Kuala Lumpur

Chinese train-maker secures Malaysia light-rail order

China’s CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co has seen off international competition to win a $174m train contract in Malaysia.

Prasana Negara Berhad, the Malaysian government-backed transport company, has ordered 20 sets of six-car light rail vehicles for the extension of the Ampang LRT (light rapid transit) line and the new Putra Heights suburb line serving Kuala Lumpur.

The trains will be delivered in 2015 and 2016.

CSR Zhuzhou beat favourite Bombardier Transportation-Scomi Rail Berhad and four other companies from Korea, China, Spain and Romania for the deal.

Trains currently used on the LRT lines in Kuala Lumpur were supplied by Bombardier.

The Ampang Line contract is CSR Zhuzhou's second in Malaysia.

The company is currently supplying 38 sets of six-car electric multiple units for the government railway company Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) under a $600 million contract placed by the Ministry of Transport in 2010.

These trains are replacing existing vehicles and increasing capacity on KTM’s commuter services in the Klang Valley covering the major cities of Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Klang, Shah Alam and Rawang.

They can travel at 140km/h and carry up to 1,200 people.

A technical expert at CSR Zhuzhou said the Ampang Line trains will have a maximum design load of 1,308 passengers, a speed of 80km/h and a minimum turning radius of 40m, and will be fitted with a specially designed hydraulic braking system.

To cope with the steep slopes and tight curves on the route, they will incorporate technology that has already been applied and verified on light rail vehicles in Izmir, Turkey.

Taking account of Malaysia’s tropical marine climate, anti-corrosion and dehumidification treatment will be applied to all components and equipment, the spokesman said.

Under the terms of the contract, some of the trains will be assembled locally at a new manufacturing plant in the northern state of Perak.

CSR Zhuzhou official Chen Jie said the company plans to use Malaysia as a hub to expand its business in the ASEAN region, which comprises the ten nations of Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.

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