Hitachi Super Express

It looks like the KL-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) is on track, as a new company, MyHSR Corp, is going to be spearheading the project towards its completion according to a report on The Star. Mohd Nur Ismail Mohamed Kamal, formerly with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), recently took over MyHSR.

Mohd Nur expects the pre-qualification for the HSR tender to go live by the middle of 2016, and the second stage towards the later part of 2016. MyHSR will be evaluating the overall life-cycle cost of the system to get the best value possible. He said the company will be the project owner and developer of the project, and SPAD as the policymaker and regulator and continue the active bilateral engagement with Singapore.

“Five work streams” have been identified to set up the HSR. Firstly, there will be G-to-G (government-to-government) support for SPAD to finalise technical, commercial and bilateral agreements with Singapore. The joint minister’s committee (JMC) under Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar will tackle issues such as safety, security, customs, immigration and alignment of stations with Singaporean authorities.

For example, the CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex) is going to be a co-location, and that Singapore and Malaysia will have immigration counters in Kuala Lumpur, Nusajaya and Singapore. Secondly, there will be the finalisation of stations and alignment, with detailed environmental impact assessment, social impact assessment, soil investigation and land acquisition.

KL-singapore HSR

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Thirdly, preparation for the tender process, which is still being finalised, will depend on the final operating structure agreed by the Malaysian and Singaporean governments. The fourth stream will concentrate on socioeconomic development opportunities to maximise benefits of HSR services and stations along the corridor. Mohd Nur said for a 5 km radius outside stations like Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Nusajaya, the company will looking at broader policies on how to develop these zones.

The fifth facet will be about engagement; to convince Malaysians to see the benefits not only from a transport perspective but in line with economic development. Furthermore, Mohd Nur said there are plans create a HSR Act, to not only cover KL-SG lines but perhaps eastern or northern HSR lines in the future. He said this will help in future HSR implementations.

As we reported earlier, 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. It should also be noted that companies from Japan, France and China have already expressed their interest in this HSR project.