Gemas-Johor Baru rail line tender soon 

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will soon call the tender for the Gemas-Johor Baru double tracking line, the last leg of Peninsular Malaysia's north-south electrified double tracking project, which is slated for completion by 2016.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the government hopes that works on the Gemas-Johor Baru line will take off by early next year.

"The design is almost completed and we will be calling for tender soon. We hope that the project will take off in the first quarter of next year," he said after officiating at the launch of the 33rd Asean Railway CEOs conference here yesterday.

Kong said the Kuala Lumpur-Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur-Seremban lines had been completed, while works on the Ipoh-Padang Besar and Seremban-Gemas lines are on schedule.

"At the moment, works on the Seremban-Gemas line are already 80 per cent completed, and the Ipoh-Padang Besar line is about 70 per cent completed.

"We expect the Ipoh-Padang Besar line to be completed by end of 2013 and the Seremban-Gemas line by next year.

"So, the last stretch will be from Gemas to Johor Baru, and we expect the completion date to be around 2016," he said.

Besides the double tracking project, Kong said KTM Bhd is also enhancing its KTM Komuter service with the introduction of eight new sets of electric multiple unit (EMU) trains bought from China.

"Today saw the arrival of KTM's second set of a total of eight sets of EMU from China.

"The first set arrived on September 22 and they are currently undergoing testing and commissioning.

"We will see two more sets in the next two months.

"The remaining two sets will be delivered between January and June next year.

"That will enhance our commuter services," he said, adding that the electric commuter trains were introduced in 1995.

The eight sets of EMUs from China cost about RM1.89 billion.