Essay: Feasibility of a monorail, light rail transport or electric train in the greater Kuching area


This research is authorized by xxx Safety Manager under the Ministry of Transport xxx. The purpose of this research is to research the feasibility of a monorail, light rail transport or electric train in the greater Kuching area.

2. Significance and Relevance of the Study

This research is important as Malaysia aims to be an industrial country by the year 2020 and in line with the aim to develop SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy). SCORE main goals is to achieve high income state and can compete with states in the Peninsular Malaysia (What is SCORE? 2015). This research will show the perfect public transportation that can be used in Sarawak that can satisfied all the people of Sarawak and suitable for SCORE.

3. Research Question
The research questions of the study are:

a) What is the people’s view at monorail, light rail transport or electric train for the public transportation in the greater Kuching area?

b) What is the benefits and disadvantage that can be obtained from monorail, light rail transport or electric train in the greater Kuching area?

c) What factors that affect people with their choices on using public transportation?
4. Methodology and Scope of the Study

This research was gained from two sources which is primary and secondary sources. For primary sources, 50 questionnaires will be distributed to the public around Kuching city. There are no age limit to fill up the questionnaires. Then, interviews also will be conducted to two potential people who is within from the general public that have experiences or knowledge about using public transportation. For secondary sources, article from database, websites and books will also be used.

There are some limitations to this research. First, the time given to complete this research is only 9 weeks. Other than that, this research also only conducted within Kuching city. Lastly, there is only one person conducting this research.

5. Literature Review

5.1 Monorail

The name monorail came from the word ‘mono’ means ‘one’. This is because, monorail only use single rail system to work (Dawson 2011). According to Dawson (2011) monorail usually are elevated from the ground to avoid traffic jam and the crowd. There are few types of monorail. Straddle-type monorail is a common type monorail and was built for most places. The straddle-type monorail will run on the rail. Next is suspended-type monorail. This type of monorail have its train hanging and supported from the top. Other than that, there is magnetic levitation monorail or known best as maglev. Maglev levitate the train and the train will hover over the track. This is fastest type of monorail.

There are some benefits of monorail. Compared to light rail transport and electric train, monorail is the fastest. The fastest monorail can travel by 279 miles per hour. Other than that, monorail is a quiet rail system. It does not produce too much sound and will not disturb the daily life of people around it. Monorail system is also a safe type of transportation. The fact that it is elevated from the ground makes it run without have any interference from the traffic. So, it will not have accidents with any grounds vehicles such as cars and buses.

There are also disadvantages of monorail. First, monorail only cover small distance. That was the reason it only available around the cities because it cannot go outside from the cities. Then, cost of constructing monorail is too high. Monorail’s track need to be elevated and require more money to build than normal train track.

5.2 Light Rail Transport

Light rail transport is a rail system that run on dual rail. It is a combined form of the urban tram and conventional train (De Brujin & Veeneman 2009). Light rail transport has larger design than the tram but is lighter than the conventional train (De Brujin & Veeneman 2009). According to De Brujin & Veeneman (2009), it is also have lighter engine that will make the operation more efficient. This rail system is famous and widely used especially in Europe. Light rail transport can be found in few types such as the tram- train. Tram- train is a train that can run on both rail track and tram track. Other than that, it is interurban, means joining nearest cities together.

There are advantages of light rail transport. Light rail transport is suited for distance between 10km to 40km (De Brujin & Veeneman 2009). This is suitable for cities that currently developing as there will be a lot of people will use public transport. Furthermore, the cost for both operating and constructing light rail transport is lower than other rail system (De Brujin & Veeneman 2009). People from all kind of background including students can use this light rail transport because it is affordable and does not give extra burden to people. Light rail transport can add more train freight with it. This means that, the capacity of the train increase and can carry more passengers. Next, light rail transport can attract people to live near the station. This was because people want to live as near as possible to the station so that they can use it easily (Elder 2012, p.2).

Light rail transport also have some limitations. Light rail transport run on ground. Therefore, it may disturb the traffic and will cause traffic jam. Next, if one of the train within the light rail transport is broken, the whole train will not function.

5.3 Electric Train

Electric train is another rail system that commonly used. Electric train use electricity to work. Some of it also use battery or fuel cell to work. It is one of the oldest and earliest rail system used in the history.

There are advantages of electric train such as electric train has longer train. Thus, there are more capacity in the train and more people can travel in the same train. Other than that, electric train can cover very large distance. Compared to light rail transport and monorail, electric train is the most suitable transportation to have long distance journey. Next, electric train has lower maintenance costs. So, electric train can be ensured to maintain its performance to the highest.

Electric train have some weakness. First, it consume too much electricity. The company that own the electric train will need to prepare a lot of money to pay for the electric bill. Other than that, electric train is slowest compared to monorail and light rail transport. The speed for normal electric train is 120 miles per hour. Next, there is danger of electrocution. Electric train have high voltage cable that make people will have the chance of being electrocuted. According to Turvill (2014), Kanwal Butt was dead because of being electrocuted by the live rail.

6. Cost

Table below shows the estimated expenditure for the entire research.

Item Cost (RM)
Transportation fare to conduct interviews and doing survey 30
Photocopy and printing for the questionnaires and report 15
Stationary used for the entire research 5
Phone calls used 10
Binding the research report 5
Total 65

Table 1: Estimated Cost of Research

7. Duration of the Research
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9
Stages 30 March 6 April 13 April 20 April 27 April 4 May 11 May 18 May 25 May
Collecting sources for research proposal
Writing literature review for research proposal
Final editing and printing the research proposal
Design questionnaires
Prepare questions for the interview
Distributing the questionnaires
Analyse data from the questionnaires
Setting out appointment for interview
Conducting interview
Analyse data from the interview
Write front and end matter
Final editing and printing the research report
Chart below shows the duration for conducting the research.

Chart 1: Gantt chart of research

8. Qualifications

The person that involved with this research is Nobert Francis. He graduated and received his Bachelor of Transportation Management from University of Sydney in 2001. After graduating from university, he was offered a job at McFlant Co. Sydney as Professional Transportation Planner for 7 years. He is currently working under Ministry of Transport Malaysia and have been contributed a lot of ideas on how to improve the transportation system in Malaysia. Nobert have published a book ‘Better for All’, that mainly focus on how future transportation system may affect the life of people. The book was well-known worldwide and received very positive comment. He also have very good charisma and good in leading people in his group to use their potential to the fullest.

Source: Essay UK -

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