A faster train service linking Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth is expected to be operational in June next year.
Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad’s (KTMB) Electric Train Service (ETS) is capable of travelling at speeds of 160kph. The current ones can only touch 140kph.
KTMB chairman Datuk Nawawi Ahmad said the new ride could carry 350 people with 10 new coach sets running by January 2016.
“(This is part of the) operation linking Padang Besar to KL. But first, in June 2015, it will be between Butterworth and KL,” he said in an interview.
Nawawi said discussions are still being held on whether the service would transport passengers directly from KL to Butterworth or mid-way from Ipoh.
He confirmed that the coach sets would be manufactured by China’s CSR Zhuzhou which built the Class 92 trains for KTMB’s Komuter line.
Three sets will begin their run on the KL-Butterworth route in June. The other seven will be pushed onto the tracks in stages by January 2016.
The new units would be brought to Malaysia from next month, and tested by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
All this was part of a bigger move to link KL to Padang Besar via the electrified double-tracking project.
It was reported that the 329km Ipoh-Padang Besar portion of the track would be handed over to the Transport Ministry by year’s end.
A China Daily report citing CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co (CSR ZELC) said its trains would be used on the upcoming 900km stretch between Padang Besar and Johor Baru.
CSR ZELC president Zhou Qinghe said that after the first batch of 10 sets were delivered here, trains of the same type would be manufactured in Malaysia.MYNEWSHUB