JOHOR BAHRU: The Transport Ministry and Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) are planning to upgrade the railway track linking Tanjung Pelepas Port to Johor Port in Pasir Gudang near here.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the project was important to raise the efficiency of container and cargo transportation between the two ports.
He said the upgrade would also benefit the passenger sector as the existing single track could be expanded into double tracking and at the same time help reduce traffic congestion along the Pasir Gudang Highway which is frequently used by lorries to carry goods between the two ports.
“We are studying the upgrade but it will take time as it covers railway development for passengers and not just cargo and containers,” he told reporters after opening the ‘2016 Port Week programme: Executive Talk’ here today.
Liow said in line with effort to upgrade the railway track, the ministry would also set up depots nearer to railway stations to facilitate the transfer of goods from one place to another.
“At the moment, depots are inside the ports which are far from the station, so we need a company to transport goods from depots to the station and vice versa. So if the depots were nearer, movement of goods would be easier and faster,” he said.
Meanwhile, Liow said Thailand would also be developing its electrified double-tracking railway soon to enable Malaysia to extend the Electric Train Service (ETS) from Padang Besar in Perlis to Hatyai.
“When Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak visited Thailand recently to talk to his Thai counterpart, I took the opportunity to meet their Transport Minister and he was impressed with our efforts to develop the electrified double tracking for ETS from Kuala Lumpur to Padang Besar.
“In fact, the Thai Transport Minister also expressed his country’s desire to follow our footsteps and the project would be given top priority. As such, it is expected to commence any time now and I was informed it would be completed before 2020,” Liow said.