Prasarana on LRT breakdown: we don’t know what’s the problem
Group CEO says engineers have been trying to detect root issue since Saturday
SUBANG – The exact cause of the crisis behind the LRT Kelana Jaya line service disruption, which had left Klang Valley commuters stranded in the past two days, has yet to be pinpointed.
The admission by Prasarana president and group CEO Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah comes after the company’s engineers were unable to diagnose the issue affecting the services’ automated train system (ATC) following several disruptions since Saturday.
Additionally, to the required major diagnostics, Azharuddin also announced an intervention by the rail system’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM), namely the Thales Group, to help resolve the situation.
The foreign team, which is expected to arrive tomorrow from Toronto, Canada, could very well determine whether the LRT service may or may not resume smoothly following the seven-day service suspension beginning today.
“This caught us by surprise. We have been trying to detect the ATC problem from Kelana Jaya station to Ampang Park station since Saturday. We want to be transparent on this,” said Azharuddin at the press conference held this morning at the Rapid Rail headquarters.
The media briefing was also attended by Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd CEO Amir Hamdan, LRT Kelana Jaya line chief operating officer Mohd Zainun Hasnan, LRT Kelana Jaya line chief engineer Leman Zakaria, and Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd CEO Muhammad Yazurin Sallij.
Azharuddin said that the automated riding system crisis on the Kelana Jaya line could be the first of its kind in the world.
“The experts at Thales told us that we are facing a unique issue. This is the first time we are facing an ATC control problem,” he said.
When asked if the ATC breakdown was an act of sabotage, Azharuddin replied: “We are looking at all angles.”
The ATC is an automated control system which connects the driverless LRT to the control centre, and it would pose a safety risk if the signal is lost between the train and host at the central command.
In May last year, a collision occurred near the KLCC station between an empty train and a train carrying 210 passengers, which left six in critical condition.
“This ATC problem we have been facing since Saturday is a safety issue we can’t take lightly. We are looking into short and long term measures, including an upgrade into a phase one system that may cost up to RM150 million,” said Azharuddin.
“We have to face the fact that it is an ageing system more than 25 years old,” he said, adding that repairs require the replacement of critical parts and a major overhaul of the operating software.
Azharuddin and Amir apologised for the train disruption that had already inconvenienced 350,000 commuters in Klang Valley since Monday.
The seven-day suspension of service to 16 stations between Kelana Jaya and Ampang Jaya is expected to affect 1.4 million commuters.
Azharuddin also did not rule out the service’s resumption within seven days.
“We are giving the timeline of seven days so that we can solve this once and for all without having to inconvenience the public after the service’s restart,” he said, adding that a team of experts from the Thales team in Toronto will arrive tomorrow to assess the problem.
He also said that due to the seven-day disruption and the events of the last 48 hours, Prasarana may consider refunds, including for MY50 travel pass holders.
On alternative modes of transport, Yazurin said 85 buses have been allocated to serve five routes at various locations along the LRT line.
“We also service the routes from Ara Damansara to Pasar Seni, and Kelana Jaya to Pasar Seni via the Federal Highway, and provide a bus service going to every LRT station between Kelana Jaya and Pasar Seni,” he said.
“There are also shuttle services between Putra Heights to Lembah Subang and Damai to Gombak,” he added.
– The Vibes, November 9, 2022