Malaysia to make rail decisions by Q1

WORTH RM35B: KL-Singapore bullet train and Gemas-Johor Baru double-tracking projects

THE government will decide by the first quarter of next year when the bullet train and the Gemas-Johor Baru electrified double tracking project (EDTP), with a combined worth of about RM35 billion, will be implemented, sources said.

Malaysia is planning to build a 300km high-speed rail (HSR) line linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore under a public-private partnership.

The project will cost about RM20 billion to RM25 billion.

The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is conducting a study on the HSR system, which it expects to complete by the end of this month. If feasible, SPAD will call for pre-qualification bids by mid-2013.SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Nur Kamal, when contacted, told Business Times that the study is ongoing.

Its chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar said recently that several states have expressed strong interest for the high-speed rail to pass through their land because of the economic spillover.

Besides Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, Malaysia is also studying the possibility of linking the HSR system to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and several cities in China.

Business Times reported that Tan Sri Ravindran Menon, who controls Skypark Terminal at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, has teamed up with UEM Group to vie for the HSR project linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

They plan to lay railway lines parallel to the North-South Expressway from Kuala Lumpur, Seremban and Malacca to Johor Baru, before connecting to Singapore.

The standard gauge railway network will beB2used, where the trains would run at 350 km/h.

Commuters using the trains could travel from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Baru in 80 minutes and to Singapore in 90 minutes, compared
to six hours by road, currently.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha recently said several options and alignments are being explored for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route.

He said the train could either run non-stop from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, or start from KL Sentral in Brickfields and have stops at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Seremban and beyond.

Meanwhile, the Gemas-Johor Baru EDTP will involve around 197km of parallel railway tracks.

Valued at an estimated RM8 billion, it includes building stations, depots, halts, yards and bridges and cover systems such as electrification, signalling and communications.

Read more: Malaysia to make rail decisions by Q1 http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/20121213002411/Article/index_html#ixzz2KkEyBeoR