Medan Airport Rail Link

Last updated: September 5, 2014
Railink Staff

A review of the train between Medan and its airport.

Medan’s new Kuala Namu International Airport opened on 25 July 2013. A new toll road between it and Medan City is still under construction, and trips of 1 to 2 hours are common.

However, a new rail link between Medan and the airport is open now. In another example of poor English skills, it is spelled Railink.

Grand Aston Railink Discount Garuda Railink Discount Aryaduta Railink Discount
Some airlines and hotels near Medan Railway Station
are giving their clients free or discounted rides

It is hoped that Railink will fulfil the need for a reliable, comfortable and fast means of transport for visitors. (For those transiting Medan, there is also an airport bus to the Amplas bus terminal). However, some residents have baulked at the high ticket price: Rp80 000 ($US8).

But how does Railink work and is it any good? The Indonesian-only official website isn’t much help in this area to foreign visitors, so Mau Ke Mana recently sent some secret shoppers to try it out. Their comments below are in grey.

Railink Timetable

Medan Airport Train Timetable 2014
Effective 28 April 2014 – click twice to enlarge
Berangkat = Depart, Tiba = Arrive, Waktu = Time

GETTING THERE

The train station at the airport is conveniently located, not far from the domestic arrivals hall. It is easy to find and well signposted. The lift is a bit small; only 3 people with luggage trollies could enter it at a time.

Medan Railink StationBy contrast, the train station in Medan seems inadequate. The main access is a large walkway/ramp (not stairs or escalators); the area is not covered, so would be uncomfortably hot on a sunny day, especially when bringing luggage. The waiting area near the platforms already seems cramped, despite there being few passengers at the time.

THE TRAIN

Medan Railink Train Facilities
Facilities: Seats with reclining backrests, baggage racks, clean bathrooms

New Korean-built trains have arrived, so facilities are now top-notch. Wi-fi is coming soon.

The journey is usually about 40 minutes, with no other official stops in between. The Medan city part of the journey can be interrupted or delayed by other inter-city trains needing to pass.

The baggage racks were big enough for suitcases, backpacks, etc. Surfboards might be too long, though.

If you’re heading to the airport, there is also the option of checking in your bags at Medan Station, via the city check-in service. You then don’t have to carry/push them on and off the train.

Seats are similar in style and comfort to Indonesian executive-class trains, but without the footrests and cushions.

THE PRACTICALITIES

1. Ticketing

We didn’t have any difficulty purchasing tickets because we have been to Indonesia before. Perhaps the first-time visitor may be a little confused about how much to pay or which banknotes to give.


Railink YouTube Video: How To Purchase Tickets

Train tickets can also be purchased on the Railink website, but only 1-7 days in advance and doing it this way incurs additional fees. So, in most cases it’s easier to just buy the tickets in cash on the day.

Tickets are cards you insert into a slot before proceeding through a gate, like on Jakarta’s Busway system.


Railink YouTube Video: How To Enter The Station

2. Timing/When To Go

The Railink brochure recommends (in Indonesian) passengers departing Medan select a train that leaves Medan Station at least 2 hours before departure.

For example, passengers on the 11:30 Wings Air flight to Nias should select a train departing before 09:30. Looking at the timetable, the 09:10 train is suitable.

The two hour minimum would be suitable for domestic flights; three hours before would be a wise choice for those departing on international flights.


Have you tried Railink? How was your experience?

Or if you have a question, please ask it below.



14 Comments on “Medan Airport Rail Link”

  1. avatar Partosiswojo says:

    I am very interested in the bogie design. Very good ride quality. Can you contact (e-mail contact) me with the car manufacturer in Korea?

  2. avatar Steven Lukehurst says:

    Hi there

    3 of us are spending a night in Medan before flying out again the next day.
    We would love to go by the new Railink but would our 6ft 10ins (2.08metre)surfboard bags restrict us from doing so? Also if we went with the train do you know how far it would by from the Medan stop to our hotel;

    Grand Serela Hotel

    We fly into Kualanamu Airport 11th April at 3:55pm and out to Simeulue 12th at 10:40am. We each have 2 Surfboards in purpose built bags and a cabin sized bag.

    What would be our other best choice if this isn’t possible…

    Thankyou, we
    Hope you can help….
    Cheers Steve Lukehurst.

  3. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Steve,

    It would be much easier bringing the surfboards on the Rail-link than on a taxi, and yes – they will fit ok.

    Here are directions from Medan Station to Grand Serela Hotel:

    It is 4km from the station to the hotel.

    Another option would be to take the DAMRI airport bus to Plaza Medan Fair. It is closer, 1.5km:

    However, I don’t know if the DAMRI Airport Bus accepts surfboards.

  4. avatar Angelina says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the informative post.

    I will be flying in to Medan in May for a friend’s wedding and wondering how do I get from the airport to my hotel (Swiss-Belinn Medan). Would taking the train be recommended? If so, how do I get from the train station to my hotel? Also, how much would it cost for the whole trip?

    Sorry for the many questions…

    I look forward to your reply!

    Thanks so much! (:
    Angelina

  5. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Angelina,

    Yes, I recommend taking the train from the airport, because your hotel is near the station.

    You can take a taxi or pedicab, or you could walk. The train ticket is Rp80 000, the fare for a pedicab is negotiable, the taxi might not want to take you because it is such a short distance/small fare, around Rp10 000.

  6. avatar Angelina says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the reply!! (:

  7. avatar Mel says:

    Hi Chris,

    We are staying at the Royal Suite Condotel I am flying in around 7pm with my children, a grandma, and 2 surfboards (6 people in all).

    I have been reading the above posts and am wondering what you would recommend as our best transport option?

    With the DAMRI bus can you get off along the route or just at the Plaza Medan Fair?

    Thanks for your time

    Mel

  8. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Mel,

    In Jakarta, you can get off the DAMRI bus on the way, but maybe not in Medan.

    I would ask the Royal Suite Condotel how much it would cost for an airport transfer in a car/van big enough to fit surfboards. If the price is not much more than 6 Railink tickets, I would select this because surfboards don’t usually fit in taxis.

  9. avatar Dragon D says:

    Hi chris..
    just wanna ask as I want to try and take a train from siantar back to medan, so am wondering if the train stop at the same station as the Rail link. .

    as for the other information, I already got it from you here..so thanks for those

  10. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Dragon D,

    Yes, it stops at the same station as the rail link.

    The Siantar Ekspres is an economy class train, with tickets a bargain at Rp25 000 ($US2).

    The train operates daily; it departs Siantar at 07:25 and arrives in Medan at 11:20.

  11. avatar agongkia says:

    My preferred mode of transport between airport and town whenever I am there.
    Not only of its comfort but the scenery along the way bring me many childhood memories.
    You can’t possibly see those huts, plantations etc and enjoy nature by taking other transport.

  12. avatar Pierre says:

    Hello guys,
    I just take my ticket to go from Medan city to Kuala Namu airport.
    If you go to the train station, the fare is now 100 000 rupias. But you can get discount if you buy it at alfamart shop: 55 000 or 80 000 rupias, depending on the number of seats remaining. So book early.
    There is also a cheap hotel not far : Permata inn, room from 130 000 rupias, share bathroom. It’s a new one, everything is new and clean. TV and wifi.

  13. avatar Cristin says:

    I am planning on to take the rail link this Saturday. It will be my first time taking the train to the airport here in Medan. I have one luggage, 1 medium size box and one large box. May I know if you have trolley there for me to push to the check in counter because I am alone and I have to carry my son. May I know if there will be any guard to help around? And do you charge infant for train ticket?

  14. avatar Chris says:

    Hi Cristin,

    There might be trolleys at the airport end, but not at the city end. There probably aren’t porters either.

    Infants don’t have to pay but children do.

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