hitachi bullet train

At yesterday’s signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Malaysia and Singapore to facilitate the KL-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project, both countries said they will ensure that the tender awarding process for the project will be done fairly and in a transparent manner, The Star reports.

Prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong stated that both countries will work closely to ensure the best choice prevailed. A number of countries are lobbying for involvement in the HSR, including Japan, France, Germany, South Korea and China.

“You can rest assured that the process will be carried out in the fairest possible way,” Najib said. Lee said that as the HSR was a joint development, the decision would have to involve both countries.

“This (the tender process) is one of the items that has to be settled between the two sides. We need to discuss how the project will be structured, how the tender will be called and in what sequence, what each package consists of and how the tenders will be evaluated,” Lee said.

HSR stations proposed

“The structure has to be right, the execution has to be well and properly done. The tenders must be evaluated in an objective, fair and transparent manner so that, when we make the decision, we are quite sure that it is the best value and best choice,” he added.

The 350 km-long double-track route (335 km of which is in Malaysia, and 15 km in Singapore) will have eight stops in total (Singapore, Iskandar Puteri, Batu Pahat, Muar, Ayer Keroh, Seremban, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur). Trains on the service projected to run at average speeds of 300 km/h, bringing down the rail travel time between KL and Singapore to around 90 minutes.

Two companies will be appointed to run the HSR service, which is expected to run 10 car-long trains, with the capacity for up to 100 passengers per car. Separately, another private company will design, build, finance and maintain the trains as well as rail assets, and will also be responsible for the allocation and control of track access. As for depots and maintenance facilities, these are set to be located in Malaysia.

Construction of the high-speed rail link is set to begin in 2018, with completion in 2025. This will be followed by field testing and commissioning, with operations scheduled to begin sometime in 2026. Each country will be responsible for the development, construction and maintainance of the civil infrastructure and stations within their own domain, in this case through MyHSR Corporation for Malaysia and the Land Transport Authority for Singapore.