KTM Berhad’s new Electric Train Service (ETS) operation from Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar, which was supposed to officially start from July 1, 2015 now appears to suffer a setback as the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has yet to provide the green light on the service.
The Sun Daily reported that KTM Berhad had initially planned for the service to start at the start of July to coincide with the Hari Raya ‘balik kampung’ period for northbound passengers. However, approval from SPAD has yet to be finalised.
Among the matters that still needed to be sorted out include commissioning and ensuring the safety features on the 329km electrified double track and the China-made electric trains. Until SPAD commissioned the trains, a green light will not be given, said SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar who added that the initial target launch date was actually for the extension of ETS service to the border from KL-Ipoh service using the current Korean-made trains.
"Nothing has been finalised. We still need to complete the commissioning of the double-track. Even the new batch of China-made electric trains which can touch 160km/h are yet to undergo full testing. So it will take some time," he said. Once ready, the ETS travel time from the Thailand-Malaysia border to the capital city is expected to be just four hours and 15 minutes.