Phase One of the automated metro Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line (SBK Line) in Kuala Lumpur began operations on 16 December 2016. This first stretch, which runs from Sungai Buloh to Semantan, is part of a line which will be 51km long crossing Kuala Lumpur and connecting the capital city with Kajang, a fast developing town to the south-east.
The recently opened section includes 12 stations on 21km of elevated tracks. When completed, the line will run underground for a distance of 9.5km beneath the centre of Kuala Lumpur while the rest of the alignment is elevated and will have 31 stations of which 7 will be underground while the remaining 24 are elevated stations.
Phase Two, from Semantan Station to Kajang Station is to be operational by July 2017, completing the line.
The SBK Line will be owned by the Government of Malaysia through Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) and operated by RapidKL, a subsidiary of Prasarana. Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD) / Land Public Transport Commission is the supervisory agency for the project.
The daily ridership is estimated to be about 400,000 passengers. Trains travel at frequencies of 3.5 minutes during peak hours. They operate at a speed of 35km/h and will cover the distance between Sungai Buloh and Kajang in 88 minutes.
The SBK Line is the first of three metro lines planned for the Klang Valley. Constriction of the 56 km Sungai Buloh – Serdang – Putrajaya Line began on September 15, and a feasibility study is being carried out for Line 3.
Siemens Inspiro rolling stock
The rolling stock is manufactured by Siemens/CSR Nanjing Puzhen with a partnership with SMH Rail Consortium Sdn Bhd. The Siemens Inspiro rolling stock will be supplied with the same configuration as the trainsets supplied for Warsaw Metro M1. A fleet of 58 four-car trains will run the SBK line with a capacity of 1,200 passengers (300 per car).
Other contracts awarded for the project include:
- Electric trains, depot equipment and maintenance vehicles (packages one and two) – consortium of Siemens Malaysia and SMH Rail
- Signalling and train control system (package three) – Bombardier
- Power supply & distribution system (package five) – Meidensha Corporation
- Track works (package six) – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
- Telecommunications (package seven): consortium of Apex Communication and LG CNS
- Platform screen door systems: ST Electronics
- Advanced communication system for the light rail network extension: joint venture of Alcatel-Lucent and CMC Engineering
Inspired by traditionnal architecture
The architecture of the elevated stations along the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line is based on the “wakaf”, a traditional pavilion found in Malaysia built for travellers to stop and rest. Like a traditional wakaf, the elevated MRT stations are open-sided, allowing for natural lighting and ventilation.
Sources: MRT Corp (developer and asset owner of the MRT project), international trade press (Railway Technology, Metro Report), local trade press (Paultan.org) and local general press (The Malay Mail Online).