IPOH, Sept 16 — Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) anticipates an additional 2,000 passengers a day will use the KTM Komuter Utara train service from its three new stations in Ipoh, Sungai Siput and Kuala Kangsar to the Butterworth station in Penang and its intermediate stations.
KTMB chief corporate officer Suhaimi Yaacob said previously a total of over 1,000 passengers were recorded using the electric train service (ETS) at the three stations.
“Maybe more (load factor) during peak hours but I think this also includes public holiday weekends because we expect this train route will also be used by students since the journey is short and fast,” he said.
He said this at the 2023 KTMB Open Day programme in conjunction with Malaysia Day celebrations which was also attended by Perak Corridor of Tourism, Industry, Investment and Development Committee chairman Loh Sze Yee at Ipoh Station here today.
He said the current frequency of trains can accommodate as many as 450 passengers per hour during peak hours or a train arriving every two hours and the frequency of trains will be increased if there is higher user demand for the northern route.
Meanwhile, Loh said the Ministry of Transport and Railway Assets Corporation are studying the upgrading works that need to be carried out at stations in Perak to provide comfortable facilities for commuters.
“In the near future, we may have to tidy up and beautify these places first before the upgrading work which requires cost and takes time to complete,” he said.
He said travelling from the three new stations — Ipoh, Sungai Siput and Kuala Kangsar — to other stations on the KTM Komuter route between Ipoh and Butterworth starting today can help make Visit Perak Year 2024 a success because tourists can travel short distances and not get stuck in road congestions.
“This new service will be able to boost the two-way movement between the two ‘main points’ in terms of commerce and industry or workers and tourism,” he said.
The journey from Butterworth station to Ipoh station takes 1 hour 56 minutes, with an adult fare of RM12.80 one-way, while the concession fare for children, the elderly and the disabled (OKU) is RM6.40 one-way.
The first train from Ipoh to Butterworth station leaves at 4.40am, while from Butterworth to Ipoh station at 5.30am, with the last train leaving from Ipoh station at 6.35pm, while from Butterworth station it is at 7.10pm.
Earlier, a total of 400 Jalur Gemilang and Malaysia Madani pins were distributed to KTMB passengers while various interesting activities were held, including a colouring competition, Tag & Win with KTMB and an exhibition of train-spotting photos by the Malayan Railway Fan Club (MRFC), a community forum of rail enthusiasts. — Bernama