MALAYSIAN Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) has indicated its interest to the government to upgrade the Klang Valley double-tracking (KVDT) system at an estimated cost of RM5 billion, says sources close to the company.
A source told Business Times that the amount includes building a new 110km bypass line linking Serendah with Port Klang for around RM2 billion.
The balance RM3 billion is to upgrade the KVDT line from Rawang to Seremban and Port Klang to Sentul, involving 150km of double-tracking work, he said.
The KVDT system was built by Indian Railway Construction for Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) in the 1990s. The system began operations in 1995.
The source said the KVDT system is running on old technology and has not been upgraded since then, resulting in commuter train delays and accidents.
The source added that under the Economic Transformation Programme, the government wants commuter trains to run at 7.5 minutes interval instead of the current 15 minutes.
"With faster trains and shorter intervals, the infrastructure and the system, including signalling, electrification and communication, has to be upgraded."
It is understood that the government has not received an expression of interest for the KVDT system upgrade or the bypass line between Serendah and Port Klang from any party other than MRCB.
"For now, MRCB is seen as the likely party to land both the jobs without a fight. There is a possibility that IJM Corp Bhd, Loh & Loh Construction Sdn Bhd, UEM Group Bhd and DRB-Hicom Bhd would step in. If that happens, it would be a tough battle for MRCB as it lacks experience in railway development," said the source.
The upgrading of the KDVT system is important, especially for loss-making KTMB.
The double-track from Rawang to Seremban and Port Klang to Sentul offers an alternative mode of transport for commuters and helps alleviate traffic congestion on the Federal Highway (Kuala Lumpur-Petaling Jaya-Subang Jaya-Shah Alam-Klang).
The bypass line, meanwhile, is also important as it would help divert cargo traffic from the main KTM freight line between Rawang and Seremban, which is facing a bottleneck.