The new four-car monorail
LEAPING into a new era of public transport services transformation, Kuala Lumpur’s monorail service, which is operated by Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd, is ready for a transformation of its operations with delivery of the first set of 12 four-car trains.
The new trains will be massive in size but a lot lighter than the current set. The delivery to the monorail depot in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur from the manufacturing plant in Rawang, will be conducted in stages, with the final 12th set of train only scheduled to be delivered by February next year.
“Even the first four-car set will be delivered in stages beginning yesterday. We will have one car on the first day, followed by the second car the following day and the others later before they are re-assembled at our monorail depot in Brickfields.
“The transportation of the trains would be a tedious and carefully planned exercise. We have to properly plan the routes as the trailers would not be able to go through the toll gates,” said Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Khairani Mohamed.
Undertaken under the Govern-ment Transformation Plan (GTP) of the public transport services, the contract to supply the trains for RapidKL monorail line was awarded to Scomi Rail Bhd, a subsidiary of Scomi Engineering Bhd.
Valued at RM494mil, Scomi was also tasked with upgrading the existing monorail stations, including providing universal access facilities as well as upgrading the electrical and mechanical system and to build a new depot under the contract. The new train sets will increase the passengers per train from 214 to 430 passengers during peak hours and address the current problem of crowding on the RapidKL monorail line, which is currently managing an average daily ridership of 72,000 passengers.
Apart from larger capacity, the new trains are also fitted with better safety features including open-door window, on-board close-circuit TV cameras and “run-flat” features, which allow the trains to continue moving despite a puncture.
“With this “run-flat” feature, the trains can move at least to the nearest station in cases of tyre puncture. Passengers will no longer be stranded in the trains and have to wait for rescue personnel,” said Khairani, who is also the group director (rail division) of Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad – the parent company of Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd.
After delivery and re-assembling, the new four-car train will be put through dynamic testing including running tests on the main-line outside operational hours.
“We can see this new train running on the track between 12.30am and 4.30am for the dynamic testing. For real operations, we are looking at the third quarter of 2014,” said Khairani, adding that delivery of the remaining cars would commence from July.