KL Monorail

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     Monorail Line
KJ SP AG MR KTM ERL For Wiki2.png
The Monorail Line is coloured green on system maps
Overview
Type straddle-beam Monorail
Status Operational
Locale Klang Valley
Termini KL Sentral
Titiwangsa
Stations 11
Services KL Sentral-Bukit Bintang-Titiwangsa
Website http://www.myrapid.com.my/
Operation
Opening 31 August 2003
Owner Prasarana Malaysia
Operator(s) Rapid Rail
Depot(s) Brickfields
Rolling stock ALWEG straddle-beam monorail
Technical
Line length 8.6 km (5.3 mi)
Track length 0 km (0 mi)
Operating speed 60 km/h (37 mph)
Route map
Ampang Line Sri Petaling Line
MR11 Titiwangsa
MR10 Chow Kit
MR9 Medan Tuanku
KJ12 Dang Wangi Kelana Jaya Line
MR8 Bukit Nanas
MR7 Raja Chulan
MR6 Bukit Bintang Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line
MR5 Imbi
MR4 Hang Tuah Ampang Line Sri Petaling Line
MR3 Maharajalela
MR2 Tun Sambanthan
Monorail Depot
MR1 KL Sentral Seremban Line Port Klang Line Kelana Jaya Line KLIA Ekspres KLIA Transit Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line ETS Line KTM Intercity klia2

The Monorail Line is an urban monorail system in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It opened on 31 August 2003, with 11 stations running 8.6 km (5 mi) on two parallel elevated tracks. It connects the Kuala Lumpur Sentral transport hub with the "Golden Triangle". It was completed at a cost of MYR 1.18 billion by the KL Infrastructure Group (KL Infra).

KL Infra declared bankruptcy on 15 May 2007 after repeatedly missing loan repayments. On 29 November 2007, Prasarana Malaysia signed a sale-and-purchase agreement with KL Monorail Systems (KLMS). The current operator is Rapid Rail, a wholly owned subsidiary of Prasarana Malaysia.

According to Ministry of Transport statistics, the annual ridership in 2008 was 21,765,233.[1]

On 1 March 2012, Monorail Line was integrated with the Ampang Line light rail transit when the "paid-up" or restricted areas of the Hang Tuah monorail and LRT stations and Titiwangsa monorail and LRT stations, were physically linked up, allowing transfers without the need to buy new tickets.

Design[edit]

Line and stations[edit]

The line consists of a single dual-way line that links areas of inner Kuala Lumpur previously not served by rail transport, namely Brickfields, Bukit Bintang, and Chow Kit, with pre-existing LRT and/or KTM Komuter stations at KL Sentral, Hang Tuah, Bukit Nanas, and Titiwangsa. The two terminis are on a single track.

The stations are designed as elevated structures with ticketing facilities on either the ground level (as seen in the KL Sentral station) or the first-floor level. The platforms are on the top floor, separated from the monorail lines with fencing and covered with a large canvas roof. Certain stations are situated above roadways, or are slightly longer than others. Each station is also designated with a sponsor, with route maps associating each station with a particular product brand.

The depot is between KL Sentral and Tun Sambanthan.

Station Number Station Name Platform type Interchange/Notes
 MR1   KJ15  KL Sentral Terminal Interchange station to Kelana Jaya Line, KTM Komuter and ERL
 MR2  Tun Sambanthan Side
 MR3  Maharajalela Side
 MR4   ST3  Hang Tuah Side Interchange station to Ampang Line
 MR5  Imbi Side
 MR6  Bukit Bintang Side
 MR7  Raja Chulan Side
 MR8  Bukit Nanas Side Walking distance to Kelana Jaya Line
 MR9  Medan Tuanku Side
 MR10  Chow Kit Side
 MR11   ST9  Titiwangsa Terminal Interchange station to Ampang Line

Rolling stock[edit]

The line uses permanently coupled two-car trains of a similar design to the Seattle Center Monorail's ALWEG trains.[2] Each monorail train can accommodate 158 passengers during regular operations. The monorail carriages themselves were constructed by Scomi Rail, a Malaysian monorail manufacturer,[2] at the Scomi Rail plant in Rawang, which also featured its own tracks for monorail train tests.[3]

History[edit]

Construction was initiated by Hitachi, Ltd., but the 1997 Asian financial crisis led to cessation of work in December 1997. When work was resumed in July 1998, MTrans Holdings took over, locally manufacturing its own rolling stock and completing the project to save cost;[2] the line was completed at a cost of MYR 1.18 billion. As the line was opened in 2003, it was agreed that the parent company and owner of the Monorail Line, KL Infrastructure Group, would hold a 40-year concession to operate the monorail. The line and number of stations remains unchanged since 2003.

Since the start of operations, the KL Infrastructure Group suffered losses due largely to depreciation and interest repayment costs.[4] For the financial year to 30 April 2004, KL Infra posted a net loss of MYR 46.24 million on a MYR 15.08 million revenue.[5] KL Infra had also taken up a MYR 300 million Malaysian government loan and a MYR 260 million infrastructure loan from the Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad (BPMB) (The development bank of Malaysia) (Malay: Bank Pembangunan Malaysia, BPM). In addition, KL Infra had proposed to buy MTrans' three subsidiary companies to improve its business, but failed after the Scomi bought up some of the targeted companies.[4]

Government takeover[edit]

In April 2007, talks were under way between KL Infra and the government and the Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad to sell the Monorail Line to the Prasarana Malaysia, which already owns both the Kelana Jaya Line and the Ampang Line, as well as 10% of KL Infra shares. KL Infra was cited as intending to exit Malaysia's monorail business. The takeover is part of the government's master plan to improve the urban public transport sector.[4][6]

SPN gave its agreement in principle to the takeover on 22 December 2006 and a follow-up meeting was held on 6 February 2007 with the government on the takeover of its operational assets and assumption of loan liabilities. A due diligence audit was conducted from 5 March 2007 to 27 April 2007 by consultants appointed by the government. Following agreement to the takeover, BPM granted KL Monorail an extension until 29 April 2007 for an interest repayment amounting to MYR 4,244,801.91, which was originally due on 29 December 2006.[7]

However, the takeover seemed to have suffered a setback at least from the perspective of KL Infra when on 26 March 2007, it was notified by BPM that it was not going to entertain any further extensions for interest repayment. Subsequently on 27 April 2007, the bank notified that it would not be granting any moratorium on interest repayments. On 29 April 2007, KL Monorail was not able to make the repayment of the interest instalment which had become due.[7]

On 3 May 2007, KL Monorail was issued a default notice by BPM which sought repayment of the entire principal sum of MYR 609,616,423.73 and capitalised interest of MYR 296,428,910.88 totalling MYR 906,045,334.61. The company was granted seven days from that day to repay the entire sum, which it failed to do. On 14 May 2007, Mohd Anwar Bin Yahya and Cho Choo Meng were appointed receivers and managers by Amanah Raya, the Security Trustee for BPM. Nevertheless, the takeover process is still deemed ongoing, KL Infra stating that it will continue to engage the government and BPM to address the proposed takeover of KL Monorail by Prasarana based on earlier discussions and an approval in principle.[8]

One of the effects of the appointment of receivers and managers is the possibility that KL Infra will not be receiving any compensation for KL Monorail should the takeover by SPN go through.[9]

The trading of KL Infra was suspended from 15 May 2007.[10] On the same day, KL Infra's board announced to Bursa Malaysia that it had formed the opinion that it was not solvent and would not be able to pay all its debts in full within a period not exceeding twelve months.[11]

On 28 November 2007, Prasarana Malaysia signed a sale-and-purchase agreement with KL Monorail Systems, effectively making Prasarana the operator of KL Monorail, and resulting in Prasarana taking over the MYR 882 million BPM loan.[citation needed]

Accident[edit]

David Cheliah accident[edit]

Prior to the opening, on 16 August 2002 an accident occurred during a test run involving a 13.4 kg (30 lb) safety wheel falling off a train and hitting the head of a pedestrian walking under the monorail viaduct at Jalan Sultan Ismail. The victim, David Cheliah, a journalist, suffered injuries that required hospitalisation.

On 7 March 2003, Cheliah filed a MYR 5 million negligence suit against the companies involved in the design, installation and operation of the trains, as well as the Director-General of Railways.[12][13] On 8 April 2009, the High Court ruled that the Monorail company was liable for the incident, but not the Director-General of Railways. Although the monorail company reported that any such accident was "unlikely" as six bolts would have to be removed for it to occur and furthermore, a check of all 23 other safety wheels on the train involved did not turn up any other issues, the high court judgement ruled that the monorail company "failed to provide a reasonable explanation as to how the safety wheel had come off the train and instead relied on the possibility that there had been tampering by unknown persons".[14][15]

As a result of this accident, the launch of the monorail was postponed.

Burst tyre incident[edit]

On 22 January 2005, a pneumatic load tyre suddenly burst and caused two women passengers to be injured. The train, carrying about 30 passengers, was about to move from the Chow Kit Road station to the Titiwangsa station when the incident occurred at about 8.50pm. The burst tyre caused a rubber sidewall panel to flip open which then hit the side of a passenger seat and injured a woman's legs and another woman's hands. Train services were suspended for about 30 minutes following the incident.[16][17]

Breakdown[edit]

On 11 August 2012, a train stalled near Tun Sambanthan in Brickfields. The breakdown caused 183 passengers to be trapped for about two hours. The air conditioning system in the carriage was stopped when the power supply was cut. As a result, some passengers had to break the windows to allow air in while awaiting rescue. Fire and Rescue Department personnel later used a skylift to rescue passengers trapped in the carriage.[18] Investigation revealed that the issue was due to a power supply disruption at the circuit breaker, causing caused the auxiliary power system to fail.[19]

Six days later, another break-down occurred. A train stalled between Imbi and Bukit Bintang for about 30 minutes, trapping around 200 passengers. This time however, there was power in the train and the air conditioning system was functional. The train services resumed after half an hour.[19]

Ridership[edit]

The monthly ridership increased from 341,850 passengers in September 2003 to 1.18 million passengers in August 2004. In 2005, ridership averaged 45,000 passengers per day,[2] trending down to 36,000 in 2008.[20] In August 2008, the monorail attained its 80 millionth passenger since its opening.[21] On 29 July 2009, the monorail reportedly reached the 100 million passenger mark.[22]

The maximum capacity is 244 at full load with 48 people sitting and 196 standing. There are 10 units of two-car trains in service.

Expansion[edit]

Monorail new train 1

In 2004, a shuttle line from the Tun Sambanthan to the Mid Valley Megamall and an extension of the southern end closer to Kuala Lumpur Sentral were also proposed,[23] but was not approved, as of December 2009. The monorail will not be extended to Kuala Lumpur Sentral, but a link-bridge will probably be built to link to the Nu Shopping Mall and Kuala Lumpur Sentral.[citation needed]

To some extent, the line has been designed to accommodate future expansion. While some stations are significantly longer than the current 2-car sets, providing room for longer train sets, extension works for other stations have been necessary. Such extensions have been observable as of May 2012, where RapidKL was expected to introduce the 4-car train set by the end of 2012.[24] In April 2014 it was publicly announced in several Malaysian newspapers that they would introduce the 4-car trains in August, which didn't happen. In August it was announced they would start "next month" (September), which also didn't happen. No explanation has been given as to the reasons for the delay and when they expect to put them into service (if ever). As of October there is still no sign of the new trains and overcrowding was extreme, especially between Hang Tuah and Imbi. However, it does look like they've almost finished extending the stations and installing automatic doors on the platforms.

Criticism[edit]

Lack of integration with other lines[edit]

The rail transit lines in the Klang Valley were conceived and built as independent entities, with no thought initially being given to integrating them for ticketing or interchange purposes. The monorail, the newest component of the system, has been criticised for the poor connections between its stations and other systems. The KL Sentral monorail station is 140 metres away from the main KL Sentral building, separated by what was previously a giant car park (Lot G, KL Sentral) and a busy road.[citation needed]

The line has accepted Touch 'n Go cards since August 2005 and the integrated RapidKL monthly pass since December 2009.

Poor ergonomics[edit]

Not many escalators have been provided. Users have to walk up and down many stairs to reach the platform. The stations are devoid of facilities for disabled passengers, lacking elevators or wheelchair lifts.[citation needed]

The seating configuration of the trains, where seats are arranged in the middle of the carriage, has been criticised as it encourages standing passengers to stand by the doors and not move into the middle of the carriages, causing congestion when passengers embark or disembark.[citation needed]

High fares[edit]

Compared to other journeys of similar distances on other modes of rail transport in the Klang Valley, monorail ticket prices are higher. For example, a one-station journey on the monorail from Bukit Bintang to Imbi (a walking distance) is MYR 1.20. A longer one-station ride from Masjid Jamek to Pasar Seni on the Kelana Jaya Line costs only MYR 1.00, whereas a two-station ride from Ampang to Cempaka on the Ampang Line costs only MYR 0.70.

Social responsibility[edit]

Corporate social responsibility initiatives have been organized in activities such as an on-site blood donation drive, free health screening, and youth training programmes.[citation needed]

The line implemented the Pets@Monorail programme in 2009, where each station adopted and housed animals or pets for display. This was part of an effort to instill a greater sense of awareness and appreciation towards animals in children, as well as to serve as a general attraction for users.[25]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Number of Passengers for Light Rail Transit (LRT) Services, 1999 - 2008". Ministry of Transport. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d "Monorails of Asia - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia". The Monorail Society. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Kuala Lumpur Monorail - a Photo Essay (page 1/13)". The Monorail Society. Retrieved 2007-04-25. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c "KLIG in talks to exit monorail business". New Straits Times (Business Times) (Kuala Lumpur). 25 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-25. [dead link]
  5. ^ Abu Bakar, Dalila (24 September 2004). "MTrans upbeat on mass transit project in W. Asia". New Straits Times (Business Times) (Kuala Lumpur). Archived from the original on 12 February 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Syarikat Prasarana Negara in talks to take over KL monorail". The Edge (Kuala Lumpur). 24 April 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2007-04-25. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Bursa Malaysia General Announcement: Default in Payment Pursuant to Practice Note No. 1/2001 of the Listing Requirements of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad". 30 April 2007. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Bursa Malaysia General Announcement: Appointment of Receivers and Managers for KL Monorail System Sdn Bhd (KLMS)". 14 May 2007. [dead link]
  9. ^ Lim Ai Leen (21 May 2007). "Corporate: Puzzle over bank's move on KL Monorail". The Edge (Kuala Lumpur). Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-05-23. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Bursa Malaysia General Announcement: KL Infra - Suspension of trading". 15 May 2007. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Bursa Malaysia Announcement: Default in Payment Pursuant to Practice Note No. 1/2001 of the Listing Requirements of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad". 15 May 2007. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Long-drawn monorail case to be decided on 8 April". Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  13. ^ "David Chelliah vs Monorail Malaysia Technology Sdn Bhd". Retrieved 2009-07-30. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Bernama journalist to be awarded damages". The Star (Kuala Lumpur). 9 March 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  15. ^ Raj, Reena. "Chelliah finally wins it". Malaysian Bar Council. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Fault lies with a burst pneumatic tyre". SkyscraperCity. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "Burst tyre cause of monorail explosion" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-07-30. [dead link]
  18. ^ http://www.thesundaily.my/news/461509[dead link]
  19. ^ a b "KL monorail stalls again". New Straits Times Press (Malaysia). Retrieved 2 September 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  20. ^ Kandasamy, Darshini (22 August 2008). "Daily hell for commuters". Malay Mail (Kuala Lumpur). "KTM Komuter handles more than 100,000 passengers a day and it is estimated the KL Monorail carries some 18,000 passengers per day per direction." [dead link]
  21. ^ "80 Millionth Passenger". Retrieved 2009-07-30. [dead link]
  22. ^ Kumar, Avanti (29 July 2009). "Hi-tech KL Monorail reaches 100 million passenger mark". MIS Asia (Singapore). Retrieved 2009-07-30. [dead link]
  23. ^ The Edge Daily (28 October 2004). "Megamall connection proposed for KL Monorail (News Briefs Archives - September 26, 2004 - January 4, 2005)". The Monorail Society. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "KL Monorail Fleet Expansion Plan On-Track and Proceeding Smoothly" (Press release). Prasarana Media. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  25. ^ "Pets@Monorail". KL Monorail. Archived from the original on 6 July 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 

External links[edit]

Route Maps[edit]