PETALING JAYA: New diesel multiple unit (DMU) trains have been acquired for Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTM)'s east coast route between Kelantan and Pahang, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
"The DMU trains are being introduced to replace conventional diesel trains for KTM's Intercity East Coast rail link between Tumpat and Kuala Lipis.
"It represents the successful cooperation between the Federal Government and the east coast states which would benefit the rakyat and nation," he said when launching the DMU trains at the Pasir Mas station in Kelantan on Sunday (April 11).
The Transport Minister said the new trains would directly benefit the people in Kelantan and Pahang.
"RM380mil was set aside for 13 DMU trains which will commence operations between Tumpat and Kuala Lipis," he said, adding that the new trains would further develop local economies as well as the tourism and downstream manufacturing sectors.
The DMU train routes, covering 216km from Tumpat and Gua Musang and 94km from Gua Musang to Kuala Lipis, would proceed to full operational status in stages.
Dr Wee noted that although the DMU trains were new, the government is aware of the pressures of the cost of living and are offering special fare rates for students and the disabled (OKU).
"The government has decided that they can enjoy the DMU train service at a flat rate of RM5 a month through the purchase of the MyRail5 unrestricted monthly pass," he said, adding that these groups must first register for the passes.
He said that safety tests have been carried out to ensure passenger safety as more are expected to use the new trains.
With the nation's 136-year rail service described as a 'national treasure', Dr Wee said that it must be maintained and improved for the use of future generations.
He advised commuters to take care of the DMU trains by ensuring its cleanliness and to avoid vandalism.
With an average speed of 100km/h, the new DMU trains will reduce travel time compared to conventional trains which run between 50 to 60km/h.
The Tumpat-Gua Musang-Kuala Lipis route is the first phase of the upgrading process.
The second phase will cover routes to Gemas, Negri Sembilan while the third phase will cover the Gua Musang-Mentakab stretch along the Pahang route.