TRANSIT has found out that the Electric Train Service (ETS) between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh is likely to start operations on 12 August 2010.
This will be exactly 15 years and 9 days since the first electric train service in Malaysia, the KTM Komuter, started operations (on 3 August 1995).
The main ticketing offices for the ETS as well as the “Railcafe” lounges will be located at the Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh railway stations. There will also be a ticketing office at KL Sentral railway station.
Type of service:
The ETS will operate two services – an Express service (in red on the route map below) stopping at a limited number of stations, and a Transit service (blue hexagon on the route map below) that stops at all stations between Rawang and Ipoh.
It is likely that the express service will operate using 1 or 2 trains and the transit service will operate using the remaining trains (out of the fleet of 5). What is not known is the effect of this service on the existing shuttle trains. KTM may also consider using the diesel shuttle trains for the Transit service and reserving the electric trains for Express service – this would allow them to offer a very frequent and reliable and smooth electric express service.
Trains will operate between 5 am and 11pm. We have no further details yet about the train timetable.
It is expected that the fare will be RM30-35 for the express service, with a lower fare for the Transit service. We at TRANSIT find this interesting, because the KLIA Express Rail Link also charges RM35 for a trip (whether Express or Transit) but the trip to KLIA is far shorter than the trip to Ipoh. We hope that the RM30-35 fare will allow KTM to make a reasonable return on the cost of the ETS operations. And perhaps we should be seeing a reduction in the fare of the KLIA Express (or at least the KLIA transit) service.
Frankly, we think that it is wonderful that the ETS service is starting operations soon – of course, we would have been much happier if it started on 12 (or 31) August 2007 – which could have happened if the government had purchased the trains when the electrification and double tracking project was started.
The presence of the ETS will make a big difference almost right away. Since August 11 is the expected first day of Ramadan, public transport users will benefit from the ETS for travel to the towns between KL and Ipoh. Imagine the Balik Kampung period – it will take perhaps 3-4 hours for a trip by car between KL and Ipoh, while train service will take 2 hours or so.
We will share more details about the ETS as they become available. Until then, we are looking forward to the opening of the service and a positive future for KTMB and KTM passengers.
Now…what is going to be done about public transport service in Perak, especially Ipoh?