Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail Link: Talk is Back on Track

Malaysian 1-meter-gauge rail extending to horizon
Malaysian 1-meter-gauge rail extending to horizon

The negotiation to establish a high speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore has been revived, said Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri.

The talk was initially planned to start from October but it has been delayed to December instead. The talk serves as a negotiation platform to solve legal and technical issues in building the high speed rail link.

Final detail on the track alignment as well as other technical specifications are still pending mutual agreement from both Malaysian and Singaporean side.

The project is targeted to be completed by 2020 with cost of about RM 40 bil.

Source: The Star

More Train Engineers Needed in Malaysia

KTM Diesel Locomotive Class 23 (23106 – Gagah) at Arau Railway Station, Perlis

Recent developments in railway atmosphere in Malaysia have enabled greater access to rail transportation, thanks to mega projects such as the Electrified Double Tracking Project (EDTP). Recently the government announced that EDTP will be extended to Johor Bahru. As of now, EDTP between Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh is already in use. For Ipoh-Padang Besar stretch, EDTP is still in construction.

Newer technologies require new set of skills to be maintained. This is evident in Malaysia’s reliance towards foreign engineers in handling its sophisticated train system, such as the ones from United Kingdom. The usage of manpower from overseas is very expensive but it has to take place due to lack of engineers in Malaysian train industry.

Manpower is one of the problem that surfaces alongside recent development in railway industry. Other than that, we are also facing other problems such as rolling stock procurement and also the reliability of current rail tracks. The tracks need to be more durable and less subjected to failures, especially along routes usually taken by freight trains.

Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal said a lack of manpower in the sector resulted in Malaysia using the services of foreign engineers, such as those from the United Kingdom, to smoothen tasks involving the use of new technologies in the train system.

Source: BERNAMA news article

KTM Komuter Derailed Near Rawang Station

A KTM Komuter train was derailed at Kilometer 354.88 new Rawang Station on November 1st, according to a BERNAMA news source.

Since KTM services share the same trackage, other services such as KTM Intercity and ETS are also affected. However, like previous incidents, KTM Berhad was quick in terms of response time. Passengers were then transported using shuttle buses, continuing their journey to their respective destinations.

New KTM ETS Schedule, effective October 1st 2013

KTM ETS Logo

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) has released a set of new schedules for ETS, effective October 1st 2013. The move is necessary in order to ensure KTMB can provide better service to the customers. The frequency of ETS trains are changed to fit the user’s needs better. you can read more froma news article by Bernama here.

With the completion of electrified double track railways, we do hope that the government will assist KTMB further in rolling stock procurement because we don’t see the point of having state-of-the-art railway system without making use to its full potential.

October 12th 2013 Update: We have updated our ETS Schedule.

About ETSKTM ETS (Electric Train Service) is a relatively new train service from KTMB. The first commercial run was done on August 12th 2010, after several times of postponement. For the time being, ETS plies the route between Ipoh and Seremban.

West Haven Train Station Now Open for Public

West Haven Train Station 2013-08-31 17.05.14

West Haven Train Station is a just-opened commuter rail station in West Haven, Connecticut, USA. It serves the New Haven Line of Metro North Railroad (MNR).

It is built to cater the residents and visitors of West Haven, CT and Orange, CT. According to News 8 WTNH, West Haven had to undergo a series of meetings and studies so that the station will be built at the city itself, not Orange, which has more commercial zones.

Read more here.

ETS Tickets can be Purchased at Several Additional Locations

KTM ETS Logo

An announcement was made by KTM Berhad Customer Relations Unit (Unit Perhubungan Pelanggan) about ETS ticket purchase options.

Now, users can purchase ETS tickets from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the following four railway stations (in addition to KL Sentral):

  • Subang Jaya
  • Shah Alam
  • Klang
  • Pelabuhan Klang

Click here for ETS Fares

Click here for ETS Schedules

source: KTMB official website

KTM ETS Food Service Quality

KTM ETS Logo

Recently, I came across an article in The Star complaining about food service quality onboard ETS train. According to the author, one of the crew members responded rudely when he was asked about the food. Apart from rudeness, complaints can also be seen about unavailability of staff to take care of the orders placed at Food and Beverage counter in ETS’ Food & Beverage coach.

As a service provider with dedicated coach for food and beverage service, KTM Berhad should look into this problem seriously. While there are currently many KTMB staff who can behave appropriately and responded timely with customers’ complaints, there are also some of the ‘rotten eggs’ who smear the overall image of KTM Berhad.

The article mentioned above is about six months old (as of June 2013) but we are hoping that KTM Berhad has conducted a thorough investigation about this problem and rectified it in whichever way necessary. This is important to ensure customer satisfaction is taken up to a higher level.

ETS service is a prime choice of commuters traveling between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. If the service quality (in terms of staff and on-time performance) can be improved, quite a number of people would not mind paying extra compared to public bus as long as they can have a comfortable ride between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur.

We are hoping that KTM Berhad will continue to look into ways to improve ETS service because it has clear advantage over bus service, which is the ability to circumvent through traffic jams (they use railroads!)

Update on July 27th 2013: Dead link

KTMB Instructed to set up Tourism Committee

KTM Berhad Logo

Tourism Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen has instructed Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) to set up a tourism committee in order to boost tourism sector using its machinery in transport sector [source: The Star] . KTMB plays a big role in the country because it connects major destinations across peninsular Malaysia.

She also suggests that KTMB should upgrade its passenger cars. The good news is the Tourism Ministry is all set to help KTMB with this promotion. Therefore, with careful consideration and ample planning KTMB is able to get extra budget and improve its service even further.

KTM Berhad handed over plots of land in Kuala Sepetang to locals

KTM Berhad Logo

After living next to the country’s first railroad network for about 100 years, a number of Kuala Sepetang families can live better life with less worry as KTM Berhad has agreed to transfer the land ownership to them.

Initially, KTM Berhad asked the state government a RM35 million ringgit payment in return. However, after negotiations with state government, they have agreed only to transfer the land to the villages without anything in return.

KTM Berhad has a lot of underutilized land asset in Malaysia. We hope that KTM continues to try their best to ensure the plots of land are being used at their maximum potential, yielding more revenue for KTM. The added revenue can further be used for proper maintenance of trains and also buying new trains. Throughout the years we can see how the lack of adequate fleet of trains has hurt KTM Berhad operation efficiency. Therefore it is hoped that KTM Berhad tries its best to ensure best customer experience for its customers..

Source: The Star – KTM land given to Kuala Sepetang folk, published on May 4th 2013 [link]

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