|In service||2021 - Present|
|Manufacturer||CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive|
|Number built||52 cars(13 sets)|
|Formation||4 per trainset |
|Capacity||360 (218 seats) for regional model|
200 seats for long distance model
|Operator(s)||Keretapi Tanah Melayu|
|Train length||93.5 metres (307 ft)|
|Width||2.75 metres (9.0 ft)|
|Height||3.87 metres (12.7 ft)|
|Maximum speed||140 km/h (87 mph) (Design)|
120 km/h (75 mph) (Service)
|Axle load||≤ 14 t|
|Acceleration||0.8 m/s2 (2.6 ft/s2)|
|Track gauge||1,000 mm (3 ft 3+3⁄8 in) metre gauge|
The KTM Class 61 is a diesel multiple unit operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu for KTM Intercity services on non electrified sections of the KTM West Coast railway line and the KTM East Coast railway line.
The idea of using DMUs is not new to KTMB. In 1960, the company operated diesel railcars on short distance services. The railcars operated in multiple unit formation until the mid 1970s, when they were converted into trailers and coupled with conventional diesel locomotives. In the 1980s, KTM ordered railbuses for similar services, but these services ended in the 1990s. Secondhand DMUs were also proposed for KTM Komuter services to make up for the shortage of EMUs, but in the end new KTM Class 92s were ordered instead.
In 2015, the Business Times reported that KTMB had signed a deal for DMUs with Majestic Engineering, in which the DMUs will be supplied by CRRC. KTMB confirmed its intentions to get DMUs in 2016, pointing out its higher speeds compared to locomotive hauled trains In 2017, KTMB formally announced the procurement of 13 DMUs along with 9 ETS sets from CRRC.
The trains were constructed from 2018 to 2020 by CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive. The first two sets were built in CRRC’s factory in Zhuzhou, China whereas the remaining eleven were built in CRRC’s factory in Batu Gajah, Malaysia.
The trains have a design speed of 140 km/h and are expected to operate at up to 120 km/h. They are equipped with graphene-based supercapacitors for storing braking energy and two MAN powerpacks. The diesel engines can be replaced with fuel cells to reach zero emissions operation. The trains are fitted with a Wireless Train Tracker tool for location detection.
Since the trains are used on non-upgraded sections where platform heights are lower, the trains are fitted with retractable steps to aid passengers in boarding. The train bodies themselves are specified to meet the European EN15227 crashworthiness standard.
The trains feature digital passenger information systems, a prayer room and a light catering bar. Nine of the 13 trainsets will have one-third of a vehicle dedicated to carrying parcels and have commuter style seating i.e. a combination of transverse and longitudinal seating layouts. Such trains are meant for regional services such as the Shuttle Timur service. The remaining four sets have 2+2 transverse seating and are meant for long distance travel.
The trains were speculated to enter service from 1 October 2020, on the Ekspres Selatan from Gemas to JB Sentral as online bookings reflected the new train’s seating arrangement. However, this did not eventuate. When in service, they are expected to cut journey times as their operating speed of 100 km/h is higher than the average speed of existing trains which is at 50–60 km/h.
KTMB held a launch party for the new trains for 11 April 2021, inaugurating DMU service between Tumpat, Gua Musang and Kuala Lipis. Eventually they will be deployed across the whole East Coast Line once track rehabilitation and upgrading of station facilities is completed.
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