At a joint press conference yesterday (Dec 14), Singapore and Malaysia signed a deal confirming the construction of a high-speed rail (HSR) between Kuala Lumpur and Jurong. The 350km-long track will be linked by a 25m-high bridge cutting traveling time from Jurong to Kuala Lumpur to only 90 mins, and is expected to commence services by Dec 31, 2026.
There will be three train services – express, shuttle and domestic (Malaysia only) – and the tender award for the construction, maintenance and asset ownership of the HSR will be early 2017. Japan and China are seen as close contenders for the project, but China is likely to win because of Malaysia’s recently-increased reliance on their foreign direct investments.
Another train deal is also underway, the two countries also proposed to sign a deal by end-2017 of a MRT train linking the new Woodlands North station to Johor’s Bukit Chagar. The train service will be part of the new Thomson-East Coast Line and will also be linked by a high bridge. According to Singapore media reports, several tenders have been awarded for the technical research of the project and the details will be finalised by end-2017.
Also in discussion is new ferry routes linking Malaysia and Singapore, with all moves in the hope to integrate Singapore’s economy with Johor.