Tender on Gemas-JB stretch of electric double-tracking to be out soon 

Project to be ready in 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: The final stretch of the electric double-tracking railway project from Gemas to Johor Baru is expected to be completed in 2016. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the design of the Gemas-Johor Baru stretch was ready and the project would go through tendering process soon.

“We hope to start the project by the first quarter next year,” he said after officiating the 33rd Asean Railway CEOs Conference 2011 yesterday.

The Gemas-Johor Baru track was reported to cost about RM7bil. Its completion will mark the end of the double-tracking project throughout Peninsular Malaysia from the border of Thailand in Padang Besar to the border of Singapore in Johor Baru.

Currently, the Kuala Lumpur-Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur-Seremban double-tracking projects have been completed.

“Meanwhile, the double-tracking projects for Seremban-Gemas and Ipoh-Padang Besar are 80% and 70% completed respectively.

“The Seremban-Gemas stretch is expected to be finished next year while the Ipoh-Padang Besar stretch by the end of 2013,” he said.

It was reported that the Ipoh-Padang Besar double-tracking project was valued at RM12bil and the Seremban-Gemas, at RM3.5bil.

National rail operator KTM Bhd (KTMB) said on Monday it was mulling over plans to set up KTM Thailand in a bid to expand its cargo and passenger business in Thailand.

Kong said KTMB was currently expanding its fleet with the introduction of electric train services while its six-car-train sets were scheduled to be operational soon.

Reports said the first of the 38 six-car-train sets would be operational by January and would shorten KTM Komuter's waiting period to 10 minutes from 15 minutes currently.

The total cost of the new six-car-train sets was RM1.89bil.

The KTM Komuter service commenced in 1995 and has an annual ridership of more than 35 million passengers.

Kong also said development of the My Rapid Transit had commenced and the existing Kelana Jaya and Ampang light rail transit lines were also undergoing extensions.

“Others planned are the extension of Express Rail Link to connect to KLIA2 and the expansion of the monorail in the city centre,” he said.