- Update: Read an interesting letter from Esa Adam!
- Update: The monorail service has been suspended again!
- Update: No sooner had the service received the green light to resume operations (not in the rain though) the service has stalled again – when it was operated after a sudden rain shower!
TRANSIT took note of the recent announcement that the Melaka Monorail was permitted to resume operations as it had met almost all of the safety conditions set out by public transport regulator SPAD.
The Melaka Monorail operator Menara Taming Sari Sdn. Bhd. had been told to shut down the service on September 30, for a 30 day period after the latest service disruption that forced passengers to disembark from the train using a ladder.
The letter from Esa Adam:
The monorail saga continues (The Star)
Thursday December 1, 2011
THE Malacca monorail is in the limelight again but for the wrong reasons (The Star, Nov 30), just days after resuming service.
It was suspended on Nov 2 due to technical problems.
If the monorail cannot operate in the rain, it has failed as a transportation system.
My question is, why did the Malacca state government choose the Chinese monorail technology which was not proven while there are many other such systems available in Europe?
In fact, we have our homegrown monorail technology in ‘KL Monorail’.
It has carried millions of passengers without much problem.
Looking at the monorail carriage, it looks similar to the one in Bandar Sunway many years ago.
Why didn’t the state government procure it from the Sunway Group since Sunway has abandoned the monorail project.
[TRANSIT: Well, Sunway does have two (or is it three) monorail trains that aren’t going anywhere.]
While the cost may have been the main factor, it would have been worth it.
Based on an earlier report from the state assembly, the monorail has had 21 service disruptions since its launch in October last year, all due to safety and technical issues.
The damage to the state tourism drive is enormous as it involves many tourists, both local and foreign.
I hope the state government will suspend many of its initiatives involving Chinese companies like introducing the electric taxi etc.
Look at our own technology first before going abroad.
Don’t let the state be the experimental hub for unproven technology.
Melaka monorail stalls after rain, 18 HK tourists stranded (The Star)
By ALLISON LAI
MALACCA: The problematic Malacca river tourist monorail has been stopped in its tracks again days after it resumed service.
The monorail had just moved from its Taman Rempah station for 300m before it stopped at 3.45pm yesterday, leaving 18 tourists from Hong Kong, their tour leader and guide stranded.
A sudden downpour earlier had affected the tracks, causing the monorail to stall.
[TRANSIT: So they knew that it had rained and the train could not be operated successfully because the tracks were affected]
It was eventually driven back to its station in Taman Rempah.
“A check with the counter found that the rain earlier had caused the tracks to be slippery and we could not complete the ride,” said the tour guide who only wanted to be known as Low.
Low said the tour members were disappointed although their fares of RM10 per person were refunded.
Well, that didn’t last long. Shows how much respect they have for SPAD. More importantly, why wasn’t the train designed properly so it could run in the wet? After all, this is Malaysia. It rains here, and often between certain hours of the day.
The original article is below:
Malacca monorail up and running again (The Star)
Sunday November 27, 2011
MALACCA: The Malacca river monorail service is back on track.
The service, which was suspended after a breakdown on Sept 30, was given the go-ahead by Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) to resume operations starting Thursday.
The monorail service, which has suffered numerous technical glitches since last year, now has better safety measures.
SPAD chief operating officer Azhar Ahmad said the commission was satisfied that monorail operator Menara Taming Sari Sdn Bhd had fulfilled all safety and security requirements.
“During our engineers’ inspection on Nov 23, all safety and security measures were in place,” he said.
Azhar added that the China-made monorail line was now equipped with a cherry picker – a hydraulic crane to rescue stranded passengers, should the coach stall.
“Passengers need not come down using a ladder any more,” Azhar said.
The monorail’s operation and service manual, previously in Chinese, had also been translated into Malay and English, he added.
On the monorail’s tyre traction which was said to be weak when it rains, he said a thermal paint was required to provide better traction during slippery conditions.
Azhar said the operator had set a date for this to be done.
Menara Taming Sari chief executive officer Nazary Ahmad said work to apply the thermal paint would be carried out in early January.
“Until then, we will follow SPAD’s instruction to only operate the monorail when there is no rain,” he said.
Nazary said the lifting of the suspension was good news for Malacca’s tourism industry, especially as the year-end school holidays had started.
The RM15.9mil monorail line had experienced 21 service disruptions since starting operations on Oct 20 last year until the suspension on Sept 30. The company suffered losses of more than RM74,180.
The monorail line spans 1.6km from Taman Rempah in Pengkalan Rama to Kampung Bunga Raya Pantai, along the scenic Malacca river.
All’s well that ends well.
Well, until the next time.
And to think, people actually believed that Mohd Ali Rustam was going to build a real monorail for Melaka.
As one commentator said, the monorail is a theme park monorail for a city that has become a heritage theme park.