KLIA Transit: KL Sentral to klia2 by New CRRC Changchun Equator EMU

The KLIA Transit is a commuter rail service operated by Express Rail Link running between KL Sentral and klia2, serving all stations in between including Bandar Tasik Selatan, Putrajaya & Cyberjaya, Salak Tinggi and KLIA.

On 13 March 2018, the second generation of trains on the Express Rail Link, the CRRC Changchun Equator EMU, were launched on both KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit services, increasing the frequency of KLIA Transit services from 20 minutes to 15 minutes during weekday peak hours. 4 sets of KLIA Transit Equator EMUs and 2 sets of KLIA Ekspres Equator EMUs were ordered in total. The name Equator EMU is inspired by the fact that “Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is located near the equator”.

The new Equator EMUs are nowadays only seen on KLIA Transit services, possibly due to the fact that the two sets for KLIA Ekspres services do not have luggage compartments, restricting the capacity of the In-Town Check-In service at KL Sentral.

The overall interior of the new KLIA Transit CRRC Changchun Equator EMU.

The new KLIA Transit CRRC Changchun Equator EMU offers a rather comfortable standing space with three-way grab poles and hand grips in the middle along with handles on the side of each individual seat as compared with the Siemens Desiro ET 425 M first-generation EMUs with stanchion poles in front of handles on each individual seat. Also, the single seats face evenly in both directions in a single area as compared with the Siemens Desiro ET 425 M EMU.

The new hand grips installed on the middle grab bar row.

The door on the new CRRC Changchun Equator EMU is reminiscent of the Siemens Desiro ET 425 M counterpart.

The door operation and button design is also almost exactly the same as the Siemens Desiro ET 425 M EMU.

The route map of the KLIA Transit route on the new CRRC Changchun Equator EMU.

The pair seats can be found at the ends of each coach.

No more HSR to Singapore for now, but it seems that the TRX Signature Tower The Exchange 106 (oops, name change) still stands.

Each alternate pair seat has a 3-pin power socket located below the seat.

The single seats in the middle of the car.

The overall interior of the new KLIA Transit CRRC Changchun Equator EMU.

The CRRC Changchun builder plate is located at the gangway.

The information screens on the CRRC Changchun Equator EMUs are bigger than the Siemens Desiro ones.

The centralized position also offers a good view for all passengers, standing or sitting anywhere on the train.

Making a brief stop at Putrajaya & Cyberjaya.

Passing by the Express Rail Link Depot at Salak Tinggi.

Two KLIA Ekspres CRRC Changchun Equator EMUs were resting in the depot, one inside the workshop and one outside, which means there were no new KLIA Ekspres CRRC Changchun Equator EMU running on the day of my visit.

Two KLIA Transit CRRC Changchun Equator EMUs were resting in the depot, parked outside. The KLIA Transit service was formed of two KLIA Ekspres CRRC Changchun Equator EMUs and one Siemens Desiro ET 425 M EMU on the day of my visit.

Approaching KLIA.

The refraction on the new glass windows on the CRRC Changchun Equator EMU does not make for good shots when taken from the side.

Passing by the old KLIA Transit platforms at KLIA when trains used to terminate here.

Making a brief stop at KLIA.

A significant number of inter-terminal transferring passengers boarded the train at KLIA to get to klia2.

Approaching klia2.

Arrived at klia2 with the new KLIA Transit CRRC Changchun Equator EMU.

The train’s destination will be stated on the exterior LED destination sign.

I did not have high expectations of this train, but overall, I would say based on passenger comfort, the new KLIA Transit CRRC Changchun Equator EMU is similar to if not on par with the existing Siemens Desiro ET 425 M EMU. The ride was smooth and quiet, the seats were sufficiently comfortable and the TV and announcement sound quality was good.

If there’s one criticism, I would say that the seat would get easily dirty (and some already are) with the plain, light coloured fabric as compared with the patterned design on the KLIA Ekspres Siemens Desiro ET 425 M EMU.

But nonetheless, a good product. Hopefully, with these additional 4 trains, KLIA Transit services can be increased to perhaps 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day for added convenience when travelling to Putrajaya and KLIA as the low 30-minute frequency timetables wouldn’t have to be memorized anymore (or maybe it’s just me who’s memorizing it).

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