ECRL to be completed by end-2026, operational from January 2027

SEPANG: The Transport Ministry is confident that the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) will be completed on schedule in December 2026 and will be operational from January 2027, with a four-hour travel time between Kota Bharu and Kuala Lumpur compared with a seven-hour car journey.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook also reported a 64 per cent construction progress of the line as at March 2024 with the line traversing four states: Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Selangor.

"The ECRL project has entered a new construction phase since 2023 with infrastructure works to include the installation of flyover beams, track installation, and the construction of stations and railway depots,” he said at the Ramadan 2024 breaking of fast event with employees from the Transport Ministry and ECRL project stakeholders here today.

"There are more than 1,900 work sites and almost 650 are active along this 665-kilometre (km) national infrastructure project," Loke said.

Excavation works reached a depth of more than 8km of the 16.39-km long twin-bore Genting Tunnel using a combination of drill and blast method and tunnel boring machine.

"We expect to break through the Genting Tunnel in the second quarter of 2025, making it the longest rail tunnel in Asia," he said.

Loke said bridge works are also progressing well with the installation of viaduct beams for 155 bridges out of the total 219 as of February 2024.

He reported that installation works of the 92km track was completed end-February 2024, a month ahead of schedule.

The track-laying machine CCPG-500A, used for the first time in Malaysia’s rail industry, has started laying the track for the second phase between Kuantan Port and Maran in Pahang since March 9, Loke said.

"The second phase of the 97km works are expected to be completed in June 2024, after which track installation works can be carried out between the Dungun and Kota Bharu stretch.

"The electrification system will be installed as early as May this year in the Cherating Station area in Pahang, followed by locations where track installation has been completed," he added. - Bernama

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