Rail link to Subang Skypark on the way?

TRANSIT took note of this interesting article which suggests that the Malaysian government has approved a project to build a direct railway connection between KL Sentral and Subang Airport/Subang Skypark within 2 years.

Of course, 2 years in planning-speak can actually mean a lot more time – but perhaps this rail line would be in place by 2015? Eventually the rail line will be extended to link up with the KTM mainline at Sg. Buloh.

The extension of the rail line, which would be taking place in two phases, will link the KTM Port Klang rail subdivision to the mainline at Sg. Buloh, first with a service to Subang Skypark and then a second phase linking Subang Skypark to Sg. Buloh.

RM1.5b railway link to Subang airport (Business Times)
By Sharen Kaur
Published: 2011/11/03

Kuala Lumpur: Tan Sri Ravindran Menon’s Subang Skypark Sdn Bhd is believed to have received an offer from the government to undertake a RM1.5 billion project to build a railway line, people familiar with the matter said yesterday.

The railway line is to help connect the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) station in Subang Jaya, Selangor, to the Skypark Terminal at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport.

Business Times understands that Subang Skypark will also link the line to the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, where it will integrate with the MRT and KTMB stations in Sungai Buloh.

Subang Skypark is the developer for SkyPark Terminal, formerly known as Terminal 3.

The company has been lobbying the government to build the railway line for more than five years, sources said.

[TRANSIT: And we have generally been in support of this project since it was first mooted – firstly because of the value of the extension of the rail link, secondly because of the benefits of the express rail line, and thirdly because, if done properly, it would attract large numbers of drivers out of their cars.]

It is understood that the railway project was recently approved under the Economic Transformation Programme to improve public transportation.

“This is a Private Financing Initiative where the project will be funded by Subang Skypark. The project involving 23km may cost between RM1 billion and RM1.5 billion,” the source said.

Ravindran, who is Subang Skypark executive director, was not available for comment.

The source said the project will be undertaken in two phases over a period of two to three years.

Under the first phase of development, the firm will construct a new railway line using the existing alignment from the KTMB station right up to Sri Subang near the roundabout leading to the airport.

Petronas funded the existing alignment for KTMB to transport petrol from the station to the airport. The train service was halted a few years ago.

The source added that Subang Skypark will then extend the railway line by about 8km from Sri Subang to Skypark Terminal.

“The government wants train services between KL Sentral in Brickfields right up to Skypark Terminal to start in two years,” the source said.

[TRANSIT: Interesting, is it not?]

For phase two, the company will extend the railway line by about 15km from Skypark Terminal to Sungai Buloh.

TRANSIT Says:

We have been following the proposed rail link for some time, and in general, we are supportive of the proposal.

What is important to TRANSIT is that this service is realistic and sustainable – not just a service designed to serve the airport / skypark but also a service for the Sri Subang community and other nearby projects.

By the way, Subang Skypark was supposed to be introducing shuttle buses to Subang Skypark by the middle of 2011. Is that happening?

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7 thoughts on “Rail link to Subang Skypark on the way?”

  1. Mmm …
    (1) Would passengers from Skypark Terminal going to KL Sentral have to change trains at KTM Komuter Subang Jaya Station?
    (2) If passengers from Skypark Terminal can go directly to KL Sentral on same train, would it adversely impact existing KTM Komuter service from Port Klang to KL Sentral?
    (3) Is there enough space under the Persiaran Tujuan – Federal Highway interchange bridges to put additional two tracks for the new Subang Skypark Link? Ref google maps http://g.co/maps/8njnt .

    1. All good questions.

      We are going to send a follow up email to the Subang Skypark people as well as SPAD and ask for more information about these plans.

      Certainly we think that the investment should be discussed with the public especially since using the KTM Komuter Pel. Klang subdivision will have some affects on the existing KTM Komuter service.

      What we do know is the following:

      • The government has already indicated a plan to double-track & electrify the Sri Subang railway subdivision and extend it to Sg. Buloh to meet with the mainline.
      • The purpose of this upgrade is to allow freight services and passenger rail services. We do not know if freight or passenger rail are meant to be receiving the priority.
      • The Pel. Klang subdivision is wide enough in most places for 4 tracks.
      • In many cases there are segments with 3 tracks from the junction at Angkasapuri all the way to Seri Setia Komuter station. However, there is no complete segment of 3 tracks all the way.
      • The corridor becomes wider from Seri Setia to Shah Alam and accommodates 4 tracks in many areas.
      • A direct express link would be beneficial but it would probably be costly and delay existing train services.
      • Most likely, we can expect to see a limited-stop Subang Skypark service plus an irregular “connector” train service that runs from Batu Tiaga KTM station to Sg. Buloh KTM station.
      • That fits in with existing limited-stop shuttle trains along the Pel. Klang subdivision – that would allow a “service expansion” without impacting significantly on existing Komuter services.
  2. If GoM maintains its claim that we can offer 5 minute interval upon the receipt of all 38 sets of Communist Southern Railway (CSR) Zhuzhou Six Car Sets (SCS) Electrical Multiple Units (EMUs), then we can dictate that out of 12 trips per direction per hour, we can let 4 of them go to Sungai Buloh via Subang Skypark, meaning every 4th train goes to Skypark, at 15 mins interval. This also create room for the introduction of Sungai Buloh – Subang Skypark – Port Klang service, which once reaching Port Klang Subdivision can run at the empty time slot left by trains turning into Skypark.

    But with both Port Klang / SkyPark – Batu Caves as well as Tanjong Malim – Sungai Gadut lines running at 5 minute interval, the shared segment between Simpang Batu (near Jalan Duta roundabout) and Simpang Port Klang (near Bangsar) will experience a train every 2 min 30 seconds, and that is excluding Intercity, ETS and freight.

    Actually, the traffic regulatory software is there. SMRT Corp of our former island state is replacing its Fixed Block Section System to Moving Block Section Systems, which I guess can define the beginning point of a particular block section with a moving location (the train in front), rather than at a fixed point. This reduces the minimum train interval from 2 mins 30 secs to 1 min 40 secs, hence more trips can be added. See, as long as we can afford to pay, we too can enjoy the technology.

    Ahhhh… don’t you realise that discussing and planning for railway is much more straightforward and much less complicated than discussing bus services ? Not that many networks, feeders, trunk lines, expresses, interchanges, hubs, stops, depots, special lanes, priority signalings etc to make our brains go haywire. Of course the cost can be several times higher, but don’t worry, Petronas is here for you.

    1. @Gabriel

      Good observation, except that the 5 minute frequency that SPAD is looking at is for the central core line between the Duta and Bangsar junctions, rather than the outer lines. They would have 10 minute frequencies, perhaps higher frequencies if the fleet is upgraded to the number of trains TRANSIT has recommended (a full fleet of a minimum of 80 units of 6-carriage trains).

      Now, KTM is looking at 7.5 minute frequencies on the central core line, with 15 minute frequencies for the outer branches.

      In order to make 5 minutes (or higher) frequencies happen, signalling systems need to be upgraded, intercity trains and ETS need to be moved underground, and the rail has to move to 4-track system.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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