Thursday, December 23, 2010

MRT system to get driverless technology

SPAD also mulling Liner Induction Motor (LIM) drive system for the mass transit project
Hiroshima's Astram line is a modern driverless MRT system
The recently announced Mass Rapid Transit system which will initially link Kajang and Sungai Buloh may get a driverless system similar to the ones used by the Kelana Jaya line of the Capital Light Rail Transit (LRT) system.

Speaking to reporters, Land Public Transport Commission (Suruhanjaya Penganguktan Awam Darat-SPAD) Chief Executive Officer Mohd Nur Ismail Kamal said that the technology is certainly being considered as it has proven to be successful.

Picture courtesy of Paultan.Org

SPAD BOSSES: (Left) Chairman, Tan Sri Hamid Albar
and CEO Mohd Nur Ismail Kamal

When asked if the country’s first Mass Rapid Transit system would also use the advanced linear induction motor drive system, he said that they are also evaluating the technology.

Both of these system have proven their worth on the Kelana Jaya LRT line which operates a pre-programmed driverless system with a central command centre. The system eliminates the risk of driver error and fatigue, an important consideration when each eight-car trainset has the potential to carry nearly a thousand passengers.

 The linear-induction motor system comprise a set of magnets on the train coach and another set on the track itself, these two interact to provide propulsion for the trains.

By uncoiling the electric motor and placing half of the two interacting magnets on the track, the Kelana Jaya line rail cars are significantly lighter while allowing for more capacity to carry passengers.

The commission met the Media at a briefing session on Thursday to explain that the RM36.6 billion announced by the Prime Minister is for three MRT lines, the Kajgan Sungai Buloh alignment is the first of such lines.

It was also revealed that there plans to build a circular line to allow for faster movement of passengers within the city centre, The circle line will also improve the integration between existing rail lines, a feature which is sorely lacking in the current KL public transportation system.

It was also said that there plans to upgrade the KL Monorail system but its extremely lightweight nature presents severe volume limitations to any efforts to improve its ability to carry extra passengers.

Mohd Nur Ismail also said that the commission will reveal the final route and station positioning for public review sometime in March before opening the tender process in April.

He added that 20 per cent or about 10 kilometres of the Kajang-Sungai Buloh line will be underground, especially in the city centre.

Key interchange stations are Kajang and Sungai Buloh which connects to KTM Komuter stops while in the city, the system will connect with Kelana Jaya line at Pasar Seni and the Gombak line in Maluri.

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