The Star reports that the planned resumption of KTMB passenger services on the East Coast line for Hari Raya may not come to pass due to unsatisfactory progress in ensuring the line is safe for operation. The line, which had been battered by unusual heavy floods last December, is in precarious state and KTMB has been working to restore the line. However, the Malaysian Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) says its approval for resumption of services is conditional upon KTMB restoring the line to meet safe operating conditions. SPAD quoted, in particular, the sleepers and stretches of ballast needing replacement, for which KTMB had only so far done a small amount of replacement works.
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The Straits Times of Singapore today reports the commencement of the Johor Bahru Sentral (JBS)-Woodlands (Singapore) shuttle service. The service, which currently uses locomotive-hauled coaches, is known as the Tebrau shuttle. A one way trip from JBS into Woodlands costs RM5 while the one in the other direction is S$5 (RM14). There are seven return trips a day. This train service is expected to be a boon for daily commuters between JB and Singapore.
The Star today reported the Malaysian Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) as saying in a statement that it is not satisfied with the testing done on the brand new ETS (Class 93) slated for the service to Padang Besar.
It states that the new trains have yet to fully comply with conditions it must meet in order to ensure safe operations. It did not however elaborate what the conditions are. It instead recommends that KTMB uses the existing five Class 91 ETS EMUs.
The Malaysian NST (New Straits Times) Business Times reported on 22 April 2015 that a local Malaysian company has received an LOI (Letter of Intent) from the Ministry of Transport (MOT) Malaysia, on direct negotiations basis, to supply 13 units of 4-car DMUs to the national railway operator KTMB.
The DMUs will be used primarily on the East Coast line between Gemas and Tumpat, to replace existing loco-hauled local train services. The local company is proposing Diesel-Electric DMUs from China, specifically CNR Tangshan which recently won multiple orders to supply meter and standard gauge DMUs to Argentina.
This is the first time in about 30 years that KTMB will be using DMUs, the last being the shortlived Diesel-Hydraulic DMUs built by Ganz Mavag of Hungary supplied in the mid 1980s.
Local paper Sinar Harian today quoted the Chairman of the Malaysian Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, as saying that the recently announced ETS service between Kuala Lumpur and the border town of Padang Besar cannot as of yet go ahead.
This is because, he is further quoted, that the process of train and track inspection for the service has not yet been completed. SPAD will approve the operation of the route once it is satisfied that public safety will not be compromised while using the new train (referring to the new Class 93 CSR Zhuzhou built 6-car intercity EMUs). He adds that KTMB has been informed to postpone the service pending the completion, of which the failure to do will force SPAD to take action.
Last week the Malaysian Ministry of Transport (MOT) and KTMB announced that the ETS will be ready for services to Padang Besar in time for Hari Raya.
KTM is launching a trial of the Johor Bahru – Woodlands (Singapore) shuttle service today, as a promotion for the full-fledged service which is expected to commence on 1st July. There is going to be one return journey per day, increased to seven by that date. When the service is launched in full, long distance intercity passengers to the North or Singapore will have to exchange trains at JB Sentral, as all train services will start and terminate at that station.
The CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive (ZELC) made Class 93 EMUs are currently undergoing rigorous test runs between Tanjung Malim and Padang Besar (Radiating from Batu Gajah). The first set, ETS201, must pass a shakedown running , fault-free, in order to be released into traffic. KTM is looking into releasing this set for services up to Padang Besar in time for Hari Raya.
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