PETALING JAYA: Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd has assured commuters that the Kelana Jaya LRT line is still safe despite two train breakdowns this month.
Its CEO Amir Hamdan said the brake callipers of the trainsets were in the midst of being refurbished, and the work is expected to be completed by Nov 30.
He said the brake system refurbishment programme began in October 2021 in accordance with its scheduled maintenance plans.
“To date, we have completed 39% of the work on the 818 Innovia Mark II Armada Bombadier trainsets,” he told a media briefing at the Kelana Jaya LRT depot here yesterday, following a train breakdown at KL Sentral on Friday during peak hours that disrupted travel for more than 22,000 commuters.
This latest incident was similar to the one on May 10 when the same type of trainset broke down at the Taman Jaya station as it was heading towards Putra Heights.
In both incidents, the trainset developed hydraulic leaks from the brake system that resulted in the brakes being automatically applied to prevent the train from moving.
To free the trains, the track needed to be powered down so that technicians could get onto the track to manually release the brakes.
Explaining Friday’s incident, Amir said Rapid Rail’s Operations Control Centre (OCC) was notified at 4.32pm that Train 62 had developed brake problems at Pasar Seni.
As a precaution, passengers were asked to disembark at the station, and technicians drove the train away manually, he added.
“When it reached KL Sentral, the brake system on the train experienced a hydraulic leak, resulting in it being unsafe to be driven, even manually.
“We then removed the train from the tracks to a pocket track near the Universiti station.
“Following this, the OCC then decided to cut off the power supply to allow engineers to carry out inspections on the train,” he said as he apologised for the incident that was resolved by 6.36pm on Friday.
At the media briefing, Kelana Jaya Line chief engineer Leman Zakaria explained that unlike cars, the brake system for trains is designed in such a way that any loss in hydraulic pressure would actually activate the brakes.
In the case of the Kelana Jaya LRT, technicians must get down to the tracks to release the brake callipers manually.
Each 818 Innovia Mark II Armada Bombardier train has 16 brakes.
“We are progressively repairing the brake callipers during the overhaul period. It is a complicated process that requires experts to carry out.
“This involves a total of 27 trains. As such, we are currently carrying out overhauls on 432 brake callipers, with the aim of overhauling 10 callipers each week. We have completed 170 overhauls to date,” said Leman.
It is understood that Rapid Rail is grappling with the shortage of qualified workers to undertake this highly specialised job.