CRIE, MESB and CRRC discuss collaboration on locomotive conversion project

From left: Hoo, Dr Lee, Kartayasa, Dr Chua, Wang, Sun, Zhou and Lam

A meeting was held between the representatives of UTAR Centre for Railway Infrastructure and Engineering (CRIE), Majestic Engineering Sdn Bhd (MESB) and CRRC Railway Vehicles (M) Sdn Bhd on 23 March 2023 to discuss collaboration on a new locomotive conversion project, which involves retrofitting diesel locomotives to battery-operated locomotives. The discussion centred around the potential benefits that this project could bring to local railway development besides reducing carbon footprint.

Representing UTAR at the meeting were CRIE Chairperson Assoc Prof Ir Dr Chua Kein Huat, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) academic Dr Lee Yong Hong and Hoo Dick Sang. Also present were MESB Chief Technical Officer Kartayasa Muhammad, and CRRC Corporation Limited (CRRC) representatives Wang Gang, Sun Xiaochen, Richard Chou and Eric Lam.

During the meeting, representatives from MESB and CRRC disclosed that the retrofitting project will concentrate on converting current diesel locomotives to battery-powered locomotives to expand their lifespan and decrease the necessity for new locomotives. This initiative will not only result in cost savings, but also have a positive impact on the environment by reducing carbon emissions associated with railway transportation.

CRRC, a global leader in railway transportation equipment manufacturing, showed a strong interest to explore the retrofitting of diesel locomotives to battery-operated locomotives. According to CRRC, this initiative is part of a wider effort to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable development in the railway industry.

In support of this project initiative, KTM Berhad (KTMB) has also agreed to provide a diesel locomotive as a test bed for this project.

The collaboration between CRIE, MESB, KTMB and CRRC is expected to result in the creation of a new generation of battery-powered locomotives that are more efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective than their diesel counterparts. The adoption of battery-powered locomotives would also contribute to mitigating noise and air pollution caused by conventional diesel trains. This initiative would mark a milestone in Malaysia as the country’s first foray into battery-powered locomotives.

Overall, the collaboration is poised to make a significant contribution to the development of the local railway system and the reduction of carbon emissions. By fostering a more sustainable and efficient transportation system, the collaboration is expected to have a far-reaching impact on the environment and the community. Furthermore, this project is set to serve as a model for other railway operators seeking to reduce carbon footprint and promote sustainable development.

To further enhance this collaboration, UTAR is scheduled to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MESB in May this year.

Ongoing discussion between all parties


Zhou presenting his ideas


Dr Chua (most left) sharing his thoughts and opinions

Dr Chua (left) presenting a token of appreciation to Wang

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