During a press conference held this morning, Transport Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong revealed that tests are still ongoing on the LRT Kelana Jaya Line to ensure that it is safe before all 37 stations are open to the public. Rapid KL along with rail experts have conducted a full test with 24 trains along all 37 stations from Gombak to Putra Heights between 11pm last night to 5am this morning. Dr Wee said the tests with diagnostic tools have been positive with no interruptions so far.
He said further tests will be conducted today and tomorrow where trains will run through the full service but without passengers through the affected section. This means passengers must disembark outside the Kelana Jaya to Ampang Park stretch while the trains will continue their journey without passengers on board. This is to allow the experts to inspect the line with the trains running the whole day and it will be reevaluated by the special team from Thales Group.
Dr Wee said the LRT line can be reopened fully to the public after it has received certification from Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) which will depend on the assurance from Thales that the train service is safe and stable. As announced earlier, the 16 stations on Kelana Jaya line are scheduled to be closed for seven days from 9th to 15th November 2022. He said if the tests conducted today and tomorrow are successful without hiccups, they will be able to announce the reopening of the stations.
Any announcement on the resumption of full service will be made at 6pm, a day before the commencement date. For example, if the LRT service can resume full operations on Monday, Rapid KL will make an announcement at 6pm on Sunday.
Elaborating on the cause of the issue, he said RapidKL’s Vehicle Control Centre (VCC) was unable to track the movement of the trains in one section out of four on the Kelana Jaya line. From the screens, they are unable to see the location of the trains and the situation poses a high risk of an accident. Since the situation doesn’t adhere to the SOP, a decision was made to suspend the service at affected stations to ensure the safety of passengers and prevent the potential loss of lives.
Based on the findings, they have replaced modems and a power supply component as there was a handover issue when switching between VCC sections, and issues with the Signalling Management Centre (SMC).
Dr Wee said, “At 3:51am, I was informed that we have to stop the operation because of a safety issue, what option did I have when (RapidKL) couldn’t see the trains on the screen? That’s the issue.” He added, “That’s why they have to make this decision, even though it is not popular but this is the right decision to protect people’s life. So safety first.”
Touching on compensation, he said monthly pass holders will be given a validity extension. More details will be revealed at a later time.
When asked about calls for resignation at Prasarana, Dr Wee said his focus right now is to work on solving the problem and not creating problems.