Just last year, Malaysians were delighted to know that there’s a project being planned for a high-speed bullet train to be built between Malaysia and Singapore, which would take approximately 90 minutes per journey between the two countries.
Now there is another train project that’s being currently planned, which brings more good news for us Malaysians, especially those in Kedah and Perlis.
This coming September, a new train will be open for service to connect Kuala Lumpur to Kedah and Perlis in just 4 hours and 15 minutes. This new train is called the Electric Train Service (ETS) and it will use the electrified double track at KL’s Padang Besar, as confirmed by chairman of KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad), Datuk Nawawi Ahmad. He is also hoping that the ETS would be operational in August, a month earlier before its official launch in September.
There will be 5 stops along the route from Padang Besar to Kuala Lumpur. What’s expected is that the high speed train would stop at Arau, Alot Setar, Bukit Mertajam and end at the station in KL Sentral. The current trains that are close to this new route are diesel-run locomotives that currently take about 12 or more hours for the journey.
The electric train that would be using the electrified double track would be able to travel at 160km/h. 10 sets of these trains have been purchased from Chinese manufaturing company CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co (CSR Zhuzhou ZELC).
The KTMB chairman mentioned that during the initial stage of being fully operational, only 4 out of 10 sets will be utilised. 5 sets of the train would be delivered this year with the balance being delivered by next year. At the moment, “fault-free” tests are currently being run at the track until its official launch. Schedule and ticket pricing would be determined soon, after gauging supply and demand.
Finally, going to the Thai border won’t be a hassle!