KL-Singapore HSR Project Malaysia Station

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR), targeted for completion in 2026, has been described as a “game-changer” that will shorten travel time to only 90 minutes.

Comprising KL-Singapore HSR seven stations, six of which are in Malaysia, the HSR has been touted as a catalyst for the four states where the rail cuts across – Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor – as well as the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

The Singapore terminus will be in Jurong East.

The state-of-the-art architectural concepts unveiled for the Malaysian stations have been impressive but beyond the facade, competing arguments over the direction of the HSR have emerged.

The question, in particular, concerns why several KL-Singapore HSR stations are set to be built in places which critics have described as “in the middle of nowhere”.

The KL-Singapore High Speed Rail Seremban station, for instance, will be located in the middle of an oil palm plantation in Labu, 16km away from the Seremban town centre, but right at the heart of Sime Darby’s upcoming Malaysian Vision Valley (MVV) development.

However, MyHSR Corporation, which oversees the rail development, believes it has a good explanation.

Here, Malaysiakini compiles information on the six Malaysian stations to provide context to readers about the issue at hand and also the views for and against the KL-Singapore HSR’s current developmental direction.

Station 1: Bandar Malaysia
Proposed location: Bandar Malaysia, Sungai Besi

Around five to six kilometres from the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) and KL Sentral, this KL-Singapore HSR terminus is perhaps the only Malaysian station that makes immediate strategic sense from a geographical point of view.

It will be constructed on the land of the former Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) airport in Sungai Besi, which has been earmarked for the Bandar Malaysia integrated development.

Once completed, Bandar Malaysia will not only host the KL-Singapore HSR station but also stations for the MRT2 (Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line), MRT3 (Circle Line), KTM and Express Rail Link (ELR). It will also have easy access to some 12 highways.

Station 2 – Bangi-Putrajaya
Proposed location: Kampung Dato Abu Bakar Baginda, Kajang

This KL-Singapore High Speed Rail station was initially called Putrajaya but was subsequently renamed Bangi-Putrajaya, for obvious reasons – it will not be in Putrajaya.

Kampung Dato Abu Bakar Baginda, an urbanising Malay village, has its address in Kajang. However, it does sit between Putrajaya and Bangi.

It is at the fringes of the federal administrative capital (9km) and more accessible to the growing township of Bandar Baru Bangi (7km).

Bandar Baru Bangi has been dubbed Malaysia’s “Knowledge City” as it is home to 20 tertiary institutions, including Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten), and Open University Malaysia (OUM).

A new mini-township by developers Mah Sing, called “Southville City”, is being built about 7km from the proposed station location.

As there is no other rail network connected to Kampung Dato Abu Bakar Baginda, this means that anyone wanting to get to the Bangi-Putrajaya station will need to rely on private vehicles, buses or taxis, which can potentially increase travel time.

Station 3 – Seremban
Proposed location: Labu

Despite its name, the KL-Singapore HSR station will not be in Seremban. It will instead be in Labu, 16km southeast of the Negeri Sembilan capital.

Labu, which is a small town surrounded by green fields and oil palm plantations, has been earmarked as the location for the first phase of the Malaysian Vision Valley (MVV), an integrated economic development area that was announced in Budget 2016.

MVV, to be spearheaded by conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd’s property arm, the 30-year project encompasses developments on Sime Darby’s land banks in the region. Some 1.38 million jobs are projected to be generated.

However, the KL-Singapore HSR station is expected to be ready in less than 10 years.

Station 4 – Malacca
Proposed location: Durian Tunggal, Alor Gajah

This KL-Singapore High Speed Rail station was initially named Ayer Keroh before it was changed to Malacca.

However, the actual site, in Durian Tunggal, is 16km away from the Malacca town centre.

Once considered to be a more rural part of Malacca, Durian Tunggal has seen increasing development.

At present, both the Ayer Keroh toll plaza and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (Utem) are nearby, and numerous residential projects are being built in Durian Tunggal, though none on the scale of the above-mentioned megaprojects.

Malacca Chief Minister Idris Haron has announced various developments, including a car park, business districts and guest houses near the site of the station.

Station 5 – Muar
Location: Pagoh, Muar

The KL-Singapore High Speed Rail Muar station is the first of the three KL-Singapore HSR stations planned for Johor.

Despite the station’s name, its location in Pagoh is actually 25km away from Muar’s population centre.

The station is located at the doorstep of a new township called Bandar Universiti Pagoh, also built by Sime Darby.

Touted as the “first township in Malaysia to be seamlessly integrated with a higher education hub”, the development comprises three universities, a student village, a business park, commercial areas and residential areas.

Station 6 – Batu Pahat
Location: Genting Pura Kencana, Sri Gading

The KL-Singapore High Speed Rail Batu Pahat station will be built within the township of Genting Pura Kencana in Sri Gading, 11km away from the present Batu Pahat town centre.

A project launched by Genting Plantations Bhd in 2006, Pura Kencana spans 8,000 acres and will comprise residential areas, shopping centres, schools, various public amenities and an RM14 million clubhouse.

Station 7 – Iskandar Puteri
Location: Gerbang Nusajaya, Gelang Patah

While the exact location of the last Malaysian KL-Singapore HSR stop has yet to be announced, what is known is that it will be built within the Gerbang Nusajaya parcel of the Iskandar Development Region, along with two technological parks and a motorsports city.

This puts it about 26km away from the Johor Bahru city centre.

However, it is only around nine kilometres from Gelang Patah town, which has grown rapidly in the last decade.

Are there any more stations?

Maybe. It was reported that Country Garden Pacific View, which is building the luxury Forest City township in Johor, has lobbied for the alignment of the KL-Singapore HSR to be diverted to their development before it enters Singapore.

No decisions have been made but the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) is at present weighing the proposal.

Why are so many stations being built far away from existing town centres?

For MyHSR Corporation, the keyword is “future” instead of “existing”.

According to MyHSR chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal, station locations were decided based on whether they would spur future development and create future townships.

There is also the consideration of keeping the HSR track alignment in a straight line and keeping private land acquisition to a minimum.

Sounds reasonable. Why are critics complaining?

Critics argue that having the KL-Singapore HSR to bank on future townships instead of existing ones poses risks as new townships, which are the KL-Singapore HSR’s immediate catchment target, will take decades for the populations to grow to a viable size.

One such critic is DAP parliamentary researcher Chung Yi Fan, who said an example is Putrajaya.

“If you look at the past 20 years, the only city that has grown from scratch to become a sizeable population centre is Putrajaya, which has about 90,000 people today.

“And that is after the government has thrown every resource it has into developing it into the country’s administrative capital.

“You can’t support an KL-Singapore HSR station when the surrounding population size is less than 100,000,” Chung said.

People like Chung advocate for the KL-Singapore HSR to be built nearer to well-established population centres, which can help rejuvenate existing towns.

How is MyHSR planning to overcome these risks and shortcomings?

While focusing on future developments, MyHSR also indicated that it plans to ensure existing townships will also be well connected to the stations through other public transportation.

MyHSR said it is working with Spad to ensure multi-modal connectivity for all stations, which will include feeder buses to ferry passengers to and from surrounding towns.

Who stands to benefit from this “future development-centric” approach?

Plantation companies that own large swathes of lands where the stations will be built on are said to be the biggest beneficiaries from the endeavour.

Equity research firm CIMB Research forecasts that among these companies will be Sime Darby, Genting Plantations and Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK).

“They each have their own property arm to develop the land but could selectively sell some of these lands to unlock value. This could boost near-term earnings via land sale gains,” CIMB Research said in a 2016 report.

Sime Darby owns the land where the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail Seremban and Muar stations will be built while Genting Plantations owns the tract of land where the KL-Singapore HSR Batu Pahat station is planned to be.

KLK has a 60 percent stake in developing the Iskandar Development Region, where the Iskandar Puteri station will be located.

The geographic location of the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail stations aside, the sites are also expected to benefit construction companies that will be able to fill their order books for years to come from projects linked to the KL-Singapore HSR, as seen in the current MRT and LRT projects.

For commuters, the KL-Singapore HSR trains, which can run at up to 320km/hour, will not only slash travel time between the Klang Valley and Singapore but also improve connectivity within the west coast states of the peninsula.

However, the price point of the tickets, which has yet to be unveiled, will be an important factor on whether it will be a viable option for commuters.

 

Source: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/400125

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Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit BRT Johor

ISKANDAR PUTERI (7 October, 2017): The newly-launched Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system will serve as the backbone of the public transportation infrastructure in Iskandar Malaysia over the next 20 years.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said BRT Johor is a high quality bus-based transit system which would provide reliable, comfortable and cost-effective services.

BRT is a transit system that uses dedicated busways with modern and universal access stations, integrated pedestrian access, rapid boarding, high service frequency and coverage of major catchment areas.

“With the expected population and economic growth as well as increased job opportunities, I am confident that the BRT Johor would become a catalyst for Iskandar Malaysia to be more competitive globally, and on par with other developed countries,” said Najib at the launch of the Progressive Johor Expo in Kota Iskandar, here today.

The Iskandar Malaysia BRT system will be developed at a cost of RM2.56 billion with the Federal government providing RM1 billion of the funds, while the remaining funds is coming from a public-private partnership initiative.

“I was informed that the Johor BRT will have elements of light rail transit or metro, which would make it quicker than regular bus services.

“We will ensure that the BRT system would be linked to the Rail Transit System (RTS), the High Speed Rail (HSR) and intercity bus service,” said Najib at the project launch today.

The system, to be developed by Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) and the state government, is expected to be operational by 2021 and will cover 90 per cent of Iskandar Malaysia. It will have a route spanning 51 km in length with 39 stations, the longest and most comprehensive BRT project by far.

The Iskandar Malaysia BRT was among four initiatives announced by Najib at the launch of the expo.

The other three initiatives were the Johor Skills Development Master Plan; Johor Sustainability Policy; and four People’s Housing Programme (PPR) projects that include RM360mil in development expenditure (DE) to build 2,380 affordable homes by 2020.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said the Johor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project was expected take off by next year and involves three phases, with the first scheduled for completion by 2020.

“We (IRDA) have not finalised the cost because we need time to prepare the working paper including on the financing module and engineering aspects.

“Right now we have received the green light from the government to proceed with the Johor  BRT project and prepare the proposal to the parties interested in developing the system,” he told reporters.

Ismail said the cost of the Iskandar Malaysia BRT here would be five to 10 times less than a Mass Rapid Transit system or monorail.

He said the Bus Rapid Transit BRT system here was based on some of the best existing models being used in Brisbane in Australia and other cities in Europe and the Asia Pacific.

Malaysia, Singapore sign landmark Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) agreement

PUTRAJAYA (13 Dec, 2016): Malaysia and Singapore have signed the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) bilateral agreement that will cut travel time between both countries to just 90 minutes.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the signing of the landmark deal during the 7th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat here on Tuesday.

Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) bilateral agreement agreement was signed at 5.15pm between Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan and Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also witnessed the signing ceremony.

Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) bilateral agreement signing

Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) bilateral agreement signing.  Photo credit: The Star         

The document is a follow-up to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by both countries on July 19, and outlines further plans and details for the development of the expansive rail project.

Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) service is targeted to be up and running by 2026 and will cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to just 90 minutes, with trains designed to reach maximum speeds of 300km per hour.

The rail line will stretch 350km, with 335km in Malaysia starting from Bandar Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur and 15km in Singapore, ending at Jurong East.

Apart from reducing travel time between the countries to just 90 minutes, the spillover effects from the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project also include enhancing business ties and improving people-to-people relations.

The signing of the agreement is a culmination of intensive bilateral discussions since the 2013 Leaders’ Retreat, and furthers the good progress made by both countries since a memorandum of understanding was signed in July, the PMO statement said.

“It also demonstrates the two governments’ commitment to the project, which will boost connectivity, strengthen economic ties and enhance people-to-people linkages when completed,” the statement added.

It will have six transit stations in Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri.

Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project will be administered by MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd, which has been incorporated as a company wholly-owned by Malaysia’s Finance Ministry.

According to MyHSR, bids for the tender to build the line will be evaluated at the end of 2018.

Tender documents for the systems package – for the actual rail track and train carriages – will be issued at the end of next year, said MyHSR chief executive Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal last week.

Three services will run along the eight-station, dual-track line.

There will be an express service between the two terminal stations – Jurong East in Singapore and Bandar Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur; a shorter shuttle service will connect Singapore and Iskandar Puteri in Johor; and a domestic service will link the seven stations in Malaysia.

The customs, immigration and quarantine facilities for the railway will be co-located at three stops which are Singapore, Iskandar Puteri in Johor and Bandar Malaysia in KL.

International-bound travellers will need to clear immigration and Customs only when departing the respective countries.

Several countries are currently bidding for the project including Japan, China and South Korea.

Najib, in a press conference later, said that the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project was “commercially viable” and would not face any funding problems.

“This HSR project is commercially viable. I think that’s the key to it. Once it is commercially viable, then we will be able to get long-term financing for this project.

“We do not envisage problems in getting long term financing. In fact, those who want to participate in this project can make available certain financial arrangements for us to consider as part of their package. So, that will something that can be resolved,” he said.

Najib, who is also the finance minister, said both parties were committed in meeting the 2026 deadline, despite the mammoth size of the project.

“It’s about 10 years, but as you know, the size of this project, the complexity of this project, 10 years is a relatively short period of time, which means we have to work very closely together,” Najib stressed.

Lee meanwhile said he was optimistic to have his first HSR train ride to Putrajaya in a decade when the project is completed.

“This is a significant milestone in our relationship. This will transform the way we interact, socialise and do businesses.

“It is a complex project and we are making long term commitments, but there is political will on both sides. I’m looking to take my first train ride to Putrajaya in 10 years,” he said with a laugh.

Addressing security concerns, Lee said the Malaysian-Singapore border was among the “busiest international borders in the world” and both parties can’t just shut their doors.

“We cannot close our borders because of security. We must make the borders more secure. It is the busiest international border in the world,” he said.

The Singaporean leader also urged for closer ties between border agencies to ensure that security is prioritised while making it comfortable for travel.

“We want to make quite sure that it is safe, secure and convenient for customers. That means there must be trust and understanding and mutual agreement from both sides.

“We need this for both HSR and RTS and we will make it work,” Lee said, referring to the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project, in which Malaysia’s Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) service will be extended to connect with Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system to reduce traffic.

Earlier in the afternoon, Najib and Lee held a four-eyed meeting followed by a delegation meeting as part of the leaders’ retreat.

The Annual Leaders’ Retreat is an annual event hosted rotationally between Malaysia and Singapore.

The inaugural Leaders’ Retreat was held in May 2007 in Langkawi, Malaysia, and has since been a forum for both countries to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.

In 2015, Singapore was Malaysia’s second largest trading partner globally. Last year, total trade between the two countries was recorded at US$59.5 billion (RM190.6 billion).

Also present were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa as well as other ministers and senior government officials from both countries.

Forest City Johor has great potential

GELANG PATAH: The mammoth Forest City project has attracted investments totalling RM10bil so far and is propelling the economy and creating jobs, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said the Forest City Johor project was not just about property development but involved other positive aspects to it.

“This project is generating the economy and creating jobs, including helping with tourism,” said Najib.

Forest City Johor development would also be a boon for the manufacturing, high tech, services and financial sectors.

“This project has a huge potential,” he said, adding that to date it had also sold 11,000 houses.

Najib was speaking to reporters after a two-day visit to Johor to check on the progress of various projects in the state.

At the forest city, Najib witnessed the signing ceremony between Forest City and 36 other companies before the grand opening of Phoenix Hotel.

Country Garden Pacificview (CGPV) executive director Datuk Md Othman Yusof said the mixed development project was expected to contribute some RM66bil in tax revenue to the country over the next 20 years.

He added that many industries were flocking to Forest City Johor which was expected to contribute RM1.98 trillion to the country’s GDP.

Forest City Johor is gaining momentum due to its local, regional and global positioning and with a total cumulative investment of US$100bil (RM444bil) will attract returns of sufficient proportion.

Forest City Johor

Forest City Johor

“It is expected that Forest City Johor will contribute tax revenue of about RM66bil to the Government over a period of 20 years,” Md Othman said during the signing of strategic initiatives ceremony and grand opening of Phoenix Hotel here yesterday.

The synergic partners are organisations from industries such as medical and healthcare, education and training, tourism, financial services, manufacturing, emerging technologies, smart city as well as green building.

The collaborations include seven companies listed under Fortune 500: Huawei, Cisco, Accen­ture, Midea, China Construction Steel Structure Corporation, Deutsche Bank (Asia Pacific) and Bank of China (Malaysia).

“This will cumulatively garner Forest City Johor into becoming an economic hub complementing Iskandar Malaysia which will drive new business activities into the sustainable township,” said Md Othman.

He also noted that the completion of the Phoenix Hotel Country Garden spelled good news for locals, as there would be job opportunities in the services sector, besides spurring tourism.

Md Othman said Phoenix Hotel Country Garden, located on a 1.71ha plot of land on one of the four man-made islands, was among 50 other hotel chains in China developed by CGPV.

 

Source: http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/12/07/forest-city-has-great-potential-najib-mega-project-has-already-attracted-investments-worth-rm10bil/

Damansara Realty in JV with Country Garden to develop Central Park

Damansara Realty Bhd has formed a joint venture (JV) with Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, a China-based property developer, to develop 53 acres of freehold Johor land in Johor Bahru JB into an integrated township called Central Park.

Iskandar project Central Park by Country Garden and Damansara Realty.jpg

Iskandar project Central Park by Country Garden and Damansara Realty (Photo credit: The Edge Property)

The JV called DAC Properties Sdn Bhd will pay state-controlled Johor Corp RM130.3 million for the Johor land while Damansara Realty is to pay an additional RM11.23 million for the remaining 10 acres of the total 63-acre site, which the property group will acquire for RM141.53 million following a development rights agreement signed in 2002 and 2003.

Damansara Realty will hold a 30% stake in DAC and Country Garden will hold the remaining 70% via Country Garden Management Sdn Bhd.

“This partnership represents a significant opportunity for Damansara Realty to execute a large-scale Iskandar project alongside with one of China’s most reputable developers Country Garden. We expect Central Park to generate a significant and steady stream of income to the group over the next few years,” Damansara Realty executive vice chairman Datuk Daing A Malek Daing A Rahaman noted in a statement last Friday.

Daing A Malek said the township development in Iskandar Malaysia will also create significant employment opportunities for Johor’s residents and local economy.

Country Garden regional president Fu Jinling said the Iskandar project’s township development is targeted towards the state’s “dynamic” and “vibrant” population.

“Malaysia has always been a key market for us. We see a lot of potential particularly in JB, where other major developments are taking place. The city is poised to become an international metropolis, and we are proud to be a part of its transformation,” Fu said.

The Iskandar project township development located in Johor’s Tebrau district is targeted at young home buyers in the country and will compromise residential units, commercial lots and various amenities.

Central Park @ Tebrau will be developed over six to eight years and will commence by the fourth-quarter (4Q16) of this year with the first phase to be launched in 1Q17.

Damansara Realty is currently involved in two property projects in Putrajaya and Kuantan, with a gross development cost of RM467.3 million and a 500-acre landbank respectively, while it secured a RM124 million contract for works on the Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development complex in Pengerang last month.

The another major projects in Johor for Country Garden, which is developing Forest City, a real estate project with a total gross development value of over RM250 billion near to Secon Link and Singapore, while working on Iskandar project in Danga Bay and Country Garden Diamond in Kuala Lumpur.

The JV is subject to the approval of Damansara Realty’s shareholders and relevant authorities in Malaysia. Once it is approved, it will be another major iskandar project development in Iskandar Malaysia.

China luxury goods online reseller opens its first Southeast Asian store in Forest City

Forest City Country Garden receiving its China luxury goods online reseller Secoo soft opening on 1 Oct 2016. Secoo, a China online platform featuring high-end fashion brands make its Southeast Asian foray with a brick-and-mortar flagship store set to open at Forest City’s shopping esplanade, the Harbour Commercial Streets.

Forest City Country Garden Harbour Commercial Street

Forest City Country Garden Harbour Commercial Street

Secoo is China luxury goods online reseller selling international luxury goods like Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Gucci, ,ROLEX, Prada, Givenchy, Cartier, Dior Homme, Fendi, Bottega Veneta and many more. Its luxury goods products includes watches, bags, shoes, fashion and clothes and others.

Secoo is slated to have its grand opening ceremony in Nov at Forest City Country Garden Harbour Commercial Streets.

Secoo, China luxury goods online reseller

Secoo, China luxury goods online reseller

The 7,500 square metre store, located at the shopping waterfront esplanade will house 19 retailers. Forest City’s commercial development general manager David Cheung said the establishment of the Secoo store at the Harbour Commercial Streets marks the first move by the China luxury goods online reseller to penetrate the Southeast Asian market.

Harbour Commercial Streets is part of the Forest City project as a dedicated shopping centre within Forest City’s development clusters. It will house a wide range of local and international brand names under one roof.

David Cheung said that the commercial area is connected to other Forest City developments, such as the Phoenix Hotel, Fun Fun Park indoor zone for children, as well as myriad food and beverage outlets and duty-free stores opening soon.

He added that while waiting for the Nov grand launch, shoppers now can enjoy up to 40 per cent discounts on selected items offered by retailers storewide for the next two weeks.

“We expect to get 1,000 visitors a day, and it is estimated that another 50 more retail outlets will open for business here by next year,” said David Cheung.

Forest City Country Garden, Iskandar Malaysia, next to Singapore

Forest City Country Garden, Iskandar Malaysia, next to Singapore

Forest City Iskandar Malaysia consists of four man-made islands with land size of 1,386ha. Forest City offers international buyers luxury houses, the most advanced multi-layered urban planning concept and greenery surroundings with no vehicles on the walkway.

Parks and activity spaces scatter around the city, which covers an area of nearly 20 square kilometers. No vehicle traverses its ground; railways connect the whole city. There are roads, flyovers and parking space on the two lower floors, separating pedestrians from vehicles.

The Integrated City focus on eight major industries namely Foreign Investment, Tourist Attractions, Education Hub, Entrepreneurial base, MICE, Retirement Community, E-Commerce Centers & Financial District. It is a Smart Eco-City that acommodates estimation population of 700,000 residents with estimated gross development investments of 40 billions US dollar.

KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail projected to start around 2026

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia: The High-Speed Rail (HSR) line linking Singapore and Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur (KL) is expected to start operations around 2026. This was announced at a joint press conference on Tuesday (July 19) after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the neighbouring countries.

The signing ceremony, witnessed by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak, comes ahead of a legally binding bilateral agreement that will be inked by the end of this year.

Construction of the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail is scheduled to take place from 2018 to 2025, followed by testing, commissioning and finally kickoff for the revenue service a year later.

KL-Singapore High Speed Rail HSR

KL-Singapore High Speed Rail Timeline

The KL-Singapore HSR line will run for 350km, with 335km in Malaysia and 15km in Singapore, and on two tracks going in opposite directions. It will comprise eight stops in total: Singapore, Iskandar Puteri, Batu Pahat, Muar, Ayer Keroh, Seremban, Putrajaya and KL.

KL-Singapore High Speed Rail HSR 2

KL-Singapore High Speed Rail Map

Existing train services take up to 11 hours to journey between Singapore and KL. However, with the line able to reach top speeds of 300km/h, travel time between KL and Singapore is expected to drop to around 90 minutes – excluding clearance at customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ). There are, however, plans to co-locate CIQ checkpoints at Singapore, KL and Iskandar Puteri to facilitate “seamless travel”.

This means, for instance, that at the Jurong East terminus, one would be able to clear Singaporean immigration and a few steps later, Malaysian immigration before boarding the train, reaching KL and stepping out into the city centre itself.

Travel time for the KL-Singapore HSR between Singapore and Iskandar Puteri in Johor Bahru is expected to take around 10 to 15 minutes.

Both governments agreed that each will take responsibility for developing, constructing and maintaining civil infrastructure and stations within their own countries – MyHSR Corporation for Malaysia and the Land Transport Authority for Singapore.

“COMPETITIVE” FARES

It was also announced that two train operating companies will be appointed to run the KL-Singapore HSR service. An international operator will handle the express service between the Singapore terminus at Jurong East and the KL end at the upcoming Bandar Malaysia development. The same operator will also oversee a cross-border shuttle service between Singapore and Iskandar Puteri.

Another operator will run the domestic service within Malaysia. The express service will have scheduling and operational priority over a domestic line servicing the six stops in Malaysia between Singapore and KL.

The KL-Singapore HSR trains are expected to be 10 cars long, with the capacity for up to 100 passengers per car.

Fare will be set commercially by the operators and “competitive with airfares”, said Singapore authorities.

A separate private entity will design, build, finance and maintain the trains as well as rail assets, like trackwork, communications, signalling and power. It will also allocate and control track access. Depots and maintenance facilities will be located in Malaysia. Both governments have agreed to each take responsibility for developing, constructing and maintaining the civil infrastructure – such as tunnels – within their own countries.

The Singapore and Malaysian governments will build and fund infrastructure works such as viaducts, tunnels and stations within their territories. Both governments also agreed to form a bilateral committee comprising representatives from both sides to manage and regulate aspects of the project which might impact the cross-border services. Both governments will have to make a joint decision on questions such as how the tenders will be called, the sequence of calling tenders, what each package will comprise, and how the tenders will be evaluated.

In a separate statement, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority said that within the next month, it will call an advance engineering study tender for consultants to carry out engineering studies for the Singapore stretch of the High Speed Rail, which will terminate in Jurong East.

This study will include looking at the alignment of the rail link, the architectural and engineering design of the terminus station, noise and vibration issues, and the preparation of tender documents for the project’s construction phase. The study is expected to start by the first quarter of 2017 and will take about 18 to 24 months to complete.

It is understood that, following advance works, construction of the High Speed Rail line may begin in 2018.

 

Source: Channel News Asia