KTM Update: Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) for KTM Komuter

TRANSIT takes note of these two very interesting articles about the KTM Komuter service.

KTM to buy 4 used trains from Spain (Business Times)
By Sharen Kaur
Published: 2009/10/19

KERETAPI Melayu Bhd (KTMB) plans to buy four second-hand two-car diesel multiple units (DMUs) from Spain for RM28 million.

[TRANSIT: See a photo of the old train here and the new train here.]

The national railway company is believed to have opted for second-hand DMUs due to cash constraints.

A DMU is a multiple-unit train comprising multiple carriages powered by one or more onboard diesel engines.

The DMUs, which have been in operation for the past 30 years, are expected to be delivered in two months and be used as a stop-game measure to solve KTM’s current commuter woes.

However, industry sources said KTMB should be buying new three-car electrical multiple units (EMUs) to be efficient, instead of second-hand DMUs.

An EMU is a multiple unit train consisting many carriages and powered by electricity. A new three-car EMU set costs RM18 million to RM20 million.

“More cost would be incurred to refurbish the DMUs after a few years in service,” the source said.

The source added that for KTMB to be more productive, it should have 112 three-car EMUs, running on a 10-minute interval. [TRANSIT: We actually believe that KTM Komuter should have a fleet of more than 150 trainsets, which will allow it to aim for a daytime frequency of 7.5 – 10 minute, with peak hour frequency at 5 minutes. You will be pleased to know that this may actually happen by 2015 or thereabouts. More info later on.]

The company currently has 66 EMUs, including 16 which are beyond repairs, either because they have aged or were involved in accidents.

KTMB is overhauling the remaining 50 EMUs at an estimated cost of RM400 million to RM500 million.

It has overhauled 20 EMUs, which are in operation now. Another five EMUs are being refurbished and will be ready by the middle of next year.

KTMB president Dr Aminuddin Adnan told Business Times it is buying the DMUs to service the KTM commuter routes in the Klang Valley and later deploy them to high demand areas in the east coast.

“We are expanding our fleet of trains to improve our intercity, freight and commuter business. Currently, demand is higher than capacity,” Aminuddin said.

He said KTMB’s current ridership per day is 100,000, but this could increase by more than 15 to 20 per cent with more trains running.

“We have customers, like YTL Cement and Lafarge Cement, increasing their business with us. So we do need trains. Second-hand trains are not only cheaper, they can also be delivered faster,” he said.

“While we have government support, we are trying to expand first within our scope,” Aminuddin said.

Aminuddin said by mid-2010, KTMB will have 34 trains running, from 20 EMUs currently.

This would include the five DMUs and five EMUs that are under refurbishment. [TRANSIT: KTMB currently has no DMUs, but they do have the “hybrid trains” which are powerless EMU trainsets pulled by diesel locomotives.]

TRANSIT Says:

This is our potential future DMU.

Generally we believe that buying the DMUs is a bad idea for a number of reasons such as:

  • The 2-carriage DMU trains have smaller capacity than the 3 carriage EMU trainsets;
  • The trains are used, which means their maintenance has to be audited by KTMB;
  • The trains they are relatively old which means that there will be no way to unload these trains in the future;
  • From what TRANSIT has heard, the seller wants KTMB to pay for the overhaul;
  • The overhaul of these trains will take time;
  • The trains are diesel-powered, and diesel emissions are a known carcinogen and contributor to air pollution.

But then, what else can KTMB do in the current situation? We at TRANSIT have been calling on the government to purchase new trains for KTM Komuter for more than 4 years. Instead, the government (through Prasarana) sees fit to spend RM15 billion on LRT extensions to Putra Heights, of all places – and choses the costliest methods (all elevated).

We can only hope that the Auditor General’s 2009 Report will have some specific investigation of KTMB, the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Transport.

Just for more info about KTMB, we include another article below:

Jadual komuter tak menentu (Berita Harian)
Oleh Md Fuzi Abd Lateh

Pengguna perkhidmatan Rawang-Tanjung Malim terpaksa tunggu lama, tak selesa

RAWANG: Pengguna perkhidmatan komuter, Ketetapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) antara stesen Rawang ke Tanjung Malim merayu agar dipertingkatkan mutunya bagi keselesaan ribuan pengguna setiap hari.

Pengguna mengeluh dan kurang selesa dengan perkhidmatan ditawarkan KTM yang kian membebankan itu.

Tinjauan Sentral di sini mendapati ramai pengguna kurang berpuas hati dengan jadual perjalanan antara stesen yang tidak mengikut jadual.

Pemandu teksi , Mohd Shiraz Faidzal, 30, berkata dia juga sering mendengar keluhan pengguna mengenai masalah perkhidmatan komuter.

Menurutnya, dia seakan dijadikan tempat meluahkan ketidakpuasan hati pengguna apabila menaiki kenderaannya.

Katanya, masalah itu mampu diselesaikan KTMB sekiranya pengurusannya serius melakukannya.

Justeru, katanya, pengguna hanya mengharapkan supaya KTMB dapat mempertingkatkan mutu perkhidmatan mereka selaras misi syarikat itu.

Pelajar, Mohammad Firdaus Izham, 20, berkata dia agak musykil kerana pada asalnya perkhidmatan ini dikatakan KTM Komuter tetapi berbeza di laluan Rawang – Tanjung Malim, gerabaknya menggunakan gerabak kereta api biasa.

“Bagi saya tidak timbul masalah keselesaan sebab walaupun menggunakan gerabak kereta api, kebersihan tetap dijaga.

“Tetapi, ada juga gerabak yang bermasalah seperti ketiadaan penghawa dingin dan bilik air yang kurang bersih,” katanya.

Beliau berkata, faktor kelewatan sudah menjadi kebiasaan dan dia juga sering melihat ada pengguna lain mengeluh kerana tidak tahan dengan permasalahan itu.

Menurutnya, kelewatan berlaku sehingga 30 minit hingga sejam dan malangnya, sekiranya perkara itu berlaku tiada pengumuman atau pemberitahuan dibuat.

Mahmud Yahya, 27, berkata sepanjang lima tahun menggunakan perkhidmatan pengangkutan awam itu, masalah sering dialaminya ialah kelewatan jadual perjalanan.

Menurutnya, ketepatan masa sering kali tidak diberi perhatian serius KTMB sehingga ada pengguna termasuk dia sendiri sering terganggu jadual perjalanannya.

“Seolah-olah perkara ini sudah menjadi kelaziman dan tidak ada pendekatan proaktif diambil menanganinya.

“Pengguna adalah mangsanya dan ia jelas sekali tidak menepati kehendak pengguna yang mahukan perkhidmatan cepat, tepat dan selamat,” katanya.

Menurutnya, ketepatan masa sering kali diabaikan dan hanya meletakkan alasan masalah teknikal bagi mengelak keluhan pengguna.

“Tetapi, sebagai sebuah syarikat yang mempunyai misi dan tanggungjawab sosial kepada masyarakat, KTMB perlu berbuat sesuatu dalam mengatasi permasalahan itu,” katanya.

Mahmud juga mempersoalkan bagaimana perkhidmatan Komuter Rawang – Tanjung Malim disediakan sedangkan masalah kelewatan di stesen antara bandar Seremban – Rawang belum dapat diatasi.

“Kesannya kini dirasakan berganda dan berpanjangan sehingga turut membebankan pengguna di Hulu Selangor,” katanya.

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6 thoughts on “KTM Update: Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) for KTM Komuter”

  1. this afternoon i tried the rawang – tanjung malim route. yeap,they use the intercity train car and it was quite warm inside it,as if that the air-cond was not functioning.it was a hybris train pulled by a diesel locomotive and a diesel generator generates the electricity for the train.i’m not sure if the passengers are able to use the touch n go card for the service, because i did not notice the TnG sign at the machine. i wonder if the delays caused by inadequate number of train sets,as i did’nt see any similar train plying the route. this is my travelogue;

    30 Oct 2009
    1525 Train departed from Rawang (it was scheduled to depart at 1454)
    1630 Arrived at Tanjung Malim (travel duration approximately 1 hour)
    1645 Train departed from Tanjung Malim (haha..i had nothing to do there,so i boarded the same train again)
    1749 Train arrived at Rawang

    Then i changed to Rawang – Seremban route.right after i alighted at KL Central,they announced that that they had canceled two trains scheduled from Seremban,causing a delay for more than 60 minutes.imagine that in my single journey i noticed two delays in KTM service.how bad the service is.

    1. ETS services are expected to start in March or April 2010 – nearly 3 years after the track was completed and the electric wires energized.

      Another issue that will have to be resolved is the public transport services in Ipoh as well.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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