Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) is set to retire its ageing diesel-powered passenger trains this year. However, rather than scrapping the trains altogether, the old trains will be repurposed to serve as holiday trains catering to those who are seeking a bit of nostalgia along the lines of the famous Orient Express.
The company said these old trains, mainly Intercity coaches, will be replaced by the newer Electric Train Service (ETS) on the Gemas-Padang Besar line around the second quarter of 2016, according to a report by The Star.
KTM president Datuk Sarbini Tijan said, “I anticipate that by May, all those (Intercity) trains (on Gemas to Padang Besar) should be replaced completely by ETS. However, for those lovers of conventional trains or those who like heritage, we will come up with a new service, running the old trains as excursion trains.”
Sarbini also stated three old-school trips that will be offered by KTM – Tumpat-KL (by early April), Kuala Lipis-Kuala Krau-Gua Musang-Kuala Lipis and Johor Bahru-Haadyai (from May onwards). The latter, according to Sarbini, will probably not run daily but will have “regular intervals”.
The service will be catered towards foreign (including Asean) and domestic tourists. However, Sarbini did not disclose how much a trip would cost, or if the service would be similar to that of the Orient Express.
On a separate matter, Sarbini said the electrified double track train (EDTT) project from Gemas to Johor Bahru was scheduled to be completed by end-2019.