PETALING JAYA: Rail link projects with Singapore seem to be gaining traction over the last nine months, with the latest progress being a second industry briefing held by MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd and the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
MyHSR Corp and LTA are speeding up the development pace for the proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project and called for a second industry briefing on Sept 26 that saw 200 industry participants from about 110 international organisations attended the event.
While they are predicted to partake in the Assets Company tender scheduled to be launched year-end, the emphasis is clear that the tender for the project will be executed in an open and fairly manner.
The 350-km HSR from Bandar Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur to Jurong East in Singapore, costing between RM50bil and RM66bil, will cut the journey time between the two capitals to a mere 90 minutes.
Further development in the HSR was also seen when MyHSR Corp and LTA called for firms specialising in ticketing and fare collection to be present at a discussion to be held here on Oct 9 to 10.
With about two months more to go for the multi-billion-ringgit project’s bidding process, further progress is also being seen in other rail link projects between the two nations.
The other project is the proposed Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) that was announced by the Malaysian and Singaporean governments seven years ago to provide an alternative to some 100,000 people who commute via the Malaysia-Singapore Causeway daily.
A project between Malaysia’s metro operator Prasarana Malaysia Bhd and Singapore-based SMRT Corp Ltd, the RTS is slated to begin passenger services by the end of 2024.
While it is expected to accommodate up to 10,000 passengers an hour in each direction between its terminus stations at Woodlands and Bukit Chagar, a September report indicated that the cost of the RTS would depend on the final alignment of the rail track. The Johor Ruler has said that he would advice on an alternative alignment for the rail track.
Once the RTS begins operations, the Tebrau train service managed by Malaysian railway operator KTMB will cease operations within six months. Reports have stated that the operating firm for the RTS Link will be directly appointed for the first concession period of 30 years.
Additionally, another rail link with the republic is the RM8.9bil Gemas-Johor Baru electrified double-tracking project (EDTP).
Just like all the other rail projects that are envisioned to provide a fresh source of construction jobs for local players, the EDTP was revived after it was put off for more than a decade.
Cutting the travelling time from Johor to Kuala Lumpur by almost half, the EDTP, which is slated for completion in four years, covers about 191.14 km.