Japan is set to make a bid to develop the KL-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) link, and says it is ready to propose the country’s best high-speed rail technology, with financing and service to be part of the bidding process, The Sun reports.

The country, which is competing with China, South Korea and several European countries for the project, will be pitching its Shinkansen (bullet train). According to Japanese ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Makio Miyakawa, Japan is happy to offer Malaysia and Singapore the technology and service of the Shinkansen HSR network.

He added that Japan is willing to offer the best human resources development for Malaysia and Singapore. “We are happy to train the experts as well as conduct technology transfer of the same system used in Shinkansen to both Malaysia and Singapore. We are ready to offer the best data, proposal and option,” he told reporters at the launch of a Shinkansen exhibition in KL.

He said that the system was proven in terms of operational and safety aspects. “There are several merits and advantages that we can derive from Shinkansen, as there have been no fatal incidence throughout its 50 years of operation. The services provided by Shinkansen is reliable and efficient as the average delay time for it is merely one minute each year,” he explained.

Last December, Malaysia and Singapore signed a legally-binding bilateral agreement to facilitate the HSR project. Construction of the high-speed rail link is set to begin in 2018, with completion in 2025. It is scheduled to start operations in 2026.

The 350 km-long double-track route (335 km of which is in Malaysia, and 15 km in Singapore) will have eight stops in total – Singapore, Iskandar Puteri, Batu Pahat, Muar, Ayer Keroh, Seremban, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur. A bridge over the Straits of Johor – with a height clearance of 25 metres – will link the line between both countries.

Trains on the service are expected to run 10 car-long trains, with the capacity for up to 100 passengers per car. The trains are projected to run at average speeds of 300 km/h and bring down the rail travel time between KL and Singapore to 90 minutes.