Friday, December 21, 2012

Costs of Sungai Buloh - Kajang MRT

Update: The CEO of MRT Corp Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid announced will not cost over RM23bil and is on track for completion by July 2017.

Towards the end of year 2012, the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit project is going for a full swing. The costs of this mega infrastructure project still remained in dark and is expected to be released before 2013.

According to the media briefing, MRT Corp had awarded a total of 54 packages worth RM20.31bil out of 85 packages. The remaining 31 packages worth around RM3bil will be gradually awarded

Quick facts:
Participation of bumiputra contractors, the value of contracts awarded to date against the total awarded stood at 45%.

3% of the project had been completed since groundwork began in March 2012.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

KL Sentral facelift

The hassle of descending by stairs to take bus to LCCT or to KL Monorail station is a past thing.

Now KL Sentral users can use the a new separate escalator to descend and previous one way escalator is modified.

Notice indicating the new escalator at KL Sentral. Courtesy of kampong2005.

This way!

The view from lower ground floor of KL Sentral

Besides, the upgrading work between Monorail station and Nu Sentral is taking shape and slated for completion by next year. Other efforts include the construction of a pedestrian bridge, a new lift, and RC Stairs from Nu Sentral Retail Mall into the station.

Note: All images in this post does not belong to KVMRT blog. Any reproduce in any form should refer to original source.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

UTC in Pudu Sentral

Pudu Sentral has been given a lifeline after being renovated for numerous times with the latest being used as part of Urban Transformation Centre (UTC) whereby government agencies such as Immigration Department, National Registration Department and many others.

People has been having difficulties to access government services due to short working hours and inefficient civil servants for decades.

UPDATE: A check on morning revealed that all passengers are frustrated with the change and inconvenience caused by the construction of stage at Jalan Pudu / Tun Tan Cheng Lock.

All buses queued along Jalan Pudu, opposite Citin Hotel to pick up passengers. As a result of that, massive congestion around Pudu Sentral area (Jalan Pudu, Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Jalan Hang Tuah)

Schedules of buses are all delayed by 1 to 2 hours due to difficulty to pick up and drop off passengers at Pudu Sentral.

According to Bernama, traffic at Pudu Sentral bus terminal will see changes for the launch of the Urban Transformation Centre UTC) by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Saturday (Sept 22).

Exterior of UTC in Pudu Sentral

Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) in a statement today said buses operating at Pudu Sentral were asked to take and drop passengers along Jalan Pudu (adjacent to Pudu Sentral) from Sept 20-21.

[KVMRT: Buses for Tanjung Malim - KL express will depart at bus stop in front of Mydin, Sinar Kota. For Seremban - KL express bus will start at Pasar Seni LRT Station.]

"Jalan Pudu will be closed from 10pm on Sept 21 until 3pm on Sept 22. Passengers can board buses at Jalan Hang Tuah Terminal," the statement said.

Pudu Sentral will resume normal operation on Sunday morning (Sept 23). Passengers are advised to use Ampang Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) to and from Jalan Hang Tuah station and to follow directives, posters and signboards.

SPAD said the changes will also include "Purple Line" GoKL bus service from Bukit Bintang to Pasar Seni station from 6am on Sept 20 to 3pm on Sept 22.

[KVMRT: The setting up of main stage and canopy at main road is totally absurd. The organiser of the event must apologise to all passenger and bus operators for causing inconvenience to them.]

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pasar Seni City Bus Hub

Hab Bas Bandar Pasar Seni (also known as Pasar Seni City Bus Hub) will be opened on this Thursday, 16 August following the completion of upgrading works by KL City Hall.

Completed waiting area at Pasar Seni Bus Hub

According to press release by RapidKL, there will be 3 different zones of entrance for their buses.

Entrance A which houses 8 platforms for 11 bus routes.

Platform A8

Entrance C with 3 platforms. Credit to Kampung2005

Meanwhile RapidKL bus routes to south, includes Pudu corridor will remain operation from bus hub near Mydin Sinar Kota.

It is remained until unclear whether bus company such as Cityliner, Causeway Link, and Seranas/Wawasan Sutera will operate their bus services at the new bus hub. Previously, they operates from Klang Bus Stand (Pasaramakota).

We certainly hope that Fleet Tracking System (FTS) would be enhanced and more LCD screens will be placed at major points of the bus hub.

For complete bus routes at the Pasar Seni City Bus Hub, click here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

MRT Sg Buloh - Kajang station view

Underground station

Upon completion, the underground stations that will line the MRT Sungai Buloh – Kajang alignment will be world-class metro facilities that will not only be functional, but also aesthetic in design. The stations will employ green technology to boost energy efficiency and a number of features that will provide access to the disabled. These facilities include among others:

- Ticket gates wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.

- Elevators from the ground level to the concourse and platforms.

- Braille markings on lift control buttons.

- Step-free access drop off points.

Wheelchair user can navigate easily at station.

KL Sentral MRT station

Each station will also serve as information centres for the MRT, and will provide information on the various lines, interchanges and transfer points. Interchange stations will clearly mark out the route for transfer passengers to enable commuters to change trains seamlessly.

Merdeka MRT station

Each station will also be given a unique identity to best reflect the relevant historical theme or activity of the location. The stations will also feature artwork by local artists as part of the “Art Express Programme”, where a panel of qualified people will select and commission appropriate artwork for each station.

Bukit Bintang Central MRT station

Best-in-class safety systems will also be employed to ensure that any emergencies that may arise during the course of the stations' operation will be quickly and efficiently handled. The stations will feature an automatic fire and sprinkler system, as well as public address systems in the event of the need for passenger evacuation.

It is also important to keep in mind that the MRT will not be a transit system in isolation. By design, the MRT will integrate with existing LRT and monorail lines to create an integrated transportation system within the Klang Valley.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

BB Plaza not demolished

After some intense lobbying from affected parties and political pressure, MRT Corporation Sdn Bhd gave in and decided not to acquire BB Plaza and Bangunan Yayasan Selangor, both owned by UDA Holdings Berhad.

Landmark: The iconic 38-year-old BB Plaza, located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, will be demolished to make way for the MRT project.

As what required earlier, Bukit Bintang Central station will be right under current BB Plaza. Thus it is mandatory to demolish the once iconic building in Golden Triangle.

This is so wrong in the sense that MRT Corp has revised the station design to avoid having direct integration with BB Plaza.

However, the revised design allows for integration to take place later, if and when BB Plaza is re-developed in the future.

From the press release by MRT Corp, the following businesses located outside BB Plaza will make way for the work:

a) Gloria Jeans’ Coffees
b) Hot & Roll
c) Starbucks Coffee (seating area only)
d) MADO Ice Cream (Yayasan Selangor’s tenant)

Note: They agreed to move out and have until this Sunday to do so

The Gloria Jean’s Coffees outlet was closed.

Five tenants occupying the sidewalk cafes have until Sunday to move out of the Bukit Bintang Plaza in Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Pic by Nik Hariff Hassan

The standalone Bukit Bintang Central Station will be only accessible from the ground level in front of BB Plaza.

Wouldn't that has defeated the purpose of building and integration of Bukit Bintang Central station?

KVMRT is very disappointed with the attitude of MRT Corp who always cave in to unnecessary demands by certain parties.

Let us hope no more changing of station designs in future as it is claimed to be best optimal route and point of catchment.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

MRT underground works

This video is from MRT Corp that illustrates what will be done on underground stations along the Sungai Buloh - Kajang Line.

It includes the major stations works (e.g Cochrane and Bukit Bintang Central) and usage of boring machines.

Tunnel Drive for Sungai Buloh-Kajang line

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sky bridge to KL Sentral Monorail

KVMRT managed to get an official update about the on-going construction of KL Sentral sky bridge linking KL Sentral Monorail station via Nu Sentral.

We have some photos to show. The sky bridge will definitely helped to ease the long walking distance that commuters have to take currently.

With the sky bridge, it only can be considered as proper interchange station between KL Monorail and KL Sentral.

A brief elaboration about Nu Sentral, it is a seven-storey retail mall (gross floor area of 1.2 million square feet) done by joint venture between MRCB and Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd. Claimed to be first integrated ‘green’ lifestyle retail mall.

The retail, dining and entertainment elements have been seamlessly planned across the vast floor area of the mall; for an enthralling experience.

The architectural design concept complements the Masterplan of the integrated Kuala Lumpur Sentral and its ‘live, work, play’ components.

Artist impression of sky bridge near the present exit to KL Monorail

From the artist impression, the sky bridge is fully air-conditioned and an easy access to Nu Sentral.

Signboard about the project

Supporting structure of the new sky bridge

The view from end of Monorail platform level. 

From above, there is a possibility of new fare gates and paid area will exist in Nu Sentral. The existing paid and unpaid area of the KL Sentral Monorail station is a total mess and is congested during peak hours.

This is an improvement to the integration of stations in KL Sentral and certainly a welcome news as KL Sentral MRT station is under-way.

Note: All photos above are taken from Any misuse is not intended and we shall held no responsible for any loss suffered from the use of the information.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Jln Sultan, Bkt Bintang inked POA

KVMRT have to update the latest dispute between Committee to Preserve Jalan Sultan and Jalan Bukit Bintang (PJSJBB) and MRT Corp on "signing an agreement with project owner MRT Corp to vacate their property".

The question is have they inked the deal with MRT Corp?

The answer is yes for Points of Agreement (POA) which was a step towards formulating a final binding mutual agreement (MA).

The POA terms which will be incorporated in the MA had included the withdrawal of any land acquisition plans by the government a guarantee that no existing building would be demolished the relocation of occupants for a maximum six-month period and the endorsement of land titles to state the existence of an MRT tunnel beneath the six properties.

Almost all of 21 lots in Jalan Bukit Bintang and 1 of 23 lots affected in Jalan Sultan have signed POA.

The committee co-chair Yong Yew Wei or Stanley Yong claimed "until today no landowner in Jalan Bukit Bintang Jalan Sultan or Jalan Inai has signed a mutual agreement They have only signed points of agreement POA which are not legally binding"

Their lawyers were still negotiating with MRT Corp over “a lot of conditions we find unacceptable ”

The issue of compensation was irrelevant until a social impact assessment to study the effect on the daily lives of up to 30 000 residents and a soil investigation report to ensure construction works will not damage property were completed.

KVMRT also quoted this saying from Stanley Yong in The Star article

On the proposed realignment to Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock and the MRT Corp claim that it required the demolition of 29 buildings, Yong said, “Jalan Sultan is half the width of Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock; if tearing down buildings of that magnitude is necessary on a much wider road, it would only be worse in the case of Jalan Sultan,” he said.

Did Mr Yong missed out the point? Lots that are demolished only for station entrance and air vent purpose. Other than that, buildings will not be touched.

As to the point of Jalan Sultan, MRT Corp said only UDA Ocean, Klang Bus Stand and Plaza Warisan will be demolished.

How can Mr Yong claimed that more buildings in Jalan Sultan would be taken down without studying the statement of MRT Corp.

Proposed Pasar Seni MRT station

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Jalan Sultan and realignment

Just in case you miss out, MRT Corp released a report about the controversial acquisition and realignment. It is accessible at MRT website.

The main content of the report includes background and overview, final alignment, land acquisition, social and environmental impact and continuous engagement.

(KVMRT) would only highlight the issue on final alignment and land acquisition for the interest of public.

The final alignment was determined using a three step process:-

Step 1: The first step is the establishment of fixed points along the corridor in which the MRT alignment must serve. These are major developments, centres of activity and landmarks. These points are densely populated areas, activity centres such as the Central Business District, shopping centers or office blocks or areas where there is potential future growth.

Step 2: Secondly, the alignment has to connect these fixed points. To arrive at the best alignment, a balance of six factors are given due consideration:-

 Social impact to be minimized

 Land acquisition to be minimized

 Journey time to be optimized

 Constructability (taking into consideration technical and ground conditions)

 Integration with existing and future public transport networks

 Ridership to be maximized and stations to be easily accessible

Step 3: Changes following public feedback gathering process.

Final alignment at Jalan Sultan/Jalan Petaling

The final alignment in the Jalan Sultan/Jalan Petaling area was determined using the three-step process described above.

The first step was the establishment of fixed points which the MRT alignment must serve. In this case the fixed points were the Pasar Seni LRT Station and future development at the former Merdeka Stadium and Stadium Negara area.

Pasar Seni LRT Station was identified as a fixed point because it will be the interchange point between the new MRT line and the existing Kelana Jaya LRT system. This integration point is crucial because it will enable users of the LRT system to change to the MRT and viceversa without needing to walk too far. Commuters will hop from one network to another without having to buy new tickets.

Another fixed point is the proposed Menara Warisan mixed development project where the present Merdeka Stadium and Stadium Negara are located. It will be a major centre of activity and will house a very large population of office and retail outlet workers.

Convenient access to public transport is critical to cater to such a large number of people and such a high level of activity.

The second step was to ensure that the alignment connected these fixed points taking into account the six factors mentioned above:-

 Social impact would be minimized because the final alignment reduces the number of buildings that need to be acquired for or affected by the project

 Land acquisition is minimised and will only involve government-owned properties namely Pasarama Kota, Plaza Warisan and Plaza UO

 Journey time is optimized because the final alignment is a more direct route

 Constructability along Jalan Sultan is good because the area has suitable soil conditions, no major obstructions, and the alignment managed to avoid tight curves

 The final alignment integrates with the Kelana Jaya LRT line as well as the proposed Warisan Merdeka

 The location of the station at Pasarama Kota is adjacent to the activity center of the Jalan Sultan/Jalan Petaling area thus making the station readily accessible to a major catchment area, thus having good potential ridership

The third step involved public scrutiny of the alignment where feedback was received during the three month period from February 14 to May 14, 2011. During this period, alternative alignments were proposed and these alignments were studied in great depth to find out if they were suitable.

Note: All information above is by MRT Corp. Any usage and copyright issue is not intended to be violated if any.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

MMC-Gamuda wins MRT tunnelling job

Yesterday, MRT Corp announced the award of the underground package of the MY Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang line to a joint venture comprising MMC Corporation Bhd and Gamuda Bhd (MMC-Gamuda JV).

Logo of MMC-Gamuda

The decision comes after One Stop Procurement Committee (OSPC) meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, YAB Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak at Parliament.

It is known that MMC Gamuda bid price of RM8.2 billion to design and build the 9 5km MRT underground tunnel and seven underground stations, was 3.4 per cent lower than the second lowest offer.

MMC-Gamuda Joint Venture was one of five companies or joint ventures which pre-qualified under a stringent set of criteria to tender the underground package of the MRT project. The other tenderers were Hyundai-Gadang-Chengal Jaya Joint Venture, Taisei Corp, Sinohydro Group Ltd, and the China Railway Group Ltd.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review: Titiwangsa interchange station

KVMRT is introducing the integrated station between KL Monorail and Ampang Line. The first one is the Titiwangsa station.

Lift at platform to LRT concourse

LRT concourse (customer service counter)

Direction to Ampang Line and KL Monorail

Paid area separated from Monorail concourse 

Titiwangsa Monorail platform

Transfer from Monorail to Ampang Line

Overview of Titiwangsa station

Disclaimer: All the images here do not belong to KVMRT. No copyright is intended to be violated.

Tunnelling of Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit

KVMRT brought the attention about the tunnelling of multi-billion My Rapid Transit (MRT).

Boring in the city (The Star)

Monday March 19, 2012

By Meng Yew Choong

Building the award-winning dual-purpose tunnel called SMART was difficult enough. But building the Klang Valley MRT tunnel will have engineers pushing the envelope even more.

By next month, engineers and contractors who are into tunnelling will be fixated on a 9.3km underground strip of land that runs through one of Kuala Lumpur’s most developed parts. The stretch, which forms a crucial part of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) infrastructure, starts near the intersection between Jalan Semantan and Jalan Duta, before snaking through KL Sentral, Pasar Seni, Bukit Bintang, Stadium Merdeka, and Pasar Rakyat, before reemerging near Taman Miharja.

Like all metro tunnels, the KVMRT’s underground infrastructure will be built in the form of twin tunnels mostly running side-by-side to enable trains to rapidly traverse both directions. Work will begin in earnest once the successful bidder for the multibillion-ringgit tunnelling portion of this massive project is announced by MRT Corporation.

The dual, or twin-bore, tunnels will enable trains to run up and down from Sungai Buloh to Kajang along a 51km-long track that is intended to transform the way Malaysians commute.

This Tunnel Boring Machine was used to create the SMART; the machine that will be used in the even more difficult KVMRT project will be similar, though probably more advanced.

The tunnels will connect seven underground stations at KL Sentral, Pasar Seni, Merdeka (after Stadium Merdeka), Bukit Bintang Sentral (near Lot 10), Pasar Rakyat, Cochrane, and Maluri (see for exact location of stations).

Over the next five years, Klang Valley drivers can expect to see some road diversions to facilitate the construction of the track, both for the elevated as well as underground portions.

Work on the elevated portion would, of course, be easily visible to all, and hence, road users will have a sense of the progress of the construction; but tunnelling will remain largely hidden.

One may ask how difficult could tunnelling be, given the continuous technological advancement in the field, as well as extensive knowledge now available in the Klang Valley courtesy of tunnels built for the Putra LRT (now part of Rapid KL) and the award-winning 9.7km Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART).

However, those who are in the know think that the company that successfully bids for the KVMRT project will be facing an unprecedented challenge in completing the 9.3km tunnel running under some of Kuala Lumpur’s most heavily developed areas on time and on budget.

To get an idea of the difficulties posed by this project, we held a teleconference interview with a German tunnelling expert.

“Boring the SMART was slightly easier in the sense that it did not have to pass through developed areas characterised by deep foundations,” says Dr Bernhard Maidl, a tunnelling expert with Maidl Consulting Engineers located at Bochum, Germany.

Maidl certainly knows what he is talking about as he has assisted in building over 100 tunnels worldwide, and has extensive knowledge of the tough geological conditions found under Kuala Lumpur.

The difficulties in building the SMART were not really made known to the public while work was being done; it was only after its completion that we came to know that it was no walk in the park even though state-of-the-art (at that time) tunnel boring machines (TBMs) were used.

This sinkhole appeared in Jalan Chan Sow Lin, Kuala Lumpur, during tunnelling works for the karstic portion of the SMART in 2005. Knowledge and experience derived from that project as well as more sophisticated technology should minimise such incidents today.

Deep complications

The TBMs were needed to punch a smooth hole through the highly-weathered limestone on which Kuala Lumpur sits. These types of landforms are called karst by geologists, and are generally the result of mildly acidic water acting on weakly soluble bedrock such as limestone (which is mainly calcium carbonate).

Water, either rainwater or groundwater, will gradually dissolve the surface along fractures in the limestone bedrock. Over time, these fractures enlarge as the bedrock continues to dissolve. The openings in the rock will increase in size to form underground drainage systems that will, in turn, allow more water to pass through the area and accelerate the formation of underground karst features after thousands, if not millions, of years.

The erosive and corrosive power of acidic water works its magic to leave behind a labyrinth of passages, steep drops and huge caverns (just like those seen in Perak’s Gua Tempurung, or in other exposed limestone hills).

Engineering-wise, Kuala Lumpur’s karst is classified as “extreme karst” (5 on a scale of 1 to 5) – it has an intricate underground network of channels that can go in any direction, steep sided cliffs, soft in-filled valleys, and a highly irregular rock heads.

Cavers would know all these terms, as they love to explore such features – but they are a tunnel engineer’s absolute nightmare as these features are the same ones that can cause sinkholes and ground subsidence during tunnelling.

Karst sinkholes and ground subsidence happen when disturbances to the underground water table causes earth and other debris to shift; this can happen when the TBM pierces underground reservoirs or water-filled cavities, thus disrupting the fine equilibrium of the system. Another possible consequence are mudflows (known within the industry as blowouts), which can rise to the surface during the boring process.

With the exception of a few hundred metres at both ends, the SMART was basically bored through highly weathered karst, which provided the engineers with a good learning experience in constructing structures under Kuala Lumpur. Extreme karst gave the builders of the SMART plenty of headaches, as dozens of sinkholes and mudflows occurred unexpectedly during construction of the dual-purpose tunnel that lies at depths of between 10m and 16m from the surface.

During the excavation of a tunnel through soft, water-bearing ground, a temporary support is often required to maintain the stability of the working face. In some cases, this support is provided by slurry, a thick suspension of solids within a liquid (usually a pressurised mixture of bentonite and water). Occasionally, this muddy mixture can reach the surface through fissures in the ground, causing what is known as a blowout. Seen here is an instance of slurry blowout at Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, during the SMART’s construction.

However, experienced tunnellers know that they can, to a large extent, mitigate these incidents through careful and deliberate pre-excavation treatment, which largely entails filling up the cavities and voids with grout before the boring machine passes through that stretch. But in order to know where the cavities are, extensive soil sampling and geophysical tests (using sonar and electrical resistance, for example) are necessary to ferret out these anomalies; this is what the winning bidder for the multibillion-ringgit KVMRT project must do to minimise the possibility of ground subsidence in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

Over 150 bore holes have already been dug for initial studies, and the data have been published in the tender document for the KVMRT project; and despite the enormity of the task, there are already five interested parties vying for the job, including MMC-Gamuda, the only local consortium shortlisted.

Whoever gets the job will face the prospect of tunnelling at an average depth of 30m while doing their utmost to avoid, for instance, a sinkhole appearing in Jalan Bukit Bintang – can you imagine the chaos caused by closing one of the country’s busiest – and, arguably, commercially most important – streets? Ground subsidence is also a no-no at places where there is existing critical infrastructure like railway lines, major highways and even existing tunnels – yes, the KVMRT tunnel will have to pass under the SMART.

Thankfully, preliminary soil sampling for the tunnelling portion has indicated that only half of the KVMRT tunnel will pass through karst formations. The other half of the tunnel will go through the much more predictable formation composed of sedimentary rocks called the Kenny Hill formation (see graphic below).

Most of Kuala Lumpur sits on either one of these formations, which hold very different implications for engineering, even for things as simple as putting in a single pile. For example, the Kuala Lumpur City Centre project that hosts the Petronas Twin Towers was shifted just so it could sit on the more predictable Kenny Hill formation, rather than being built on the riskier karst.

Sedimentary rocks are formed under relatively uniform conditions over relatively large areas; this permits relatively accurate interpretation between data points and projections. As such, tunnelling works through the Kenny Hill formation should be relatively easy to manage during the design and construction stages. This should be good news for fans of Jalan Sultan in the heritage enclave of Chinatown, as the stretch sits on the Kenny Hill formation, which means it is extremely unlikely that complications will arise when tunnelling through this portion.

Spiralling difficulty

To minimise ground subsidence in such challenging geological conditions, and particularly so in a densely urban environment such as Kuala Lumpur, whoever gets the contract is expected to use the most sophisticated tunnel boring machines available, coupled with extensive ground investigations and comprehensive pre-tunnelling soil treatment.

Dr Markus Thewes, a professor at the Institute for Tunnelling and Construction Management of Germany’s Ruhr-University (who joined Maidl at our teleconference), predicts that significant improvements in knowledge of karst terrain and tunnelling technology will come in handy for whoever builds the KVMRT tunnel.

“Many improvements in tunnelling technology have taken place over the past two years, and I would expect that these technological improvements should be in place for the project. Sinkholes arising from tunnelling, if they occur at all, will be very rare compared to previous tunnelling works in the same kind of formation.”

An outcome of the failure to allocate a rail transport corridor during the nascent years of Kuala Lumpur’s development means that engineers have little option even in tunnel alignment when they designed the KVMRT tunnel.

Other than the many deep foundations of tall buildings to avoid, there is also utility infrastructure like sewerage lines, telecommunications cables, electricity cabling, water pipes, and gas pipes to contend with. At Kampung Pandan, the KVMRT tunnel has to go down as deep as 50m to maintain a safe distance as it passes under the SMART.

At Bukit Bintang Central, the underground space is so narrow that the twin tunnels have to be stacked on top of each other, rather than being laid side-by-side as in all other areas. This means that one tunnel would have to be dug in such a way that it forms a mini spiral to one side, just so that it can be on top of the other tunnel, before curving back to the side-by-side formation after it passes the Bukit Bintang area!

According to Maidl, all these factors combine to create some of the most unique tunnelling challenges ever.

“Building the KVMRT tunnel will require an extremely high level of knowledge and experience, right from the selection of contractor and consultants, to the design as well as execution levels. Everyone on the project needs to be experienced, as the tunnel goes through very public areas with a lot of traffic.”

Friday, March 9, 2012

New 4-carriage trains KL Monorail

KVMRT welcomes the great news for KL Monorail commuters in this November. Overcrowding at station and inside the Monorail would be a past thing when 4-car trains operate (existing is 2-car), by Scomi Rail Bhd.

Scomi wins RM494m job to supply 4-car trains (BTimes)

By Bilqis Bahari

KUALA LUMPUR: More city dwellers will be able to ride the newly-upgraded KL Monorail in one go and their journey time on the trains will also be reduced.

With this in mind, 12 sets of new four-car trains will be built and used for the existing monorail under a contract agreement inked between Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (Prasarana) and Scomi Rail Bhd (Scomi).

The RM494 million project is scheduled to be completed by July 2013. The first set of four-car trains will be running starting November 15 2012.

The new four-car trains will be able to load on an average of 118 passengers per car, compared to the existing car-trains that can fit only 107 passengers per car.

Scomi Engineering Bhd chairman Datuk Zainun Aishah Ahmad said the current two-car trains are serving at 35 per cent over capacity and it is projected that this number will increase substantially by 2012.

"To meet this demand, Prasarana has contracted Scomi to double the capacity of the current KL monorail line to 6,400 passengers per hour per direction with the new four-car-trains," she said.

Meanwhile, Scomi group chief executive officer Shah Hakim Zain said besides providing the new four-car trains, Scomi will also improve the individual monorail stations by increasing the length of platforms and improve the current stations condition.

He added that Scomi will install a new signalling system for the trains, so that "it will allow us to move into driverless technology in the future."

He was speaking to reporters at a press conference after the signing ceremony yesterday. Also present was the Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha.

Kong said the project is part of the government's National Key Result Areas, its objective is to increase the ridership capacity for the KL Monorail Line by end-2012 and to enhance the comfort and convenience to KL commuters.

The 4-car train for KL Monorail.

New entrance of Bukit Bintang Monorail station from Lot10 side is now under construction.

Groundwork at Imbi Station, noticed the support column base.

With the new 4-carriage trains are in used, carrying capacity will increase to 472 passengers from current 214. This figure will increase to 5664 passengers per direction per hour (472 x 12).

These are strikingly poor line capacity numbers that are more in range with a middle-capacity Bus Rapid Transit system or a tram/streetcar! And the monorail cost us 40 million USD per km!

Most of stations are undergoing expansion, in terms of platform. Besides, integration at Titiwangsa and Bukit Nenas station are almost complete.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

MyKomuter launched

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launched the new KTM Komuter 6 car train sets (SCS) which began operations from KL Sentral on Thursday. It is to be named as MyKomuter.

New coaches more spacious with latest high-tech gadgets (The Star)

Wednesday March 7, 2012

By Isabelle Lai

KUALA LUMPUR: Longer and more spacious trains will ply the Port Klang-Sentul and Seremban-Rawang routes from this weekend to serve some 98,000 commuters.

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) will start with four of the 38 six-car units costing a total RM1.89bil.

The rest will be introduced in stages by June.

When all the new trains hit the track, waiting time will be reduced from half an hour to just 10 minutes.

The new six-car train waiting at the Rawang station.

KTMB corporate communications senior manager Mohd Fazil Ismail expects immediate improvement to the service, given that each train can hold 1,100 passengers, compared to the 400-passenger capacity of the present three-car units.

The trains, made by China's Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive company and costing close RM50mil each, would drastically reduce overcrowding in KTM trains along the popular routes, he said during a media tour of the sophisticated coaches.

“Some passengers have complained being made to wait for the next train due to overcrowding. We hope to avoid such situations in the future,” he said, adding that KTMB received an average of two to three written complaints a day.

About 70,000 commuters take KTM trains to and from work during the morning and evening peak hours. A further 28,000 passengers travel from 10am to 4.30pm.

The six-car units incorporate several passenger-friendly features, including an LCD screen notification system, plug points to charge electronic devices, and a two-way intercom between passengers and drivers for emergencies. There are also the women-only coaches.

“Our voice automated announcement and LCD notification system are especially helpful to disabled passengers, alerting them of arrivals at a station,” he said.

Each unit can accommodate more standing passengers with its three-row handrail. An open space concept enables passengers to move from coach to coach.

Helpful feature: The new trains will be equipped with an LCD screen notification system.

Mohd Fazil said the train also had security features allowing doors to be opened manually and windows to be broken in case of emergen-cies.

“Each coach has three CCTV cameras for the driver to monitor what's going on. There are also ladders for emergencies,” he said.

He said KTMB had been planning to get the new trains since May 2010 in line with the National Key Result Area objective of improving urban public transportation.

Mohd Fazil said the Government had allocated RM2bil to improve KTM services.

The remaining RM110mil would be used to switch to a token-based ticketing system to be introduced in May.

Ladies on board the ladies only coaches

Related stories:
Commuters looking forward to a better ride

On right track with new trains

Monday, February 27, 2012

Deadline for Chinatown traders

An ultimate deadline has been given by MRT Corp to very last two owners in Chinatown. It further says that compulsory acquisition will supersede if owners still reject the mutual consent agreement.

Month-end deadline for unhappy Chinatown traders (TMI)

By Clara Chooi

February 24, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — Traders along the iconic Jalan Sultan here will have their properties acquired by next week if they persist in rejecting MRT Corporation’s proposal to strike a mutual agreement.

Under the mutual agreement, mooted by MRT Corp chief executive officer Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid (picture), the traders would continue to hold their property rights but would be required to vacate their premises for a six-month period to facilitate tunnelling work for the underground portion of the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang line.

But without their consent to the agreement, said Azhar, MRT Corp would have no choice but to allow the government to proceed with the compulsory land acquisition process under Section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act.

Speaking at a press conference today, he expressed disappointment that despite MRT Corp’s efforts to engage with all stakeholders in the area, the owners of two properties on the famous Chinatown street have continued to reject their offer.

“Now, we have no choice but to allow the (land acquisition) process to proceed.

“The feedback that we are getting is that it is just these two (property owners) who keep insisting on a realignment of the MRT... we are talking to the lawyers of the rest, the rest understand the situation,” he said.

Today’s press conference was organised to clear confusion over concerns raised repeatedly by traders that their properties would be acquired despite MRT Corp’s mutual agreement proposal.

Azhar said the traders were spooked by letters from the Land and Mines Office regarding the compulsory acquisition process, fuelling fear that MRT Corp would renege on its promises.

“They are saying now that its a credibility issue. But it is not... these are two different processes,” he said, referring to the government's land acquisition process and MRT Corp's mutual agreement proposal.

Azhar explained that the government office was just following standard procedures and gave his assurance that once the traders consented to the mutual agreements, this would override the compulsory acquisition process.

“So the faster we can mutually agree, then we can tell the government — can you please withdraw this and stop sending letters to the traders,” he said.

Azhar noted however that he was running out time for the negotiation as the MRT project must be delivered by July 2017.

He said the mutual agreement proposed was a “winnable formula” for the traders as it would not only ensure they keep their property rights but would also see them fully compensated for any loss of income during the six-month period they are required to vacate their premises.

Azhar also gave his assurance that the period would not coincide with the Chinese New Year celebrations, noting that this was considered a peak period for businesses in Chinatown.

He went a step further by offering to help traders gazette the area as a heritage site.

“I’d be sincerely glad to help,” he said.

The Malaysian Insider reported in December that landowners in Imbi had agreed to surrender a portion of their underground land rights to MRT Corp for tunnelling work.

The agreement appeared to be a coup for Azhar, who is under pressure to resolve ongoing land acquisition issues which he has warned may delay the completion of the MRT by up to six months.

The dispute began soon after landowners in Chinatown, Imbi and Bukit Bintang were informed in mid-2011 that the government would acquire all lots lying above the MRT tunnel as owners’ rights extend to the centre of the earth under the law.

Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chief executive Mohd Nur Kamal said landowners could then apply for stratum titles but added there was no guarantee Putrajaya would re-alienate the surface land back to them.

Critics have questioned the need for compulsory acquisition of both surface and underground land as the National Land Code 1965 was amended in 1990 to allow underground land to be acquired without affecting surface rights.

Unhappy landowners have mounted a high-profile campaign marked by numerous protests, signature drives and accusations that Putrajaya was conducting a “land grab” in order to defray project costs.

The multibillion ringgit MRT, meant to ease traffic congestion in the Klang Valley, is Malaysia’s most expensive infrastructure project to date.

The SBK line will cover a distance of 51km, of which 9.5km — including seven of the 31 stations — will be underground.

In reply:
Jalan Sultan shopowners worry over MRT Corp’s ultimatum (The Star)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

RapidKL LRT and Monorail network

Kelana Jaya Line network:

Ampang Line network:

Monorail network:

Integrated KL public transport network