Shinkansen

During Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s official visit to Japan, his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe has said that Japan would like to see its Shinkansen bullet train technology employed in the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail project, Bernama reports.

“I hope to see the Shinkansen running on Malaysian land,” he said at a joint press conference with Najib after the Prime Minister’s Office meeting.

“We realised the significance and importance attached to the project by Japan,” Najib said, adding that Abe and him have spent a lot of time discussing the project, and that he believes Japan will submit a very competitive bid.

Reportedly, Japan has also been lobbying to introduce the Shinkansen in the Bangkok-Chiang Mai and Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail projects.

thai hsr render 1

“It’s still early as both Malaysia and Singapore need to sort out a lot of details. Japan, on their part, is willing to undertake manpower training, transfer of technology and financing in their bid to win the project,” revealed transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

The KL-Singapore project was originally targeted to be finished by 2020, but both Najib and Lee have decided to reassess the deadline considering the scale and complexity of the project. However, economic and commercial counsellor of the Chinese embassy in Malaysia, Wu Zhengping, has said that China can build the line by 2020, if given the contract.

The 330 km line is set to cut travel time between KL and Singapore to 90 minutes, with trains projected to do 350-450 km/h on average. It was reported recently that a single journey could cost around RM200, and a return under RM400. Besides Japan and China, France, South Korea, Spain and Germany are also said to be bidding for involvement.