KUALA LUMPUR: A possible 600km East Coast railway line may be able to ferry passengers from Tumpat to Gombak in just under five hours.
The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said the planned East Coast Rail Link would likely pass Dungun and Kuantan before ending in the Klang Valley.
“Driving from Tumpat by car to KL takes about six to seven hours.
“Here (with the link) you’ll take about five hours,” SPAD chief executive Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah told selected reporters here.
He added that the train would likely have a travel speed of up to 200kph.
“It’s not high-speed rail ... but it’s faster than KTM trains,” said Azharuddin, adding that neither the project’s completion date nor its cost had been finalised yet.
SPAD and the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) Development Council previously came up with a market sensing exercise to find out what the interest was in this project.
Some 22 companies from three countries had shown interest in the project, said a SPAD official.
The line could also mean up to a 50% lower freight and passenger costs, SPAD information showed.
It is also expected to pass Bentong, Mentakab, Kuala Terengganu and Kota Baru.
SPAD is confident that the line can create an economic growth in the east coast, pushing its gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.0 to 1.5 percentage points.
Going forward, it is hoped that the ECER will enjoy an annual GDP growth rate of about 9% each year.
The line is expected to be 538.6km long, with another 61.5km to be used as possible cargo spur lines.
For information on the project, visit www.spad.gov.my/ecrl.