KL Monorail Fleet Expansion Plan On-Track and Proceeding Smoothly
Overcapacity of KL Monorail’s services will be a thing of the past come end of this year, going by the speed of measures currently being taken by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) – the parent company of KL StarRail Sdn Bhd which operates the intra-city rail system.
“The KL Monorail Fleet Expansion Plan undertaken by Prasarana is proceeding smoothly according to schedule and we will be getting the first sets of four-car train by the end of the year,” Prasarana’s Group Director for Rail Division Encik Khairani Mohamed said in a statement today.
“Apart from the bigger-capacity, environmental-friendly and energy-efficient trains, commuters can also expect more comfort at the stations with the upgrading of the monorail stations that runs concurrently with our fleet expansion programme,” he said.
“Some of the upgrading works included installation of lifts and escalators for easier mobility of our passengers especially those with disability,” Khairani added.
As it is now, KL Monorail uses 12 two-car trains to service commuters in Kuala Lumpur; but the convenience of riding these trains against the frustrations of being stuck in the city’s congested roads has triggered the overcapacity phenomenon.
Considering that KL Monorail is the only rail system that provides the last mile travel for most Central Business District-bound passengers in the city, it is obvious as to why the service is popular among commuters in the Klang Valley. Currently, it is the only rail system able to navigate through limited space in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
According to Khairani, the two-car trains, which can accommodate some 214 people per trip and has a daily ridership of some 65,000 persons, are currently running as high as 35 per cent over-capacity during peak hours.
“The ridership is projected to increase further; hence, the need for Prasarana to embark upon an expansion exercise to bring back equilibrium to the supply-and-demand disparity.
“With the new four-car trains, we can carry double the capacity as the new trains will be much larger than the current two-car trains,” Khairani said, adding that Prasarana has awarded the contract to Scomi Transit Projects Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Scomi Engineering Bhd.
Valued at approximately RM494 million, the contract also included upgrading works on the monorail stations and the electrical and mechanical system and building a new depot apart from the supply of the 12 sets of new four-car trains.
In replacing the two-car train service with a four-car train system, KL Monorail will increase the passenger capacity of KL Monorail’s fleet from 214 passengers per car to 430 passengers per train.
According to Khairani, the new trains, which is of the Generation 2 type, which will be used by KL Monorail comply with international standards and are environmental-friendly.
“This Generation 2 type of monorail has a number of advantages over the older trains that are currently being used. This includes a more competitive pricing and increased passenger comfort,” Khairani said.
The use of the new trains can also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 200 tonnes a day because of their energy efficiency. They will also be quieter than other modes of transport because of the use of eco-friendly rubber tyres on concrete beams that creates less noise and vibration while in operation.
“Two of these new trains will be put to service by the end of November while the remaining trains will join the fleet in the second half of next year,” Khairani added.
KL Monorail services have been in operations since August 31, 2003. It passes major hotels in the city and serves Kuala Lumpur’s central commercial, employment, hotel and shopping districts. It provides the services from 11 elevated stations with 8.6 kilometers in length from Titiwangsa Station in Jalan Tun Razak via Golden Triangle in the City Centre and ends at KL Sentral in Brickfields.
For more details, contact Prasarana Media Affairs Manager Azhar Ghazali at 019-3837865 or Haliza Hamid at 019-2210058.