hitachi bullet train

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project is set to gain some steam, as the government is expected to call for tenders within a year, according to The Star. Transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said that the ministry was looking forward to signing the memorandum of understanding for the project tomorrow, July 19.

“Once the signing is done, the authorities will prepare the tender documents. The tender will be called within a year’s time,” he said. “Many international companies have shown interest in the project and we welcome that. This is a very important and prestigious project because it is the first in ASEAN. “We should be able to get more details on July 19. The transport ministry is giving its full support to the project.”

Liow said that the project will bring increased economic development to both Malaysia and Singapore, adding that areas such as Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri will become more advanced as a result of having HSR stations.

It is also claimed that there will be plenty of transit-oriented development projects that will help develop cities and towns along the rail route. “We want them to link up with our urban transportation such as LRT and MRT as part of the transformation programme,” he said.

The proposed double-track HSR line, slated to stretch some 350 km, will incorporate a terminus in the new township of Bandar Malaysia on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, and another in Jurong East, Singapore. The project is expected to cut travelling time between Singapore to Kuala Lumpur from four hours by car to just 90 minutes, and was previously reported to have an estimated cost of between RM60 billion and RM65 billion.