hitachi bullet train

More news on the public transport-related front, this time concerning the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) that will connect Malaysia and Singapore. Word is that the HSR project, which was announced last year, won’t be meeting its planned 2020 completion date.

News reports indicate that both countries have agreed to reassess the targeted 2020 deadline. Both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong said that this reevaluation was necessary given the complexity and scale of the project. A new date is expected to be set by the end of the year.

Najib said that the development of the HSR will take five years, with another year needed to design the project and another for the tender process, so it may only be as early as 2022 before the line becomes operational. The HSR’s terminus in Malaysia will be located in Bandar Malaysia at Sungai Besi, while the Singaporean terminus will be at Jurong East.

When it is in operation, the 330 km line is set to bring down the travel time between KL and Singapore to 90 minutes, with trains on the service projected to run at average speeds of 350 to 450 km/h. A number of countries are lobbying for involvement in the project, including Japan, France, Germany and China.