Commuters from the Ampang and Sentul Timur LRT stations have always had the freedom to travel to and fro without interchanging at any stations, but the extension of the Sri Petaling LRT line meant that the merging system had to cease on 17th July.
Those who wanted to travel between the 2 stations had to switch trains at the often congested Chan Sow Lin station, but not anymore. According to Bernama, from today (Thursday, 1st December) onwards, you can travel directly to Ampang from Sentul Timur, or vice versa, without going through the hassle of changing rides. This is made possible due to an upgrade in the signalling system.
The system, which is technically named the Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC), will be put to use for the entire Ampang and Sri Petaling Line fleet of trains. The new 6-car AMY trains, which are currently in use for the Sri Petaling Line, will also be introduced to the Ampang line, and the older Adtranz trains will be decommissioned.
Rapid Rail, the operator of the LRT lines, have also acquired 50 new trains from CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive, China, and the entire fleet will be commissioned to service the Ampang and Sri Petaling LRT lines in stages in the coming months. However, for the moment, commuters will notice a drop in the frequency of trains, as well as an increase in the waiting time in between arrivals.
During the period from 17th July until 30th November, auxiliary police personnel and Rapid KL staff have been regularly stationed at the Chan Sow Lin station to facilitate the crowd during peak hours in the morning and evening, but the introduction of the direct travel means that commuters will have a smoother ride.