The first CRRC Changchun EMU for Express Rail Link services to Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

MALAYSIA: The first of six electric multiple-units which are being supplied by CRRC Changchun to increase capacity on the Kuala Lumpur International Airport rail link was unveiled by Minister of Transport, Liow Tiong Lai at Express Rail Link’s Salak Tinggi depot on October 20.

ERL signed the order for the four-car 160 km/h units in November 2014. They are now expected to enter revenue service in March 2017, with two to be used on KLIA Ekspres non-stop services and four on KLIA Transit stopping services.

ERL currently operates a fleet of 12 four-car Siemens Desiro 25 kV 50 Hz EMUs supplied for the opening of the 57 km long 1 435 mm gauge line in 2002. Daily ridership grew by 20% in 2015, and the additional units will enable KLIA Transit services to be increased from every 20 min to every 15 min at peak times, and from every 30 min to every 20 min off-peak.

The new units are also expected to have maintenance cycles 30% longer than the original units.