Melaka tram project gets the nod?

TRANSIT took note of the following article which states that the Melaka Tram project has been approved by the Department of Railways.

Tram project gets the nod (NST)
30 September 2010

MALACCA: Visitors to the Historical City could soon enjoy a traffic light-free ride from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza to the city centre, thanks to the Melaka Tram project.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the Department of Railways had given the nod for the project.

TRANSIT: Technically the Department of Railways no longer exists and is part of SPAD…or maybe it isn’t? Either way, we want to know if SPAD approves the project.

“However, we would have to wait for the green light from the Public Works Department as there is a need to build four flyovers to ensure the path of the Melaka Tram is not affected by traffic-light junctions.

TRANSIT: Not to mention that the PWD and Road Transport Department might be a little bit concerned with the tram since it would involve digging up the road and placing rails into the roads (assuming this is a rail tram and not a “tram” on wheels).

“The flyovers would be built at the Persimpangan Seri Negeri, Persimpangan Bukit Beruang-Bukit Katil, Persimpangan MBMB and the Persimpangan Muzium Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba.

“With the flyover, the tram’s journey will be uninterrupted and the traffic flow from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza to the city centre will be smooth as there will be no traffic lights,” said Ali after chairing the weekly state executive council meeting at the Seri Negeri yesterday.

TRANSIT: Does this mean that the tram will fly over the intersection by itself, or that there will be a “road + tram” flyover, or does this mean that they will build road flyovers and the tram is really a bus on wheels (like the “trams” in JB and Kuala Terengganu)

He said the RM272 million tram project, similar to the one in Brisbane, Australia, could start construction early next year once the project received public feedback during a three-month objection period and also upon completion of the environmental impact assessment.

TRANSIT: Brisbane hasn’t had a tram service for around 50 years!

The Melaka Tram would have 23 stops along a 40km-route from Ayer Keroh to Banda Hilir, the heart of the historical city.

The project, a joint venture between Mrails International Sdn Bhd and Chief Minister Incorporated (CMI), is expected to be completed within a year. He said the project was mainly to cater for the influx of tourists to the city.

It is estimated that 250,000 passengers will use the trams monthly, providing an annual revenue of RM20 million.

Among the popular spots the tram will pass are Hotel Seri Malaysia, Botanical Gardens, Melaka Zoo, Melaka International Trade Centre, Taman Muzaffar Shah, Pantai Hospital, Masjid Al-Azim, Hospital Melaka, Renaissance Hotel, Dataran Pahlawan, Hotel Mahkota, Harbour Club, Equatorial Hotel and Bukit Baru.

TRANSIT Says:

We have not been very confident on the tram project, mainly because of 2 things: Ali Rustam’s public transport track record, and the presence of MRails International. To give you a few examples:

Melaka Aerorail

Model of Aerorail

Model of the Proposed Melaka Aerorail, which has not been built to date.

Launched: June 2009
Promised Start Date: Phase 1 – First Quarter of 2010
Status of project: Unknown

Melaka Monorail

Launched: Late 2009
Promised Start Date: May 2010
Status of project: complete but not operating

Rendering of Monorail

The artist’s impression of the Melaka Monorail – a copy-pasting of the Las Vegas Monorail

Actual Monorail

fully assembled Malacca Monorail train at station. Image courtesy of @tongtongmka at tongtongmka.blogspot.com

Melaka Tram

Rendering of Melaka Tram at Launching

Rendering of Melaka Tram at launching

Video Rendering of Melaka Tram from MRails International website can be found at this link.

TRANSIT: Try not to be too surprised.

To sum it all up, let us quote the MRails website for you to get a sense of who this Jayakumar is and how he thinks:

MRAILS INTERNATIONAL SDN BHD is proud to introduce its latest technology, the first of its kind in the world call “THE NEXT GENERATION TRAM” an eco-green environmental friendly that runs on NGV engine.“THE NEXT GENERATION TRAM” engineering technology design was spearheaded by MRAILS INTERNATIONAL SDN BHD President Dato’ Jeya Kumar with the assistance of the CNR engineering team. “THE NEXT GENERATION TRAM” is designed in compliance with the Heritage Impact of Melaka as listed under the UNESCO’s World Heritage List established on 7th July 2008.

According to the message above, MRails has spearheaded the design with support from the CNR (China National Railways) Engineering Team.

um………..yeah, right.

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