Deputy minister sees uphill task in 527km rail track repairs

A train stranded after being submerged by flood waters near Gua Musang.

KUALA KRAI - It will be an uphill task to repair the 527km stretch of railway track between Gemas and Tumpat, which sustained severe damage in the floods recently, says Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi.

He said 79 spots along the track had been identified for repairs, which would take about a year to complete.

"Our initial focus will be the 62km stretch between Kuala Krai and Bertam Baru because many students use the train at this stretch. About three to six months will be needed to complete the repairs," he added.

He said the Government had allocated RM200 million (S$76 million) for repairs to the link.

The damage to the entire stretch is estimated to be at RM350 million.

"The students have been placed at school hostels and temporary shelters," he said.

"The damage is severe here and was caused by soil erosion and landslides due to the strong floodwaters," he told reporters after inspecting the railway track here yesterday.

Abdul Aziz said the repair work would begin next month.

KTM Bhd president Datuk Seri Elyas Kadir said the company had the expertise to fix the tracks.

"We have dealt with distorted tracks and soil erosion issues before. But the recent floods were the worst experience for us this time," he said.

Earlier, Abdul Aziz handed over donations in the form of including uniforms and shoes to 1,000 students from seven schools in Manek Urai here.

A total of 26 computers were also handed over to 13 schools in Kelantan at the event.