ADDED FEATURES: Commuters will travel in greater comfort on the monorail when the new train sets come into service in a few months’ time
KUALA LUMPUR: IT will soon be a more comfortable ride for commuters when Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd introduces its new four-car monorail trains.
Twelve trains will replace the 10 two-car trains in stages, with the first two sets scheduled for service simultaneously in the third quarter of this year.
All 12 trains are targeted to be in operation around June next year.
The first three sets of the four-car monorail trains are undergoing final tests before being commissioned.
Two of them are undergoing tests at Prasarana’s new depot in Brickfields, while the third one is being tested at the plant in Rawang and scheduled for delivery to the new depot next month.
“Apart from being more comfortable, with a bigger capacity of 430 passengers, the new four-car monorail trains will also have plenty of new features such as openable side windows, information screen display, LCD TV in all cars, closed circuit television (CCTV) and smoke detectors,” said project manager Muhammad Isom Azis, recently.
They are also disabled-friendly with more space and seatbelts for wheelchairs.
Another new feature is an intercom which allows passengers to communicate directly with the driver in case of an emergency.
“With twice the capacity, passengers won’t have to wait long for the train,” said Isom.
Train frequency is maintained at five to 10 minutes’ interval or 4.5 minutes during peak hours.
Operation hours and fares will also remain unchanged.
The cost of the project is RM494 million, and it includes delivery of the 12 four-car trains, upgrading of all 11 monorail stations, construction of a new depot and installation of a new signalling system.
The contract was awarded to Scomi Engineering.
With regards to the upgrading of the stations, the project has to-date reached 91.36 per cent completion with some minor works like replacing the canvas roofing to aluminium zinc yet to be done.
“We have also installed lifts and chair lifts at the stations for the disabled,” Isom said.
The new depot is 99 per cent complete. The signalling system will undergo a 52-hour trial operation from 12.01am this Saturday.
In carrying out the operations, Prasarana will temporarily suspend monorail services this weekend.
In the absence of the monorail services on Saturday and Sunday, a special bus shuttle service has been arranged for commuters at all monorail stations and it will be plying three routes.
Route 1 will be between Bukit Bintang and Titiwangsa, and Route 2 passes through Raja Chulan, Bukit Nanas, Medan Tuanku and Chow Kit stations.
Route 3 is a direct service between KL Sentral and Titiwangsa via Lebuhraya Mahameru.
“On behalf of Prasarana, we would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused,” said Isom.
On a different note, Prasarana will be purchasing 50 new six-car trains to replace the fleet for the Ampang LRT Line and 14 new four-car trains will be added to the Kelana Jaya Line.