Thursday, April 19, 2012

Muar in the ranks of the KL-S'pore rail project (3 PICS)

KUALA LUMPUR: The 300km high-speed rail project linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore will cost between RM20 billion and RM30 billion.

The final figure will be known after a feasibility study is completed at the end of the year by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

It is understood that 60 per cent of the cost will go towards infrastructure development, including civil works and track laying, and about 30 per cent on rolling stocks.

A source said: “The rail network is expected to cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore from six hours to 90 minutes. This will require trains travelling  at 250kph.  

“The project is important for Malaysia as the same alignment can carry freight during off-peak hours.”

Germany’s Siemens proposed the use of its Velaro trains, which have a top speed of 350kph.

SPAD chief executive officer Mohd Nur Kamal said yesterday the implementation of the  project would depend on the study.   The aspects under consideration include risk element, options of alignment, cost, economic benefits, ridership, and social and political impact.

“This is a fresh study. Previous studies done by other promoters looked at their interest first, then the nation’s. Our study looks at the nation’s interest first.

“The no-go decision on the project has not been reached. If it is given the go-ahead, we will solicit bids to come up with the best choice for the government. We don’t want them to    depend on government funds.”

The government’s Economic Transformation Programme highlighted the rail network as a high-impact project.

UEM Group-Hartasuma, China Infraglobe Consortium-Global Rail  and YTL Corp have made presentations on the project to the National Key Economic Area laboratory.

 “In Malacca, the government is planning a tram system. On the east coast, we have initiated a study on the needs there,” Nur said.

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