Anwar and Li attend Gombak ECRL station groundbreaking ceremony


KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and China’s visiting Premier Li Qiang appeared together in a significant display of bilateral cooperation to officiate the groundbreaking ceremony for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) Gombak Integrated Terminal station.

Wednesday’s (June 19) ceremony paves the way for the scheduled completion of the ECRL alignment from Kota Baru, Kelantan to the Gombak Integrated Terminal in Selangor in December 2026.

Located on an 8.73ha site positioned at the edge of the Gombak Selangor Quartz Ridge, the longest quartz formation in the world, the ECRL station is also expected to link with the existing Gombak LRT station to facilitate connectivity via the LRT Kelana Jaya Line, according to a statement by Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL).

"The ECRL alignment between Gombak and Port Klang is expected to be completed by December 2027,” the statement added.

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The station, built for passenger use, will feature an elevated platform and a range of facilities such as a car park, pick-up and drop-off area, covered walkways, staff quarters, and landscaped areas.

The groundbreaking ceremony was part of the itinerary for Li’s three-day official visit to Malaysia in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.

Also present were Transport Minister Anthony Loke, MRL chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing, China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) chairman Wang Tongzhou and a host of ministers and senior government officials from Malaysia and China.

Loke said the ECRL will optimise connectivity for passengers and freight between the east and west coasts of Peninsular Malaysia when operational.

"We anticipate the ECRL to drive the shift of cargo movements from road to rail which is a safe alternative mode of transportation for long distances as well as being environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

"The ministry is also exploring the possibility of extending the ECRL alignment to tap into Thailand’s rail network, paving the way for the ECRL to be part of the Pan-Asian rail network that can link Malaysia with China, realising the vision of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” the minister was quoted as saying in the MRL statement.

The 665km ECRL will feature 20 stations comprising 10 passenger-only stations and another 10 stations combining passengers and freight. – Bernama

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