MALAYSIA: The first three of the six electric multiple-units which Express Rail Link ordered from CRRC Changchun to increase capacity on the 1 435 mm gauge Kuala Lumpur International Airport rail link have entered service, after being officially unveiled by Minister of Transport Liow Tiong Lai on March 13.

ERL Executive Chairman Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh said the 160 km/h four-car EMUs would enable an increase in services to accommodate growing ridership, which has been boosted by the opening of the KLIA2 air terminal in 2014. ‘The additional new trains also mean less scheduled downtime for maintenance which translates to less interference in daily schedules and routines, and provide more comfort and reliability’, he said.

ERL ordered the EMUs in 2014. There are two interior layouts, with the two EMUs for KLIA Ekspres airport services having 192 seats and the four units for Transit stopping services having 144 seats and a total capacity of up to 350 passengers.

Compared to the Siemens EMUs delivered for the opening of the line, the CRRC units have more seats on the KLIA Ekspres trains, more handrails on the KLIA Transit trains, as well as a wider seat pitch, higher ceilings, 15% more air-conditioning capacity and improved CCTV. There are two compressors instead of one to add redundancy, more powerful traction equipment, additional onboard monitoring equipment and a 30% longer overhaul cycle.

The livery designed by Mohd Fairis Salleh and Shuhairul Hafizie Shuib blends traditional motifs with a ‘vibrant colour splash’ in a ‘unique contemporary design that represents the innovative spirit of the company’, ERL said.