TRANSIT is happy to report that the newest KTM trainset has finally arrived in Malaysia.
TRANSIT received the photos below, showing the train’s departure from Korea. We have now learned that the train has arrived at WestPort (Port Klang) and will soon be handed over to KTMB.
Update 2 – TRANSIT has been invited to the handover ceremony at Kuala Lumpur station on 15 December
Update 1 – we have been informed that the train is now at KTMB’s workshop at Batu Gajah.
The train, made by the ROTEM Consortium, is 6-carriages in length and will be joined by 5 more trainsets by February of 2010.
KTMB hopes to operate the 1h 55m Express Train Service (ETS) between Ipoh and Seremban beginning in April 2010.
It is thought that there will be 2 services:
- “Express”, Seremban-KL-Ipoh, RM60
- “Transit”, Seremban, Kajang, KL, Sg. Buloh, Batu Gajah, Tg. Malim, Ipoh, RM40
In addition there is the current Seremban-KL-Ipoh train service which costs RM30 (or so)
We are of course happy to learn about the arrival of the new trains, but there are some details behind the trains that we are not exactly too happy about.
Firstly, the trains should have been ordered in 2005 so that they would be here and operating back in May 2007 when the KL-Ipoh Electrification and Double-Tracking project was completed.
Secondly, there should be more trains. 5 trains on the ETS service is simply not enough.
Thirdly, we are afraid that the RM60 fare for express service will result in low demand for the service.
Fourthly, KTMB needs to improve its Komuter division which is facing serious problems. Frankly, if these 5 trains were moved to operate on from Sg. Buloh to Kajang, it would have a major impact on congestion in KTM service.
Finally, KTMB is doing what it can to improve intercity train service but there is no coordination to improve public transport. Imagine what it will be like taking a fast train from KL-Ipoh or KL-Seremban (or the other way around) and then dealing with the aging buses and taxi mafia at the end of your trip!