Published: Wednesday December 30, 2009 MYT 10:36:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday December 30, 2009 MYT 3:51:52 PM
Crowded train days are over for Kelana Jaya line (Updated)
PETALING JAYA: The long-awaited four-car trains started plying the Kelana Jaya LRT line Wednesday replacing the two-car versions.
The three sets of new trains should bring some smiles to commuters who had to pack into the old trains that has long been running above capacity during peak hours.
“The four-car train can carry 800 passengers, even up to 950, at any one time, double the previous amount,” said Prasarana group managing director Datuk Idrose Mohamed at a media briefing prior to the trains’ maiden journey.
The Ampang line, however, would not have new trains at the moment because it still had spare capacity of 30%, he said.
According to him, the trains are the newest version of Bombardier Transportation’s Advanced Rapid Transit Mark II driverless trains, which are designed in Canada and assembled in Mexico and Malaysia.
About 35% of the assembly was carried out here.
“The trains have been tested since October. The three sets are from a total of 35 to come in stages from the contractor Bombardier-Hartasuma until April 2011 for existing and extension lines,” he said.
The old trains would be refurbished. Prasarana infrastructure division group director Zulkifli Mohd Yusoff said the new trains should reduce disruption frequency due to better signalling system. “The old trains were bought in 1998. These new trains are of course using better technology and passengers can enjoy better ride quality, better seating arrangement and less disruption,” he said.
The new trains have a special area for wheelchair-bounded passengers, alarm lights for the benefit of the hearing-impaired and flipped windows for emergencies. Commuters were pleased with the new trains.
“I hope they can do the same for KTM Komuter,” said Jackie Khoo, 77, who was heading to KL Sentral and then Seremban with wife Alison, 75.
College students Sacha Wong, 18, and Wen Lian, 18, said the line’s capacity should have increased a long time ago.
“I find the LRT service quite efficient all these while, the only setback is that it is too crowded during peak hours and I am glad this has finally been addressed,” said Wong.