Hitachi Super Express

More on the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project. Last week, it was reported that the project remains green-lighted, though it was expected to not meet its planned 2020 completion date.

Now, according to The Star, China has stepped up to the plate, saying it can build the HSR line – which is expected to cost around RM40 billion – by 2020 if certain parameters are met.

“Technically, it’s possible if Chinese companies are awarded the contract. We will be able to achieve that by 2020. We’ve still got five years,” the economic and commercial counsellor of the Chinese embassy in Malaysia, Wu Zhengping, told the publication.

hitachi bullet train

He pointed out that the 1,318 km Beijing-Shanghai HSR line, which was completed in 2010, took just three years to build. He said that China was firmly resolved in wanting to build the line, which would fall in line with the country’s plans to link Kunming to Singapore via some 2,700 km of rail, the publication reported.

Wu added that there were plans to build high-speed train cars in Malaysia should China be given the contract, and areas near the line would likely also be developed. “If China is awarded the contract (in Malaysia), we’ll encourage Chinese companies to locate their factories and firms along the railway,” he said.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said that while the offer from China was welcome, nothing could be decided on until details of the project had been ironed out between Malaysia and Singapore. “It is too early to say that the project can be completed by 2020 when we do not have the details yet,” he said.