Friday, September 5, 2008

New trains for Kelana Jaya line will only be usable by Sept 2009

THE first of the 35 LRT trains ordered for the Kelana Jaya line will arrive in Malaysia by November this year to meet increasing demands. However, commuters will have to wait until September next year before the first of these trains will be usable. The entire fleet will only be commisioned by April 2011.

Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad chief executive officer Shaipudin Shah Harun said today that the reason for the 11-month wait was because the company needed to complete assembly of the trains, upgrade the power capability of the line, as well as do safety testing.

Shaipudin said the order for the trains - which are being manufactured by Canadian conglomerate Bombardier - had been made two years ago in 2006.

The four-car trains will increase the capacity of the Kelana Jaya line from 160,000 passengers to 350,000 passengers daily.

Asked about the lengthy period for the acquisition, Shaipudin said that it was the norm of the industry.
”Why does it take up to two years (for the first trains to be usable)? The answer is simple - every train is made from scratch, it costs between US1 to 2 million each and not just anybody can make them,” Shaipudin briefed reporters at a post-budget press conference held at their office.

Shaipudin said the trains were custom made and take up to a year to build.

”It is the nature of the industry,” he said.

Prasarana took over operations of both the Ampang and Kelana Jaya line in January 2005.

When asked why Prasarana had waited until the LRT had became congested before ordering the trains, Shaipudin said since the company only took over the operations in 2005, it could not be held accountable for what happened before that takeover.

Sept 2009 - Malaysian please be patient . . . . .

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