Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd‘s (KTMB) East Coast Line, which runs from Gemas, Negeri Sembilan to Tumpat, Kelantan, has been out of action for some time due to the floods earlier in the year, but transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has said that services are expected to resume before Hari Raya, The Star reports.

“(Funds set aside for track repair) was listed under the 10th Malaysia Plan. For the upgrading of Gemas-Tumpat tracks, it is still in the tender process and work is expected to begin in August,” he said, adding that the work is expected to finish in about 24 months.

Under the Economic Planning Unit, the government has also allocated RM396 million for infrastructure repairs on the Gua Musang-Tumpat stretch, which was also affected by the floods, according to Liow. He said several Diesel Multiple Units, or railcars, were procured via direct negotiations with the finance ministry to quickly deal with the flood situation, and that six of them were flood-damaged.

Meanwhile, KTMB’s automated fare collection system is in the midst of being improved, and regarding plans to re-open the line from Kelantan to Thailand, Liow said the ministry needs to study the proposal as it involves upgrading the line as well as security issues.

Nicknamed the ‘Jungle Railway’ because of its scenic route through the dense interior, KTMB’s East Coast Line joins the West Coast Line (Padang Besar-Woodlands, used to terminate in the south at Tanjong Pagar, Singapore) at Gemas. The line traditionally operated express, mail, shuttle and goods trains.