KUALA KRAI, June 14 — Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) eastern region is now ready to fully run the new Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains to replace the conventional trains currently used today.
Manager, Redzuan Abdullah said, KTMB had carried out upgrading works on the rail tracks and stations along the East Coast route from Tumpat to Gua Musang which stretches over a 200km distance.
“The upgrading works was disrupted since March during the movement control order (MCO) but we are confident things will run smoothly when the MCO restrictions are lifted.
“When the DMU trains come into operation, travel time will be reduced as the average speed of the train is about 100km per hour compared to the convention trains which travel at 50km to 60km per hour,” he told Bernama here today.
Redzuan said the upgrading process involved several phases of the East Coast route where the route until Gemas, Negri Sembilan, is under phase B of the project, while phase C covers the Gua Musang-Mentakab, Pahang route.
He said work under phase C, covering the Tumpat-Gua Musang route, has reached the final stage while work on phase B between Gua Musang up to Mentakab, is 70 per cent completed.
“This DMU technology is from China and we foresee that the new trains will be put to use early next year, subject to the ministry and KTMB’s decision,” he said.
In September last year, KTMB general manager for procurement Mohd Hider Yusoff reportedly said the total cost of 13 units of the DMU trains involving 52 coaches, was RM380 million.
Mohd Hider said KTMB was in the midst of conducting tests on the DMU trains especially on its safety aspects and technology readinesss levels before full implementation of the trains.
At the same time he said specially trained drivers would be needed to man the modern trains and cope with the more sophisticated rail system. — Bernama