the north-east edge of Ipoh Old Town, which is fast gaining in popularity as a tourist destination in Malaysia. The station building is large with a high ceilings and plenty of seating inside. The station also has a large forecourt which fills up with hundreds of cars and taxis whenever a train arrives.
Ipoh Railway Station
ETS services operate out of Ipoh Train Station. ETS services are the premium grade, and comparatively expensive, trains which travel in two directions from Ipoh:
North to the top end of the West Coast Railway to Padang Besar (on the border with Thailand) with stops at large stations in between such as Butterworth (for Penang Island) and Alor Setar (for connections to Kedah and the ferry to Langkawi).
South to Kuala Lumpur and Gemas where you can change trains for the journey to Johor Bharu and thereafter the shuttle train to Singapore.
Ipoh Railway Station is, however, a long way from Aman Jaya Bus Station, which is Ipoh’s main intercity bus station, making connections between bus and train services difficult in Ipoh.
Train Times to Kuala Lumpur
There are 18 direct trains a day from Ipoh Train Station to KL Sentral Station in Kuala Lumpur.
For destinations other than Kuala Lumpur type the first letters of your required destination into the destination field and use the drop down list to select the correct end station.
Facilitiesat Ipoh Train Station
For such a large train station the facilities are not particularly good. The station has toilets, an air-conditioned waiting lounge with plenty of seating (none of which is cushioned), a small cafe, a shop selling drinks and snacks, a stall vending sweetcorn and a lady outside selling what is known in Europe as either Bombay Mix or Indian Mix. That’s it and its a 10 minute walk to the nearest shop.
Cafe at Ipoh Railway Station
One thing Ipoh Railway Station definitely doesn’t have is any kind of left luggage facility. If you plan to stop over for a few hours in Ipoh to look around, perhaps on the way down from Penang to Kuala Lumpur, then you will need to carry your bags with you. It’s a major failing on the part of the local city government as more people would visit Ipoh Old Town, which is short walk away, and buy things in local shops and restaurants if they had someone to deposit their luggage for half a day. This basic error makes something of a mockery of all the effort and expensive the city authorities have spent on promoting their local Heritage Trail.
Buying Tickets at the Station
There is a ticket office in the centre of the main train station concourse enclosed in glass. To buy a ticket you first need to go inside and collect a numbered ticket from the desk on the left hand side of the office. Once you have your ticket you need to then leave the ticket office and wait outside until the number on the ticket shows on the small electronic screens at either side of the glass entrance.
Ticket Office at Ipoh Train Station
Once your number is shown on the screen re-enter the ticket office and go to the ticket counter whose number appears on the same line as the number on your ticket. Staff in the ticket office speak good English (as do most staff working in ticket offices at Malaysian train station) although they do seem to come across as impatient with foreign visitors unfamiliar with Malaysian train services.
Architecture at Ipoh Train Station
Ipoh Railway Station was designed by British Architect Arthur Benison Hubback, who was also responsible for design of Kuala Lunpur’s Old Railway Station and the Jamek Mosque, as well as a number of other large grand buildings in and around Merdeka Square. The design of Ipoh Train Station bears similarities to A.B Hubbuck’s other designs in Malaysia in terms of the use of the Indo-Saracenic architectural style British designers adopted for public buildings in India. This architectural style is best described as fusing Indian architectural styles (Hindi features from Southern India and Moghul design themes) with those of the Moorish Empire in Europe and North Africa such as onion domes and pointed arches.
Platforms 1 and 2 at Ipoh Train Station
Where the design of Ipoh Train Station differs from that of Kuala Lumpur Railway Station or the other iconic colonial era buildings, such as the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, is that the building has a more English feel to it with the incorporation of elements of Neo-Baroque architecture. The windows and columns of Ipoh Railway Station, for instance, are more reminiscent of the War Office in London or the Port of Liverpool Building than they are of a temple in Rajasthan. The train station also bears similarities to the nearby Ipoh Town Hall, which Hubbuck designed as well.