Hitachi Super Express

While it’s known that a KL-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) will in future connect the two cities, there are few details about the mega project other than the parties interested in developing the line – Japan, France and China have stated their intent.

Not so soon it seems – details of the contracts for the construction of the HSR will likely be known in two years, Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chief development officer Dr Prodyut Dutt told The Star.

“Given that the development takes about five years and we aim to complete it in 2022, working backwards, we should see the details of these contracts by the year 2017,” he said on the sidelines of the Rail Business Asia 2015 exhibition.

“There is a lot of preliminary work that needs to be done before the tender documents can come out. And these works are currently in progress. While this is a project by both the Malaysian and Singaporean governments, there is always a need to jointly consult Singapore,” Dutt said, adding that the cost-sharing formula has not been fixed.

The KL-Singapore HSR will run along the same route as KTM’s double-tracking project in the peninsular, but there will be no duplicates or redundancy.

“Our preliminary studies show that the returns are positive. If you look at the experiences abroad where there is HSR, whether it is China, Japan or France, you will find that the benefits would not just be in the terminus cities, but also the cities in between, as it helps to regenerate those in between as well,” Dutt explained.

“We think the HSR project is a different mode and targets a different market (compared with the double track). All things considered, we believe the social and economic development will be positive overall,” he added.

The SPAD man also revealed that KTM’s double-tracking line from Gemas to Padang Besar will be launched in November this year.