TRANSIT noted this interesting article about the renewed activity at the Ipoh Railway Station, in the days leading up to the arrival of Electric Train Services (ETS) – tentatively scheduled for “mid-month” in July 2010.
We will excuse Mr. Sivaji’s tendency to speculate on the nature of the service and the tickets – perhaps he is displaying a level of confidence in KTMB that others do not have – or maybe the editing of his written copy was a bit selective.
Never mind – read the article yourself.
Electric trains give Ipoh Railway Station new spark of life (NST)
IPOH: The Ipoh Railway Station, known as the Taj Mahal of Ipoh, is once again abuzz with activity with the [upcoming] introduction of the Electric Train Service (ETS).
“We are glad. The train service has indirectly improved our daily earnings,” said taxi driver Ahmad Kassim.
The resurgence of the station is mainly because of the increase in the number of people using the rail service to travel to and from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth, Penang.
The train tickets are affordable, and the new coaches are comfortable with improved service.
[TRANSIT: Since when were the fares announced? And since when has the service started? Oh wait, perhaps this reporter has come back from the future?]
“Nowadays, I prefer to take the train to get to Kuala Lumpur as it is convenient to get off at KL Sentral and get on with my chores,” said Karam Singh, who goes to the city frequently to see his children who are working there.
He said although the journey by train was slightly longer than by bus, it was more comfortable.
The scenic view of the countryside one enjoys along the way more than makes up for the extra travelling time, added Karam.
He has also noticed that there are many students and working adults opting to travel by train.
“Travellers can get off at Tanjong Malim, Sungkai, Kampar or Tapah Road along the journey,” he added.
He also welcomed the recent announcement by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) president Dr Aminuddin Adnan that the travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh would be reduced to just two hours.
The new service is expected to be launched by mid-month.
[TRANSIT: See – the reporter must have come back from the future! In our time, the comfortable service with the affordable tickets has not started yet!]
“With a speed of 140kph, ETS will reduce travel time and stewards and stewardesses will also provide comfort to travellers,” said Aminuddin.
KTMB plans to have five ETS trains to provide eight return trips for the Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh route daily.
The maximum capacity for each ETS train is 350 passengers per trip. — By V. Sivaji
Like many others, we are clearly looking forward to the arrival of ETS between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh station. It will be a wonderful contrast to see modern electric trains serving two classically designed railway stations which showcase the age of train travel.
Unfortunately, while KTMB rockets to the future, Ipoh public transport will still be largely stuck in the past.
The irony is that the KL-Ipoh double tracking and electrification was completed in mid-2007 and shuttle trains have been running between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh since 2008 – but there has been no noticeable improvements to public transport in Ipoh or connections to the Ipoh railway station.
The Perak Transit service does not count, since it is a new intercity bus service, not an urban bus service connecting to the Ipoh Railway Station.
Perhaps in Ipoh, time really does stand still. We at TRANSIT would prefer to see real investment in public transport in the state of Perak, especially in the Greater Ipoh area. See our proposal for a bus rapid transit network for Ipoh here.
In case you were wondering, the “traveling to the future” reference is connected to the 25th anniversary of the popular film “Back to the Future” which gave Michael J. Fox a career.