ALOR SETAR, April 2 (Bernama) -- People in Kedah and Perlis have every reason to be happy because come September, it will only take them four hours 15 minutes to reach Kuala Lumpur using the electric train service (ETS).
Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTM Berhad) chairman Datuk Nawawi Ahmad in confirming the matter to Bernama said the ETS will make use of the Padang Besar-Kuala Lumpur electrified double track.
Although the ETS will officially begin in September, Nawawi, who is also Langkawi Member of Parliament, said he hoped it would be operational a month earlier, in August.
"We are in the midst of conducting various trials on the Padang Besar-Kuala Lumpur route, a journey which is expected to take four hours and 15 minutes.
""There will be five stops along the Padang Besar-Kuala Lumpur route," he told Bernama but did not mention the five stations involved.
The high speed passenger train from Padang Besar is expected to stop at Arau, Alor Setar, Bukit Mertajam and end at KL Sentral station.
Currently the diesel locomotive trains used to ply the Padang Besar-Kuala Lumpur route are much slower and the journey takes about 12 hours or more.
According Nawawi, KTMB would perform "Fault Free Testing" for a month in June along the route.
He said the electric train that would be used by KTMB on the Padang Besar-Kuala Lumpur electrified double track would be capable of transporting passengers at a speed of 160 km per hour.
According to the KTMB chairman, the Padang Besar-Kuala Lumpur ETS to be operational in September would at the initial stage, utilise four of the 10 sets purchased.
KTMB, he said, was expected to receive five sets of the train this year, while the rest would arrive next year.
The company bought 10 sets of the train from CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co (CSR Zhuzhou ZELC), a manufacturer in China.
"With four electric train sets, we are likely to run service four times a day, in the morning, afternoon, evening and night for the Padang Besar-Kuala Lumpur route," he said.
However KTMB was still studying on the ETS schedule apart from taking into account supply and demand factors of travellers using the service, he said.
The Padang Besar-Kuala Lumpur ETS schedule and ticket prices would be determined later, he added.