Kuala Lumpur Monorail - a Photo
Page one of thirteen
another Monorail Society Exclusive!
In 2004, TMS President Kim Pedersen and TMS DVD Producer David M. Ice visited Malaysia's spectacular Kuala Lumpur Monorail. Pedersen believes the KL Monorail to be one of the world's best-looking urban monorails, a model for other cities contemplating elevated systems. Along with the photographs are descriptions and commentary by Pedersen. Photographs are by Kim Pedersen, except where noted. As always, photographs are copyright the Monorail Society. This monorail is prominently featured in our Monorails of Malaysia DVD.
OK, so it's just a building. Be patient, we'll get to the spectacular pictures soon enough. I have to show this building because it is of historical importance in monorail history. Hitachi was originally the builder of the monorail system for the City of Kuala Lumpur when the Asian financial crisis stopped the project in December of 1997. When the project was to start again, for monetary reasons the Malaysians decided to complete the project on their own. One problem though, no monorail manufacturers existed in the country. MTrans Holdings SDN BHD, a Malaysian transportation company, told the government that they could do the job, and employees went to work at a blistering pace. This is MTrans' manufacturing plant in Rawang. We had the pleasure of touring the plant, but because of some new things MTrans is working on behind these walls, we weren't allowed to photograph inside. (Update note: MTrans was acquired by Scomi Rail in 2007)
This is the original MTrans monorail prototype. Believe it or not, it was designed and fabricated within a three month period. It currently sits outside the MTrans manufacturing facility, where the weather is taking its toll on the exterior. I pointed out to our hosts that this is a historical vehicle, and that I hope that it will be preserved for that reason.
The Rawang plant has a large loop of monorail track that surrounds the facility. Extensive train testing takes place at the facility. Our thanks to Mohan Mervin Appana, General Manager, Monorail Vehicle Production, for giving us a tour of the plant.
This is a map of the Kuala Lumpur Monorail (purple line), as we visited it in 2004. Starting with Page Two, we will follow the line from KL Sentral at the south end, all the way to the north terminal. If you are a map fan, as I am, you might want to print the map out and have it handy as we show you different points along the way. Alrighty then, it's time to tour the KL Monorail!
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