Amid the excitement of the newly launched ETS services to the North, KTMB is also introducing extra services using locomotive-hauled coaches to Padang Besar. The poster below, taken from KTMB’s website, details availability of the service.
The service utilises one of the two recently launched INKA second class coach rakes. Each rake is made up of six (6) Airconditioned Second Class coaches (ASC), one buffet car (ABC), and one Power Generating Car (PGC). Each ASC could accommodate sixty (60) seated passengers.
This service stops at a limited number of stations between KL Sentral and Padang Besar (eight); compare this to the newly launched ETS services at thirteen. Travel time with the INKA coaches is about one extra hour when compared to that of the ETS.
We just got word that effective tomorrow the ETS direct service to Padang Besar (direct as in not entailing change of trains) will commence. The service will leave KL Sentral at 0930 in the morning, stopping at 13 stations and reaching Padang Besar at 1500hrs. It would effect the return journey an hour later, reaching KL Sentral at 2115hrs. For fares and stations, refer to the photos below, courtesy of Mr Zainal Rashid Zakaria via Facebook
What is not clear is whether this service replaces the earlier non direct services between Ipoh – Butterworth – Padang Besar, or if it’s an addition. We will update this entry once we get the information.
EDIT: We can now confirm that the service is in addition to the one launched a day earlier. Just like the earlier service, this service will also utilise the older Class 91 EMU
The local press reported yesterday the commencement of ETS service from Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar which began today. The news was greeted with a stream of congratulatory messages to KTMB and the mood among people who have been looking forward to it is generally an ecstatic one.
However, what was not clearly conveyed in most publications is the fact that it is not, at least not yet, a direct service from Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar, or Butterworth for that matter. A glance at the released timetable and fare would tell you that the services are in fact Ipoh-Butterworth vv and Butterworth -Padang Besar vv. One would have to ‘hop’ trains in order to realise a trip from Kuala Lumpur to the North. To make matters slightly complicated is that the timing of the service makes it impossible for one to arrive in Ipoh in time to catch the connecting train to the North from KL. The train starts from Ipoh at 0500hrs, reaching Butterworth slightly under two hours later at 0650. The first train from KL would not reach Ipoh until 0820.
The train from Ipoh, having reached Butterworth, would then continue as another service to Padang Besar at 0730, reaching the latter at 0915. It would effect the return service at 1400hrs, reaching and leaving Butterworth at 1545 and 1700, before terminating in ipoh at 1850hrs. It is therefore possible currently for people from Padang Besar to get to KL via ETS (the last service of the day from Ipoh to KL leaves at 2000hrs) but there is no such connection from the other direction.
This whole arrangement is affected by the use of one of the older Class 91 EMU ETS, not the newer CSR ZELC Class 93s. At least not yet. And for the upcoming Hari Raya KTM is offering another service, direct to Padang Besar, using locomotive hauled coaches – the brand new INKA coaches.
Ticketwise we have been informed that ETS tickets will have to be bought separately for the separate sectors, though we imagine this is something you can do at any one station. For fares and time table, see images below (COURTESY OF MR ZAINAL RASHID ZAKARIA via Facebook)
This arrangement is temporary, however, we are sure you’ll be glad to hear. As more of the Class 93 ETS EMUs come online after successfully completing testing and commissioning, a more direct service will be introduced. Currently two sets are under testing, with the whole new fleet of ten expected to be in service by January 2016.
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.
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.
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.