The Ministry of Transport (MoT) has announced that the government has allocated RM1.25 billion to improve the safety and service of LRT, following last year’s horrific train collision. A total of 23 initiatives will be deployed to improve the Kelana Jaya line, with the short-term and medium-term implementations already being completed.
Out of the billion Ringgit budget, RM450 million has been earmarked for the 23 initiatives alone while the remaining RM800 million will be used for the level four maintenance, repair, and overhaul of the Bombardier 818 trains that have been in operation for 14 to 15 years. The mid-life refurbishment involves 28 trains with four carriages each, extending the lifespan of the coaches.
Some of the improvement initiatives include a new system which detects “time out” trains remotely, visible track markers and signages in tunnels, manual train operation within tunnels using two drivers, and periodic safety issue reports. Rapid Rail is also working on migrating all radio communications to a digital system.
Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong revealed that between 1 April and 5 May, there were a total of 38 service disruptions caused by emergency brake deployment, with most of the issues involving tachometer issues and electronic units. He said that Rapid Rail already kicked off an inspection programme that will be completed this August to make sure such incidents don’t reoccur.
On 24 May 2021, a manually-driven empty LRT train collided with an automated train with passengers between KLCC and Kampung Baru, resulting in 166 minor injuries and 47 serious injuries. This was the first major incident of its kind in the Kelana Jaya line’s history and was found to be caused by driver negligence.
In May of this year, the Kelana Jaya line has faced at least four significant service disruptions that led to major delays for commuters, while the Ampang and Sri Petaling lines experienced at least one technical difficulty this month. The latest one involved a power outage between the Taman Jaya and Universiti stations, bringing the train to a halt.