ECRL freight, passenger services price structure most likely to be unveiled in 2026

KUALA LUMPUR: The price structure for the East Coast Rail Link's (ECRL) freight and passenger services will most likely be unveiled in 2026, says Malaysia Rail Link (MRL) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak.

Addressing senior media practitioners at the Concorde Hotel here Thursday (Nov 30) morning, he said as a regulated industry, ticket prices are subject to approval from the Land Public Transport Agency (Apad), among others.

"Ticket prices cannot be so high until many people cannot afford it. At the same time, it also cannot be too low until it poses a problem for express bus operators," said Darwis of the medium-speed passenger service capable of hitting 160kmph.

As for freight prices, due consideration will also be given to existing players in the ecosystem, such as truck-based freight operators, he told the media at the event organised by the Concorde Club, led by Star Media Group adviser and Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai.

The gathering is an informal group of editors and senior journalists who meet with politicians and key policymakers.

Elsewhere, Darwis also said that despite being about two per cent behind the timeline, overall work on ECRL that stretches from Kota Baru to Port Klang should be back on track by the end of the year.

"When beam launching work (for the elevated sections) for the project is on schedule, then we can be pretty confident that the entire project will be on time," said MRL project director, Noor Azlan Salleh, who accompanied Darwis at the talk.

The entire alignment of 665km features a mix of elevated, underground and at-grade (on ground level) parts, each posing its own challenge.

Track laying for ECRL will commence officially on Dec 11 near Kuantan, with the honours to be performed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, alongside Transport Minister, Anthony Loke, and the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia, Ouyang Yujing.

ECRL passenger services between Kota Baru and Gombak's Integrated Transport Terminal are expected to commence in early 2027.

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