MALAYSIAN construction firm DRB-Hicom Bhd announced on December 20 that it had started preliminary works for the Rawang - Ipoh electrification project. The company was selected last July to undertake the civil works for double-tracking and realignment; the systems & electrification work is being undertaken by a Mitsui-led consortium (RG 12.00 p789).

Under its 2·6bn ringgit contract, DRB-Hicom will renew and realign the 175 km metre-gauge route north of Kuala Lumpur, lay a second track, rebuild stations, and construct road bridges to replace level crossings. It will also build a new EMU depot.

Site work has started at Tapah Road, Slim River and Kuala Kubu Bara, and on new stations at Rasa and Sungkai. Subcontractors include United Engineers (bridges), IJM Corp (stations), Emirail (tracklaying) and Perspec Prime (civil works).

Within the US$1·1bn systems package, General Motors is to supply locomotives, Siemens the signalling, Nippon Steel and NKK the new trackwork, Adtranz the power supply equipment and Omron Corp the ticket vending machines. Balfour Beatty Rail Power Systems will undertake the electrification. n