The Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd is a company that owned and operated airport rail link that connects the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) with the Kuala Lumpur Sentral (KL Sentral) transportation hub, 57 kilometres apart. The company operated two different train services :

  • KLIA Ekspres, a direct airport rail service directly from the KLIA to KL Sentral, launched on April 14, 2002.
  • KLIA Transit, a commuter rail service with three additional stops between the KLIA and KL Sentral, launched on June 1, 2002.


Express Rail Link Sdn. Bhd. (ERL) is a joint venture company between YTL Corporation Berhad, Lembaga Tabung Haji, SIPP Rail Sdn. Bhd. and Trisilco Equity Sdn. Bhd. with each partner holding 45%, 36%, 10% and 9% of the company respectively. On the 25th of August 1997, the Malaysian government presented the company with a 30-year concession to finance, build, maintain and control the operations of the railway.

Construction began in May 1997 and was completed 5 years later. It was then handed over to SYZ consortium, a joint relations consortium between German and Malaysian companies consisting of Siemens AG, Siemens Electric Engineering Sdn. Bhd and Syarikat Pembenaan Yeoh Tiong Lay Sdn. Bhd (SPYTL), a wholly owned subsidiary of YTL Corporation Bhd.

ERL Maintenance and Support was set up in 1999 and is responsible for the operations and maintenance of trains owned by ERL. The company was initially a joint venture between Express Rail Link Sdn. Bhd. and Siemens AG, but since June 2005 it has been wholly owned by Express Rail Link Sdn. Bhd.[2]

The 1997 financial crisis that hit Asia caused a brief setback to the project but due to strong governmental support, the project went on to completion. The project raked up a cost of RM2.4 billion which was financed through equity mergers (RM500 million), loans from Development and Infrastructure Bank of Malaysia (RM940 million) and the remainder through import credit[3] from four German financial institutions.

Unit / Subsidiaries

ERL Maintenance Support Sdn Bhd, or E-MAS, is ERL’s operations and maintenance (O&M) subsidiary. E-MAS had working together with CRCC since 2012 on the operation & maintenance of Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Metro Southern Line which their 13 employees were selected for the first outing in 2012 and another 29 employees were sent in 2013. In 2014 Hajj sesason, ERL has been working with Prasarana Malaysia to help fulfil CRCC’s manpower requirement.[4]

Major facilities

  • Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities
  • Departure lounges
  • Passenger arrival and departure halls
  • Underground track area
  • Duty-free outlets
  • Food and beverage outlets
  • Station parking

Rolling stock

Both the KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit use a total of 12 four-car Desiro ET 425 M electric multiple unit (EMU) trainsets by Siemens AG. The trains are derived from and technically similar to the DBAG Class 425 used on S-Bahn systems in Germany[5] and run at a maximum commercial speed at 160 km/h, the fastest speed for rail travel in Malaysia.

On 27 November 2014, Express Rail Link ordered from CRRC Changchun six new 4-car trainsets to cater to the ridership growth of both KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit services. CRRC's Zhuzhou plant had already supplied the Ampang Line and KTM Komuter beforehand. Of the six new trains, two will be used for KLIA Ekspres and four for KLIA Transit. Delivery of the six new trains will be made progressively from May 2016 onwards, after which testing will be done. ERL expects all six trains to be operational by November 2016.[6][7][8][9]


Line Code Line Name Formation In service
On order
EMU/Fleet Manufacturers
KLIA Ekspres 4 carriage EMU 8 trainsets (32 car)

2 trainsets (8 car)

Siemens Desiro ET 425 M

CRRC Changchun "Equator EMU"

Germany Siemens AG

China CRRC Changchun

KLIA Transit 4 carriage EMU 4 trainsets (16 car)

4 trainsets (16 car)

Siemens Desiro ET 425 M

CRRC Changchun "Equator EMU"

Germany Siemens AG

China CRRC Changchun


On August 24, 2010, Express Rail Link suffered their first reported accident in which 3 passengers were injured. Two ERL trains collided at Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Of the trains involved one of them was about to depart at 9.45pm for Kuala Lumpur International Airport while the other train, which was empty, rammed into its rear. [10] [11]


A 2.14 km extension to the new KLIA2 terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport has been completed. Commercial service commenced on 1 May 2013.[12]

Awards and Achievements

Year Award Category Result Ref(s)
2014 Global AirRail Awards North Star Air Rail Link of the Year Won [13]
2015 Global AirRail Awards North Star Air Rail Link of the Year Won [13]
2016 Global AirRail Awards North Star Air Rail Link of the Year Won [13]
Social Responsibility Won [13]


See also


  1. ^ "JADUAL 2.9 : BILANGAN PENUMPANG BAGI PERKHIDMATAN SISTEM ALIRAN RINGAN, SUKU KEEMPAT, 2015" [Table 2.9 : Number of Passengers for Light Rail Transit (LRT) Services, Fourth Quarter, 2015] (PDF) (in Malay and English). Ministry of Transport, Malaysia. Retrieved 31 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Developing local capabilities in Malaysia Railway Gazette International April 2006
  3. ^ "Import Credit Definition from The Free Dictionary". 
  4. ^ "ERL Joins Forces with Prasarana to Send Operations Staff to Makkah Metro to Support the 2014 Hajj Season". myrapid.com.my. Archived from the original on 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  5. ^ Siemens - Express Rail Link Kuala Lumpur Archived 2006-07-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Express Rail Link & Changchun Railway Ink Agreement for Purchase of New Trains". prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2014-11-27. 
  7. ^ "Express Rail Link signs deal for six new trains". globalairrail.com. Retrieved 2014-11-26. 
  8. ^ "China's rail carmaker to supply Malaysia with six trains". http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/. Retrieved 2014-11-26.  External link in publisher= (help)
  9. ^ "ERL buys 6 new trains from China's CRC". myrapid.com.my. Retrieved 2014-11-26. 
  10. ^ "2 ERLs crash at KL Sentral". Archived from the original on 2010-09-26. 
  11. ^ "2 ERLs crash at KL Sentral, 3 hurt". 
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-23. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  13. ^ a b c d "ERL named 'North Star Air Rail Link of the Year' for third time". New Straits Times. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 

External links