PETALING JAYA: A KTM Komuter train service linking three states in northern Malaysia is in the works, and may be in operation as early as September.
An image of a KTM Komuter route map spread on social media Sunday night showing a train line linking Gurun (Kedah) to Butterworth (Penang) and Kamunting (Perak).
The image, shared by a Facebook page called RailTravel Station, showed 11 stations on the planned line, including Sungai Petani, Bukit Mertajam and Bagan Serai.
According to RailTravel Station, the route map was found on some KTM Komuter trains running in the Klang Valley.
KTMB chairman Datuk Nawawi Ahmad confirmed the image and called the service Komuter Utara.
"This is for Komuter Utara every one hour.
"It hasn't gotten SPAD (Land Public Transport Commission) approval. If approved, we will start it," he said in a WhatsApp message to The Star.
He said the track from Gurun to Kamunting was already finished, and that the trains slated for this track were available but not ready yet.
He said there were "problems" with the new CSR Zhuzhou coaches.
"But with our older three-coach trains, there are no problems," he added.
When asked when the Komuter Utara service would be ready once SPAD gave its approval, Nawawi merely replied, "September," without giving further details.
It is not known if the planned KTM Komuter service will run on the existing double track.
If launched in September, it will be the first commuter rail service in northern Malaysia.
Previously, trains running through these states were the intercity type.
Commonly served by diesel locomotives, KTMB has been moving electric trains onto the line in recent years.
In July this year, the Electric Train Service which previously linked Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh was extended to Padang Besar.
It is not known if the Komuter Utara service will run on the same track.