Loke puts KTMB cargo services takeover rumours on the rails, announces ETS expansion

TRANSPORT Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook has quashed rumours circulating about the privatisation of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd’s (KTMB) cargo services. Addressing concerns during the KTMB workers’ union conference, he firmly denied any takeover, ensuring that KTMB will continue to provide the vital service.

“I’ve turned off the rumours. Changes in KTMB’s structure must be discussed, and if we don’t have a decision, it won’t happen,” he said after the KTMB workers’ union conference here today.

However, this declaration was not without exciting news for rail enthusiasts.

Loke revealed ambitious plans to revolutionise KTMB’s cargo services. Instead of privatisation, the ministry is focusing on increasing KTMB’s cargo capacity and shifting more services to the railways. This strategic move aims to bolster efficiency and sustainability, aligning with modern trends in eco-friendly transportation.

Moreover, the spotlight was on the electrifying expansion of the electric train service (ETS).

Loke emphasised the completion of the Gemas-Johor Bahru electrified double-tracking rail project as the pivotal moment. This project often referred to as the “missing link” is set to seamlessly connect services from the northern to the southern parts of the peninsula.

“Once the Gemas-Johor Bahru track is completed, the ETS will be expanded to offer services and complete our dual-track network from the north to the south, from Padang Besar to Johor Bahru,” he said.

Furthermore, this development not only enhances convenience for commuters but also signifies Malaysia’s commitment to a greener, more efficient future in transportation. – Oct 11, 2023

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