More local rail operators needed to handle freight, cargo services - Liow

More local rail operators needed to handle freight, cargo services - Liow
Liow checks on the machinery after witnessing its handing over ceremony to Fajarbaru Builder Group Berhad at the Padang Tengku KTM Office site today. --fotoBERNAMA
KUALA LIPIS: Malaysia needs more local railway operators to handle freight and cargo services to enhance connectivity and trade activities, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said with more railway operators, the cost of handling goods transported by rail could be reduced as it would be more competitive.

"Besides that, we can also reduce road congestion, pollution and road accidents involving lorries and trailers," he told reporters here today.

Liow said this during his visit to witness the machinery handing over ceremony from two Chinese companies, China Jiangsu KTK Locomotive
Liow said Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) and Prasarana Malaysia Bhd are currently managing railway operations in the country.

Liow also encouraged KTMB, which has been a major player in the railway industry for more than a century now, to work with private partners and penetrate international markets.

"We have to find a way to be a regional player and grab the opportunities outside Malaysia," he added.

Liow, who is also the National Logistics Taskforce Chairman, said that better rail connectivity would help boost the economy and everyone would benefit from it, alluding to the success of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (SBK MRT).

"Its completion has led not only Kuala Lumpur city centre, but also Greater Kuala Lumpur, to further drive the country's economy," he added.

The SBK MRT line is the ninth rail transit line and the second fully-automated and driverless rail system in the Klang Valley.

The second phase of the MRT, the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya line, is currently under construction and expected to be operational by 2022.