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Sabah State Railway launches latest railbus

20th September, 2016

BEAUFORT: The Sabah State Railway Department (JKNS) has launched its latest railbus, increasing its railbus fleet to three sets.

Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said that the procurement of the railbus, a single car train with a capacity of 60 passengers, is not only to meet additional demand from passengers but can also be chartered.

Due to its smaller capacity, he said that the railbus is more practical for repeated usage especially during off-peak hours, and can also be joined with other units to increase capacity when required.

“I hope that the rail service will continue to improve, and hopefully we can extend its services to other destinations in the future.

“This is to cope with the increasing transportation needs of the people as well as to support the expanding tourism industry, and the state’s economic development as a whole,” he told a press conference after ending this first day of his going to the ground programme here yesterday.

According to Pairin who is also the Infrastructure Development Minister, said that the latest railbus is a used unit procured from Japan and refurbished by the department, at the cost of RM2.4 million.

Currently, he said that the department has three sets of trains, two of which used for Beaufort-Tenom route, while the other one is used for Tanjung Aru-Beaufort route.

He said that the department is expecting to receive another set of train in December this year to beef up its Tanjung Aru-Beaufort route, with a plan to add three more sets in the future.

He also announced that the JKNS new headquarters and train station in Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu is nearing its completion and should be operational by the end of the year.

The new building, he said is part of the department’s modernising plan in order to offer better services.

“We are also planning to upgrade the rail track from Beaufort to Tenom to enable it to take a heavier load, and currently we are in the final process of procurement and the upgrading work is expected to be completed in 2018. “To maintain the tracks, we have also purchased a track tamping machine to be used on maintenance work, and hired an expert to train our staff,” he added.

Pairin started his two-day programme at JKNS new headquarters building in Tanjung Aru by officially launching the railbus, and taking a ride on the new machine to JKNS workshop in Kinarut, Papar to officially launch the track tamping machine before continuing his journey to Beaufort to visit the new Beaufort Water Treatment Plant, and the new sewage plant.

He will continue his site inspections in Tenom today.

Accompanying him were Infrastructure Development Assistant Ministers, Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar and Datuk Bobbey Suan, JKNS General Manager, Melvin V Majanga, and Sabah Water Department director, Ag Mohd Tahir Mohd Talib. – By Eric Bagang

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