Shanghai Maglev

Transport minister Dr Wee Ka Siong recently received a courtesy visit from representatives from the South Korean rail industry. Among them were EP Korea Railway and Maglev MKC. During the meeting, the minister was briefed on plans for a maglev train system for Putrajaya.

According to the minister’s Facebook post, the briefing was presented by EP Korea Railway’s senior managing director, Yoo Jai Tark. The minister also said that the Ministry of Transport will be holding further discussions with the Ministry of Federal Territories “soon” on developing the train system for the Putrajaya area. There will apparently be an emphasis on the way it will integrate with the other transportation systems already in the area.

Maglev train systems make use of magnetic levitation, hence the name, to not only push trains off the track surface, but also propel them forward. This tech conveys a number of benefits compared to traditional rail systems, key among which are the lowered maintenance cost due to having less moving parts. In turn, this potentially leads to better energy efficiency at higher speeds due to not having to deal with rolling resistance. This also leads to faster acceleration and deceleration, as well as emitting less noise associated with either process.

Series L0 Chuo Shinkansen
Source: Saruno Hirobano / Wikimedia Commons.

On the flip side, construction costs for maglev track are generally a lot higher. This would in turn mean higher prices for commercial passengers.

Also present for the courtesy visit were representatives from Hyundai Corp, Hyundai Rotem and Maglev MKC, as well as KTM Berhad and the Ministry of Transport’s Director-General for Rail. Wee goes on to say that KTM Berhad “has had a long fruitful relationship with Hyundai Rotem” as the former is still using the latter’s Class 83 and 91 trains. He also mentions that KTMB currently has staff undergoing training in South Korea, and that the Ministry of Transport is looking to collaborate and work with the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI).

(Source: Wee Ka Siong / Facebook)

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