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Malaysia - Railways

Rail transport in Malaysia comprises heavy rail (including commuter rail), light rapid transit (LRT), monorail, airport rail link and a funicular railway line. Heavy rail is mostly used for intercity passenger and freight transport as well as some urban public transport, while LRTs are used for intra-city urban public transport and some special uses, such as transporting passengers between airport buildings. There are two commuter rail services linking Kuala Lumpur with the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The sole monorail line in the country is also used for public transport in Kuala Lumpur, while the only funicular railway line is in Penang.

The railway network covers most of the 11 states in Peninsular Malaysia. In East Malaysia, only the state of Sabah has railways. The network is also connected to the Thai railway 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) network in the north.

Meter gauge rail

The intercity railway network in Peninsular Malaysia consists of two main lines: The KTM West Coast Line between Singapore and Padang Besar, Perlis, on the Malaysian-Thai border, and the KTM East Coast Line between Gemas in Negeri Sembilan and Tumpat in Kelantan. There are also several branch lines – between Kuala Lumpur and Port Klang, Batu Junction and Batu Caves, Bukit Mertajam and Butterworth, Tapah Road and Teluk Intan, Kempas and Tanjung Pelepas, Kempas and Pasir Gudang, and between Pasir Mas and Rantau Panjang. The entire 1,699 km network uses 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge tracks. The network uses ballasted setup with locally manufactured concrete sleepers. Since the early 1980s, companies formed via international collaboration, such as Mastrak Sdn Bhd had been producing these sleepers via technology transfer.  In the five years period of 1982-1987 alone, it was estimated that about 500,000 pieces of sleepers had been laid for the Kerdau-Jerantut and Sungai Yu-Tumpat lines, giving clear preference due to its advantages over wooden sleepers. This was also evident in the changes made by Sabah State Railway in 2006 for the network under their control.

The network is linked with the Thai railway network at Padang Besar and Rantau Panjang.

A total of 438 km of the network is double track and electrified. They include portions of the West Coast Line between Gemas and Ipoh and the entire Kuala Lumpur-Port Klang branch line as well as the stretch between Kuala Lumpur and Sentul  Batu Caves branch line. The double-track and electrified portions between Kuala Kubu Bharu and Seremban and the Port Klang to Kuala Lumpur branch lines are used as the commuter train services.

Double tracking and electrification of the stretch of the Batu Caves branch line between Sentul and Batu Caves are now complete, it added 7.5 km of double track and electrified sections to the network. Double tracking of the West Coast line between Ipoh and Padang Besar has started in January 2008 and was expected to be completed by November 2014 and will add a further 329 km of double track to the network.

Malaysia's national petroleum company Petronas owns a railway line which links its oil refinery complex and the nearby town of Kerteh, Terengganu, with the petrochemical complex in Gebeng, Kuantan, and Kuantan Port near Kuantan, Pahang. The line is mainly used to transport petroleum products, but it has been opened up recently for general freight transport, with operation being conducted by KTM. There have been proposals to extend the line to connect with the KTM line at Mentakab, and there are suggestions to go as far as Kuala Terengganu and Tumpat.

Sabah - There is a 134 km (83 mi) railway line linking Tanjung Aru near Kota Kinabalu and Tenom in the interior of Sabah state. The line is the only railway on the island of Borneo. Besides normal passenger trains operated by the Sabah State Railway Department, the tracks are also used to for the North Borneo Railway tourist train. The line has been suffering from lack of maintenance for many years and in 2006, the Malaysian Government funded rehabilitation works for the line. A pipe dream is to have a railway line from Kota Kinabalu to Kuching through Brunei though the cost of this would mean seeking funding from Brunei.

Standard gauge rail lines

Airport Rail Link - One of Malaysia's two fastest rail lines is the 57 km (35 mi) standard gauge line between Kuala Lumpur and KLIA & KLIA2. This line may not be considered high speed line because the maximum speed used is 160 km/h (99 mph). The line was constructed by Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd, which also operates the two train services which use the line, namely the KLIA Express and KLIA Transit. Ideas have been mooted to extend this line as far south as Johor Bahru and as far north as Penang using high-speed rail infrastructure with a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).

Light Rapid Transit (LRT) - There are two systems which are called LRT in Malaysia. Two are used in Kuala Lumpur to ferry paying passengers while the automated people mover is used at Kuala Lumpur International Airport to ferry passengers from the Main Terminal Building and the satellite building.

The two light rapid transit lines in Kuala Lumpur are the Kelana Jaya Line and the Ampang Line. The Kelana Jaya Line is a driver-less automatic system and is 29 km (18 mi) long, running between the northeastern suburbs of Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya to the west of Kuala Lumpur. It is mostly elevated except for a 4 km (2.5 mi) stretch where it goes underground and there is a short at-grade stretch. The Kelana Jaya Line was completely operational from June 1999. The older Ampang Line is 27 km (17 mi) and consists of two sub-lines, running between the suburb of Sentul in the north of Kuala Lumpur, and Ampang in the east, as well as Sri Petaling in the south. Trains branch off to either Ampang or Sri Petaling at Chan Sow Lin station about midway of both lines. The system is mostly at-grade outside the city, and elevated with it runs through the city. Unlike the trains on the Kelana Jaya Line, those on the Ampang Line have drivers. The line was completely opened on 1998. On 30 June 2016, Kelana Jaya Line and the Ampang Line Extension have completed and start operation.

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