Yet more on the trainsets that are to ply the KL-Padang Besar Electric Train Service (ETS) route – according to a report, manufacturer CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive is working round-the-clock to fix the issues that have so far kept the first Chinese-made trainset, ETS201, from entering service.

The issues revolve around faults with the unit’s automatic train protection (ATP) system, The Star reports. The system, a core safety component, automatically applies the brakes whenever it senses a fault or dangerous condition, and is meant to prevent collisions or derailment when adherence to signals or speed restrictions are not met.

Apparently, the ATP has been triggering whenever ETS201 has entered the branch line to Butterworth during trials, slowing the train down. The train, along with ETS202, has been running evaluation trials on the double tracks from Ipoh to Padang Besar since June, but ETS201 failed the compulsory “fault-free running” test eight days in a row when it was first tested in June.

According to a KTMB source, the train has yet to be officially handed over to KTM and that the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) had yet to approve the trainsets. The report adds that SPAD has given CSR until Thursday to solve the problem.


The commission’s CEO Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal said that while there had been a lot of pressure for KTM to run its new ETS fleet, the commission will not be rushed into giving the green light when the requirements of the Land Public Transport Act were not met.

The Chinese company told the publication that it was working with its on-board equipment supplier, Bombardier, to solve the problem, and disagreed that its trainsets are inherently faulty. It said that other than the Bukit Mertajam to Butterworth stretch, ETS201 ran smoothly on all other stretches of the line.

However, observers noted that other trainsets such as the Class 91 units made by Hyundai Rotem and Mitsubishi Electric did not suffer the same problem.

Designed for intercity passenger services, the CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive trainsets can touch 145 km/h on a track designed for a 160 km/h speed. A total of 10 trainsets have been ordered for the service – the remaining eight trainsets are still being assembled.