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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    The mess behind it all in KTM
    October 10, 2008

    The issues surrounding the deteriorating state of the country's public
    transportation system are not new, and were covered by Malay Mail in May.

    We had reported the fast deteriorating state of rail travel in the country,
    including the KTM Komuter service as well as the under-utilised Rawang-Ipoh
    double tracking line.

    Investigations showed that no electric train is running on the 192km-long
    Rawang-Ipoh double track, despite it being commissioned last November at an
    estimated cost of RM4.8 billion. The trains are expected to arrive next year
    and can only service the route in 2010.

    Last June opposition Members of Parliament had questioned the Transport
    Ministry's decision to award the RM12.5 billion Ipoh- Padang Besar
    double-tracking project to MMC Corp and Gamuda.

    Malay Mail launched investigations to ascertain the whereabouts of the
    trains after learning that only 21 of the original fleet of 62 were
    servicing the Klang Valley the previous month.

    The probe led to the discovery of a train "graveyard" at the KTM depot in
    Sentul, where several trains were being cannibalised for parts while others
    were undergoing repairs or refurbishment. Some had been decommissioned after
    being involved in major accidents.

    The report also touched on the China-made trains, some of which sources
    claimed were being used to ply West Coast routes. Sources had claimed that
    as the wheels were not built to specification and were wearing out faster
    than conventional, built-to-specification trains.

    It was also claimed that the trains could not run at full speed as the
    wheels and tracks were not compatible.

    Ready made train wreck
    October 10, 2008

    A whopping RM200 million was spent to buy 20 China-made Class 29 locomotives
    that were supposed to pave the way for a smoother rail service. Yet, less
    than three years later, only five are in service.

    The rest? Lying abandoned in various Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) yards
    across the country, all mothballed because of a laundry list of technical

    This is the grim reality of the Malaysian transportation system. Poor
    decision-making, a disregard for key technical advice and lack of foresight
    have led to observers labelling the China deal as akin to an "economic train

    The locomotives, commonly referred to as "Dalian loco", were bought in 2005
    by the government from China Railway Communication Company Ltd for RM20
    million each. The high-powered diesel electric locomotives, capable of
    hauling 2,500 tonnes of cargo, were supposed to have complemented the
    previous purchase of 20 units of Class 26 Blue Tiger locomotives from
    General Electric, Germany.

    With the China purchase, KTMB in 2005 had 40 locomotives at its disposal.

    However, an industry source said the number has now whittled down to almost
    half. This, he said, was because the Dalian locos had severe technical
    problems and broke down within months of use.

    This is in stark contrast to the German-made Blue Tiger locomotives, which
    have been proven to be relatively problem-free despite being in service for
    more than five years.

    It is understood that a locomotive's average lifespan is between 20 to 25

    "The breakdown of the Dalian locos had nothing to do with the country's
    infrastructure or existing trains," said the source, adding that the Dalian
    locos were of inferior quality and required more frequent maintenance.

    He claimed that within months of use, at least 11 had to be repaired daily,
    leading to the disruption of cargo and passenger services. This forced KTMB
    to rely on 15 locomotives leased from India, reportedly at a rate of
    US$1,000 (RM4,787) per train daily.

    It is alleged that the original quality assessment reports had recommended
    against buying the Dalian locos, but the authorities nevertheless pressed

    "The mess could have been avoided had the authorities taken heed of the
    advice. It is a total waste of public funds," the source said.

    He added that KTMB played no part in the decision to purchase them.
    "However, as a result of this, it is KTMB's image that has taken a beating."

    The debacle has also drawn flak from Railwaymen's Union of Malaysia (RUM)
    president Abdul Razak Md Hassan who believed that, by right, 80 per cent of
    the Dalian locomotives should be in operation.

    "Unfortunately, the reality is that only 25 per cent or, specifically, five
    of the locomotives, are serving our needs," he said.

    The government, meanwhile, has acknowledged that the Dalian locomotives were

    Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat, in confirming that the trains were
    currently not in use, said he has since ordered KTMB to account for them.

    "Since they were brand new, KTMB has been directed to do so. They have to
    take stock of these idle units," he said.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Last June opposition Members of Parliament had questioned the Transport
    Ministry's decision to award the RM12.5 billion Ipoh- Padang Besar
    double-tracking project to MMC Corp and Gamuda.

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