KL mulls Penang-Singapore high-speed rail link

The Malaysian Insider 21-09-2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Putrajaya is planning a high-speed rail (HSR) system linking Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore under the Najib administration’s ambitious Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) unveiled today.

A feasibility study will be conducted on the HSR system by January 2011.

“We are looking at speeds of about 280km per hour,” said Ahmad Suhaimi, the deputy lab leader for Greater KL at the ETP open house here today.

He added that there will be public consultation and the results will be shared with the public.

According to information provided by the lab, the door to door journey from KL to Singapore will take about 2.4 hours as opposed to 3 hours by air.

An intercity service to Seremban, Ipoh, Ayer Keroh, Muar and Batu Pahat has also been proposed.

Ahmad said that no details as to the cost are available yet.

The Malaysian Insider had reported in June that a Barisan Nasional component party had submitted an RM8 billion to RM10 billion proposal to build a high-speed rail link to Singapore on a joint venture basis with other component parties.

A previous high-speed rail link proposal a few years ago by YTL failed to take off.

Pemandu said that in 2007, however, there was opposition to the HSR from incumbent airlines and pointed out that since then massive HSR deployments in China have helped bring down costs by creating a competitive supply market beyond the traditional European and Japanese suppliers.

It also noted that Malaysia now has a strong bilateral relationship with Singapore and the HSR can be part of future points of agreements which would facilitate the trans-boundary project.

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