Update: See photos of Senawang & Sg. Gadut stations here! All images courtesy of @TWK90
TRANSIT takes note that KTM Komuter services have been extended from Seremban to Senawang & Sg. Gadut as of 14 May 2011.
Free services will be provided between Seremban & Sg. Gadut for a 1 week period until 20th May.
KTM’s new line extended to Sg Gadut in Negri Sembilan
14 May 2011
By CHITRA.S NATHAN
THE KTM Komuter service which has been extended down south to Sg Gadut in Negri Sembilan will begin operations today.
More than 2,000 commuters are expected to use the line that includes a stop at the newly-built Senawang station en route to Sg Gadut.
KTM commuter services general manager Mohd Hider Yusoff said the service would mainly serve the large number of passengers travelling from Sg Gadut and Senawang to the KL Sentral station daily.“With the new line, those living in these areas do not have to drive into Seremban to take the train, it will be more convenient for them,” he said during a familiarisation trip for the media on the new service from Sg Gadut to Seremban.
Some 200 students from SJKT Ladang Senawang, SK Sri Mawar and SJKC Kg Baru Rahang also joined members of the media on the short ride.
Both the Senawang and Sg Gadut stations are located along the 98km Seremban-Gemas rail route.
The extension is part of the RM3.45bil Seremban-Gemas double tracking and electrification project which is due for completion at the end of August next year.
Mohd Hider said 38 sets of six-car trains from China costing RM1.9bil would soon be added to the present Komuter fleet.
“The first train is set to run in October with the extra trains. We will be able to re-introduce the Seremban-KL limited express service by the middle of next year,” he said.
[TRANSIT: That assumes that testing & commissioning will go well]
Interval times will also be reduced from 30 minutes to 7.5minutes with the additional trains.
[TRANSIT: Once all the trains arrive – don’t expect miracles overnight – or in 2011 at all.]
Mohd Hider said KTM will be offering passengers free rides along the Sg Gadut-Seremban stretch for a week from today to publicise the new service.
He said the trains would run on 15-minute intervals during peak hours and every half-hour during off-peak hours.
“Both new stations are well-equipped, have adequate facilities and are disabled-friendly.
“There are ample parking bays and local bus services but we are in discussions to begin a feeder bus service that would ply the nearby housing areas,” he said.
Tourism Malaysia Negri Sembilan director Hishamuddin Mustafa, who was also present, said the new service would help boost tourism in the state.
“Rail travel is one of the best ways to explore the country as it is not only affordable but convenient for travellers.
“The Sg Gadut station is the ideal stop to visit tourist spots in Rembau like the hot springs, museum and Gunung Datuk. We are confident the new service will bring in more visitors,” he said.
We’re always pleased to hear of openings of new train service in Malaysia – especially when it is an improvement on a service as simple and effective as KTM Komuter service can be (assuming that KTM Komuter service had the support & finances that it needed).
The arrival of KTM Komuter (and future ETS?) services on this corridor will do a lot to make it easier for travelers between Negri Sembilan and KL as well as up to Ipoh.
And noting that the Sg. Gadut station gives access to Rembau, we wonder if we will see Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin take the KTM Komuter train someday – even if it is just for a photo op.
With all the bad news that we get regarding KTMB & KTM Komuter it is nice to be able to announce some good news.
But we have to express our disappointment with some news outlets which spun the comments from KTMB to imply that Komuter service would be much improved with 6-car trains arriving and in service by September – such as these articles:
- Six-car trains by September (NST, 13 May 2011).
New trains to boost KTM Komuter service in Sept (The Sun, 12 May 2011)
To make it clear to everyone – the first test trains will arrive in September, followed by a portion of the fleet, perhaps 6 trains to start, by the end of this year.
Testing & Commissioning of each train is expected to take at least 3 months if not more. Testing & Commissioning for the KTM ETS trains took 6 months and for the 4-carriage Kelana Jaya LRT trains it took about 4 months – so a 3-4 month minimum should be expected.
What that means is that these new Komuter trains will not be operating in revenue service (carrying passengers) until the very end of 2011 – maybe just in time for New Year’s celebrations.