Swot Analysis of Railway Transportation
1. 1 Study objective
- To fulfil the requirement of this module, Introduction to Land Transportation and Railways mode
- The objective of this study is concerned with identifying Analysis of Railways Transport.
- To gain extra knowledge on Land transportation that will help me now and in the future.
1. 2 Scope The first step concerns of introducing Land transport and Railways mode.
Second step is showing the Strength and Weakness Analysis of Railways then discuss in details on Strength and Weakness points.1. 3 Introduction We use various products in our daily life. But do we know where are they produced? Many of them are produced at different places far away from our locality. So how do we get them? These are carried on from all those places through rail, road or air and are made available to us at our locality.
You must have seen trucks, tempo, bullock carts; etc. Those would be carrying products and raw materials from a place to another. Similarly, you also must have seen people travelling from one place to another by buses, trains, cars, scooters, rickshaws, cycles, etc. This movement of goods and individuals is very important in business. Because of this, raw materials reach the place of manufacture, finished products reach the place of sale or consumption, individuals move around to manage the business, etc.
In this lesson, let us learn how goods and passengers move from one place to another.
2. 1 Mode of Transport Basically transport is possible through land, air or water, which is called the different modes of transport.
On land we use trucks, tractors, etc. , to carry goods; train, bus, cars etc. to carry passengers. In air, we find aeroplanes, helicopters to carry passengers as well as goods. Similarly in water we find ships, steamers, etc. , to carry goods and passengers.
All these are known as various means of transport. Let us discuss about various modes of transport. The modes of transport can be broadly divided into three categories: Land transport, Water transport and Air transport.
2. 2 Land Transport: Land transport refers to activities of physical movement of goods and passengers on land.
This movement takes place on road, rail, rope or pipe. So land transport may further be divided into Road transport, Rail transport, Ropeway transport, pipeline transport. Let us know the details about Rail Transport.
2. 3 Rail transport Transportation of goods and passengers on rail lines through trains is called rail transport. It occupies an important place in land transport system of our country and is the most dependable mode of transport to carry goods and passengers over a long distance.
Besides long distance, local transport of passengers is also provided by local trains or metro-rail in some metropolitan cities.
Rail transport is available throughout the country except some hilly or mountainous regions. In India two types of trains are found. One is passenger train and other is goods train. While passenger trains carry both human beings and a limited quantity of goods, the goods trains are exclusively used for carrying goods from one place to another.
These trains are driven by rail engines and they use steam, diesel or electric power to move. Let us now discuss the SWOT Analysis of Rail Transport. Figure 1: SWOT Analysis of Rail Transport
3. 1 SWOT Analysis of Rail Transport in Malaysia There is some strength, weakness, opportunities and threats have been found in the rail transport system of Malaysia. Malaysia main rail system was mange by Kereta Api Tanah Melayu Berhad since the 1940’s, the railway company manage a total of 1,699km of tracks in the Peninsular Malaysia. Below are the SWOT analyses for KTMB
1. 1 Strength
- Cheap The fares offer by KTMB are relatively low price, therefore it is affordable by the public in Kuala Lumpur. Fares from 1 station to another are below 5 Ringgit Malaysia, example Station Tasik Selatan to Mid Valley Station only cost about RM2. 40 for an adult.
- Eco-Friendly Since most of the train operated by Malaysian Railway was powered by overhead electric wire, no carbon emission was produce.
Therefore by using the train, air pollution was minimizes.
- Large Capacity Since train can be long by adding wagon or carriage and will have a huge capacity, it is possible to handle a large amount of freight transportation and also passengers to one place to another. In KTMB, trains are capable to handle large amount of cargoes and up to 300 passengers per trip.
- Long Distance Trains are design for either short or long distance of travelling. From one point to another, modern train can be faster than cars to reach a destination. Since KTMB has a long track of 1699km, it is easy for traveller from the north of Perlis to travel to the south of Johor with ease.
Thus without wasting time, effort and cost, traveller can relax by travelling on train.
- No Road Congestion Road congestion is a major issue in every city around the world, spending time on road congestion are often frustrating and waste of time. Since rail transport can travel on its single track without much obstacle, it is free from road congestion. Publics in Kuala Lumpur often take KTM Commuter to work as a mode of transport to avoid the heavy traffic in pick hours of Kuala Lumpur.
1. 2 Weakness
- Crowded Although train are free from road congestion, it is impossible for people to avoid the crowded situation in the carriage during peak hour. It is worst when the air-conditioning system was failing or the people around are sweating or dirty. In Malaysia, during the morning when people are reporting to work or schools, noon during lunch hour and evening when everyone is rushing home will be the worst time to be on board on a commuter train.
- Delays Rail transport can cover and reach many cities, therefore proper time management must be enforce to prevent delays or late arrivals. Unfortunately for KTMB, delays are the most common sight in their stations, sometimes it can delay up to an hour or more.
This delays often packing the station and also the carriage even more crowded, KTMB users often need to wait for few train to pass by before they even can get into a crowded train.
- High Maintenance Cost One of the weaknesses that can be found in every railway company will be the high maintenance cost. Railways Company has to spend a lot of cash during train overhaul, track maintenance, electric cable replacement and many more. While in the case of Malaysian Railway, cash was spend on maintenance of the track and refurbishment in most of their old carriers while importing for the new electrical train to arrive from Mitsubishi Electric and Rotem.
- Low Flexibility Train are design to run only on steel tracks, therefore the train destination and pit-stop are fixed reducing the flexibility of choice of destination. With the limited choice of destination it will be hard to fulfill the demands in certain areas.
Thus, it is important for the company to decide where to build a station to fulfil the demands and not building it for a waste. KTMB stations in certain area are old and sometimes too close to another station, worst the number of people getting down the station was less. While in certain areas the demand was high but the users might need to walk or take bus to reach the nearest station.
- Sound Pollution Sound was produce from the engines sound, the steel wheels running friction and also the horning sound. While the tracks for the train to run on were often near to the housing area, this often irritates the resident in the areas.
The track for KTM some were build just few meters away from their backyard, therefore the sound of every train pass by can be loud and annoying during rest hour.
3. 1. 3 Opportunity
- Development of Public Transport There’s huge area available for development in public transport in Malaysia. Public transport system in Malaysia are serving the public around an average score only, therefore, it is undeniable that rail transport can be prospect or to be a key saviour to improve and develop the public transport system.
For KTMB, it is under discussion of building a railway line for high performance bullet train to serve the public. With this, it will be an advantage for traveller from neighbouring country’s to reach Kuala Lumpur in a matter of hours.
- Advertisement Carriage or wagon often had spacing on the exterior available for paint works or advertising purposes. Therefore, by renting this spacing out to the market for business purpose will be an advantage to earn additional income for the company and reduce the time to time painting cost for the carriage or wagon. KTMB can rent out more spacing for advertising instead of just maintaining it with the yellow, blue and red colour.
- Social Services.
People with disability often had a hard time travelling with other mode of transport such as getting on a bus or a taxi. Therefore, with rail transport, Railway Company can design their station for disability friendly and prepare a special section for the disability to enter the train. KTMB can build slopes and blind guide’s floor for the local OKU in every station. The company can also employ a instructor on the ground to guide this people into the train.
- Increase Employment Rate Managing a railway company requires many workers to make it a success. Therefore, railway companies such as KTMB can employ people to manage the railway track, locomotive, power lines, scheduling of train and many more job placement.
- Technology Improvement Since technology around the world are improving, it can also help to improve the technology apply on the train. Train in some countries has started to run on magnet force. Therefore, it has a huge gap of technology in Malaysia to be improved. KTMB should start to change and improve their technology not only on tracks but also their station and ticketing system.
1. 4 Threat
- Losing Market Share. With the rise of air and sea transport industry, it is getting harder and harder for rail transport to gain a place in the market. This is because other mode of transportation is providing better services than rail. Therefore in order for KTMB to survive in the market of freight transportation, the company should provide more services such as delivering to door step and at the same to time for additional revenue.
- Political Interference Since rail transport is partly subsidized by the government on helm, the government will tend to interfere with the management of the firm. These delays some strategic decision of KTMB, such as what kind of train should be bought and when will it be bought. Thus, this limited the performance and improvement of KTMB.
- Changing Technology Change of technology can be a huge threat for the railway transport. The rapid improvement in the world of technology might be a disaster for some railway company as they are short of capital to follow up the trend of technology.
Slowing down of improvement will pay some price to the environment and customer. The technology use by KTMB is still falling behind other country railway system. Therefore, it is important for them to improve it as soon as possible before it irritates the consumer.
- Competition In urban areas, there are many other mode of public transport such as taxi and busses. It is a huge competition to stay on top of the others.
While in long distance travel competitors such as airlines and busses can be found too. Therefore, in order for KTMB to have a lead against others, it is important to improve their services in every aspect and also to improve their current technology.
- Private Transport Since the government are promoting their local made cars. It has become a trend for most of the household to have at least 2 cars and drive to work daily. Thus, this reduced the number of people using public transport and private transport is more flexible and more comfortable. Therefore, KTMB should build station in strategic places, control the number of people in a train and market the good’s of using a train.
4. 1 Conclusion As we apply this ‘SWOT’ conception Railways we see that there is a solid strength of Railways in itself as well as weaknesses of it. It has great opportunities in its circle as well as threats from other private sector efforts.