KTMB (Malaysian Railways), which is presently having a rail network of 2,233 kilometers, is focusing on implementation of 329 kilometer electrified double track project between Padang Besar and Ipoh. With commissioning of the project by 2012, KTMB will have enough capacity to expand its freight and passenger services across the Thai landbridge. KTMB’s revenue from its freight and commuter services is consistently increasing in last three years. Container business which is contributing 54% of its freight revenue has a good growth potential considering that KTMB has the benefit of serving Port Klang and port of Tanjong Pelepas, two of the top twenty ports in Asia.
The commuter services which are dependent on 50 EMU sets are planned to be upgraded under the ninth Malaysia Plan. Presently maintenance of these old sets poses maintenance problems affecting their availability.
During the meeting with Mr. Mukul Saran Mahtur, Head of UIC Asia Regional Unit, in New Delhi in March, Mr. ABD Radzak ABD Malek, Managing Director of KTMB stressed that network expansion, improving internal capability and enhancing human resource potential are major focus areas. According to Mr. Malek, UIC can play a major role in development of KTMB Railway Academy at Batu Gajah, which has been setup in November 2008 as part of the decision taken by the CEO’s of the ASEAN railways. He saw a good opportunity for development of railway engineering courses in Kuala Lumpur along with Kula Lumpur University, KTMB and UIC jointly and invited global companies providing world class maintenance for its EMU trains.