Transportation/RTS/MRT/HSR News

High-speed rail services ‘still under discussion’

This article was first published on Jan 5, 2016.


Singapore and Malaysia are still in discussion over the commercial and operating models of the high-speed rail (HSR), the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said yesterday, in response to a Malaysian news report claiming that several aspects of the joint project had been decided.
A ministry spokesman said the possibility of having two services for the HSR linking Singapore and Kuala Lumpur – one a non-stop express service, and the other a transit service calling at stations in between – was still being discussed.

This was contrary to a report published yesterday, in Malaysia’s The Edge Financial Daily, which said that both governments have “come to a consensus” on the alignment of the HSR and have decided to have the two different services.

The MOT spokesman said: “The alignment is also under discussion; the exact alignment can be finalised only after completion of detailed engineering studies.”

Giving an update on the project, the ministry said that both countries are studying the feedback gathered from a request-for-information exercise that concluded last month.

This feedback will be used “to improve the project’s commercial and operating models and procurement approach”, the spokesman added.

The Singapore-KL HSR, which was first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2013, will allow commuters to travel from Singapore to KL, or vice versa, in about 90minutes.

The Singapore terminus of the link will be in Jurong East, while Malaysia has said its terminal station will be in Bandar Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, with the following stops in between: Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Nusajaya.

– See more at:
This article was first published on Jan 5, 2016.


Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission CEO ‘misquoted’ on High Speed Rail terminus

Singapore’s Ministry of Transport earlier said it was “surprised” that Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission had said in an interview that it preferred to terminate the upcoming high-speed rail terminus in JB. However, the commission says its CEO was misquoted.

SINGAPORE: Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) late Friday (Jun 19) said that its CEO was misquoted in an interview pubished by a Malaysian business paper, that it preferred to terminate the upcoming high-speed rail (HSR) terminus at the two nations’ existing CIQ (customs, immigration and quarantine) complex in Johor Bahru.

In an interview with The Edge Malaysia published on Monday, SPAD’s CEO Mohd Nur Ismal Mohd Kamal was asked to elaborate on how the final station on Singapore’s end is “an issue”.

“We would prefer to terminate the line at the existing CIQ. However, Singapore wants it to terminate in Jurong East and understandably so,” he said. “Just as we want to develop Bandar Malaysia, they want to use the HSR to drive development in Jurong East.

“From our perspective, by terminating it at the CIQ, the entire project will be within our borders and we will have more control of it. This will be closer to Orchard Road than Jurong East,” The Edge quoted him as saying. “But of course, we have to weigh Singapore’s economic and commercial considerations as well to come to an agreement.”

However, SPAD said that he was “regretably misquoted”, and instead said: “We would have preferred to terminate the line at the CBD area. This will be closer to Orchard Road than Jurong East. However this is a joint project for the benefit of both countries and hence there has to be give and take. For example, if we had wanted to terminate (sic) at the CIQ, the entire project will be within our borders and we will have more control. But this would not have been optimal and neither country would have benefited as much.”

In May, leaders of Singapore and Malaysia announced that the HSR terminus in Singapore will be located at Jurong East. Mr Syed Hamid Albar, SPAD chairman said to Channel NewsAsia: “We carry out decisions of our governments as reflected in the decisions of both PMs. No one can change that.”

Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) had earlier released a statement stating it was “surprised” at the initial comment that indicated preference for the HSR terminus to be at Johor Bahru’s CIQ complex.

“Our understanding is that Malaysia views the commercial premise of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project, and with which we agree, as being based on a direct connection between the two city centres. Terminating the HSR in Johor Bahru will not achieve this objective,” said MOT’s spokesperson.


MOT said both Singapore and Malaysia are in discussion on the HSR’s commercial and operating models. Singapore has proposed that the domestic transit HSR services, which stop at six stations in Malaysia, be operated separately from express non-stop services between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

“This will give Malaysia autonomy over the domestic transit services to serve Malaysia’s domestic needs and benefit Malaysia,” said the transport ministry.

Mr Nur Ismal had told The Edge: “Because the additional stations will benefit Malaysia more, Singapore is not so keen on the transit line. However, just as we must take its economic and commercial considerations into account, it must also take care of us. There has to be give and take so that both parties can benefit.”

He added that the cost of the six stations is “very small”, less than 10 per cent of the entire HSR project.


As for the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link, MOT said Malaysia has not confirmed its terminus location. Singapore’s terminus will be located at Woodlands North station on the upcoming Thomson-East Coast MRT line.

MOT added that both countries will only be able to determine the type and alignment of the crossing after both terminus locations are confirmed.

“We have yet to receive official confirmation of the location of Malaysia’s RTS terminus in Johor Bahru. As such, contrary to what was said in the Malaysian media by Johor State Exco for Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee Chairman Datuk Ir. Haji Hasni bin Haji Mohammad, there is no agreement with Malaysia that the crossing will be a high bridge,” said MOT.

Note: This story was updated at 9.30pm on Jun 19 following a statement to the media from SPAD.


Terminus of Singapore KL highspeed rail at Jurong Country Club site:

5 facts about the club – By Jalelah Abu Baker

The terminus of the future Singapore Kuala Lumpur highspeed rail (HSR) will be
located at the current Jurong Country Club site, it was announced on Monday.
The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) has gazetted the acquisition of the 67ha plot and the club will be expected to hand over the land by November 2016, the Government announced.

Here are 5 facts about the country club:

1. It is about a 10minute walk from Jurong East MRT, according to the country club’s website. It is located about 1.5km away from Jem shopping mall, according to Google Maps.
2. The club, which opened in 1975, has from its inception been a popular golfing spot, and is known for its luxurious golfing facilities. The club most recently completed an 18hole
renovation in July 2012, which cost about $24 million. The club set out on its redevelopment project to remodel the golf course in 2010. It now boasts large undulating greens that have numerous pin positions that vary from easy to difficult.
3. Jurong Country Club was the first country club in SouthEast Asia to introduce 18hole
night golfing in the 1990s. The course is equipped with a $3million floodlight system with 720 lights strategically deployed throughout the entire course to provide adequate lighting at night. Night golfing is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
4. The club’s golf course is an awardwinning one. Its greens were named by Asian Golf Magazine as Asia Pacific’s third best course renovation in 2012 and its course ranked among the Top 10 Courses in Singapore in 2013.
5. The club organises charity golf events. The last one was in 2013 after a threeyear
hiatus when it raised $260,000 for four charities. Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong took part in the event.

  1. Source: Jurong Country Club

Jurong East to be terminus for Singapore – KL highspeed rail

10 things about the new trainline – By Chew Hui Min

Story was first published on May 5, updated on May 11
The Jurong Country Club site will be where the terminus of the Singapore Kuala Lumpur high speed rail will be located. the Government announced on Monday, May 11.
The Singapore Land Authority has gazetted the acquisition of the 67ha plot and the club will be expected to hand over the land by November 2016.
The eagerly anticipated project will cut travel time between the two cities by more than half.
Here’s what we know about the project so far:
1. When was the project announced?
The highspeed rail link was announced in February 2013, at a yearly retreat attended by Mr Lee and Mr Najib.

2. When will it be completed?
The original target completion date for the mammoth rail project, estimated at 320340km
long, was 2020.
But both Mr Lee and Mr Najib said on Tuesday that the target was not realistic considering the scale and complexity of the project.
Mr Najib noted that the design process of the new rail link will likely take one year, the tender process another year, and construction itself about five years.
The two leaders said a new deadline for the completion of the link should be announced at the end of this year.
3. How long will it take to travel between the two cities on the highspeed rail?
Once the train service starts, passengers will be able to travel between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in just 90 minutes.
Currently, people travelling between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur pay between $30 and $50 for a 5½hour bus ride or hundreds of dollars for a 45 minute full service flight.


Singapore-Kuala Lumpur Bullet Train (HSR) May Miss 2020 Deadline

By Chong Pooi Koon – Oct 29, 2014
Malaysia said the high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore may miss a 2020 deadline even after using government land as much as possible to avoid property-acquisition disputes.

The project may take six to seven years to complete once construction starts by 2016, Land Public Transport Commission Chairman Syed Hamid Albar said in an interview yesterday. The agency has been “inundated” with proposals to participate, including those from French, Japanese, Chinese and German companies, he said.

“It’s not as expensive as we thought it would be at the start,” said Syed Hamid, whose commission is preparing a feasibility study. While he declined to give the estimated cost of the development, Malayan Banking Bhd. economist Suhaimi Ilias said it may be as much as 40 billion ringgit ($12.2 billion).

The proposed rail line will reduce the 300-kilometer (180-mile) journey over land to 90 minutes from about five hours. With other developing nations in the region including Indonesia and the Philippines vying for a bigger share of investment, Malaysia is keen to make better use of Singapore’s financial muscle as it targets becoming a high-income country by 2020.

Game Changer

Leaders of the two countries announced last year the rail link may be completed by the end of this decade, with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak calling it a “huge game changer” that will transform the way the neighbors do business. The link would have a similar distance as New York to Washington.

While Malaysia initially targeted 2020 for the line to be completed to coincide with its plan to be a developed nation, it recognizes there may be “problems” with the original timeline, said Syed Hamid, 70. There are more elements than just construction that the governments need to study, he said.

“I suspect the government is at the stage where they are mulling over the financing of this project,” Suhaimi said. “How are they going to do this without affecting the target on fiscal deficit and achieving a balanced budget by 2020?”

Malaysia wants to trim the fiscal gap to 3 percent of gross domestic product in 2015 from 3.9 percent last year, and Najib is targeting a balanced budget by 2020.

The cost of building the line will probably increase amid the delays, taking into account inflation and as land prices rise, Suhaimi said. Syed Hamid said the project’s cost will be comparable to “international benchmarks” for similar systems and distance.

Dual Service

The high-speed rail may operate four times hourly with two services, one non-stop and the other that will transit cities and towns in four Malaysian states, Syed Hamid said. The journey on the train that has stops will take about two hours, according to the former Malaysian cabinet minister.

Japan is ready to provide funds and expertise to Malaysia and Singapore on the new network, the New Straits Times said Oct. 27, citing railway official Tomohiro Kobayashi. Kobayashi said the timeline for the project to be completed by 2020 is challenging, the paper reported.

Japan is looking for an overseas customer for magnetic-levitation technology as the country works toward opening its first line in 2027. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said the government may provide funding to support Central Japan Railway Co. (9022)’s bid to provide trains for a Washington-Baltimore line.

Maglev Trains

JR Central, as the rail operator is known, operates the world’s busiest bullet train line and this month received approval from the Japanese government to start building a maglev link between Tokyo and Nagoya. The plan will cost 5.5 trillion yen ($51 billion), including trains with speeds of up to 500 kilometers per hour.

The Land Public Transport Commission has studied various financing and business models for the network, including consideration for public-private partnerships, said Syed Hamid, who visited Japan recently to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Shinkansen bullet train. The Malaysia-Singapore system will have at least four trains, he said.

Malaysia will look beyond ticket sales to bolster returns on investment in the project, including the contribution to the economy as smaller cities along the train line flourish, Syed Hamid said. He cited Shanghai’s Pudong district and the Chinese city of Tianjin as examples.

“If you depend on the fares alone, then it cannot be profitable,” Syed Hamid said. “It must be kept affordable. You need to look at what are the sources of income that will result from the development of the rail stations, the property along it, how the towns and cities will grow.”

Parts of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore rail link may be build on elevated platforms and portions of it underground to minimize disputes the government may encounter on land acquisitions, Syed Hamid said. The line will try to avoid villages and private properties, he said.

“It’s emotion, sentiment,” Syed Hamid said. “There are so many big, big government projects — while economically and development-wise it is well-accepted, it is good — but there is a lot of public tension sometimes that you need to handle. So our brief and mandate is, avoid as much as possible.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Chong Pooi Koon in Kuala Lumpur at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at Shamim Adam, Dick Schumacher

The Straits Times

Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail to have
seven stops in Malaysia

By Adrian Lim
SINGAPORE – The high-speed rail (HSR) project connecting Singapore and Kuala Lumpur will have seven stops in Malaysia, namely Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat, and Nusajaya.
While several of the proposed stations had been announced earlier, the location of the stations were confirmed on Wednesday by Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission chairman, Syed Hamid Albar.

The Seven stops in Malaysia have been identified in the high-speed rail (HSR) project which will connect Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
The seven stops are: Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat, and Nusajaya, according to The Straits Times.
Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission chairman, Syed Hamid Albar confirmed the location of the stations to reporters on Wednesday, at the sidelines of a HSR conference in Tokyo. According to reports, the project is estimated to be completed in 2020, with Singapore conducting its own feasibility study for its own section of the proposed rail.




Greater KL MRT Official Video


MRT Malaysia (August 2014 Updates!!)

Proposed stops for KL-Singapore high-speed rail HSR

KL-S’pore will take 2 1/2 hours, taking into account waiting time and transfers

The prospect of dinner in Kuala Lumpur’s Jalan Alor, supper in Malacca’s Jonker Street and a return to Singapore before clubbing hours is looking more likely, going by published details of the planned high-speed rail (HSR) link between KL and Singapore.

According to Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission, its equivalent to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) here, the rail service is proposed to have stops in Seremban, Ayer Keroh (Malacca), Muar, Batu Pahat and Nusajaya in Johor, not far from a motorsports hub being built by Singapore tycoon Peter Lim. Passengers will take 21/2 hours to go from KL to Singapore, said the commission. This includes time for waiting, transfers and immigration clearance, and is shorter than the five hours by car and four by plane.

Actual travel time between the two cities is estimated at 90 minutes.

Besides an express service, the line will also have transit trains that stop at the cities in between.

With stops, travel time could be one to two hours longer.

The commission estimated that the HSR will carry up to 49,000 passengers daily by its 10th year of operation, giving rise to an annual ridership of 17.9 million.

It predicts that annual ridership will hit 251 million by 2060. In comparison, the HSR link between Taipei and Kaohsiung – about the length of the Singapore-KL link – has an annual ridership of 44.5 million.

In 2011, the southern corridor, which the proposed KL-Singapore HSR will ply, accounted for 7.45 billion trips by car, bus and plane, according to the commission.

A spokesman for the commission said it may be able to share more details in September.

The Straits Times understands that the Singapore and Malaysian governments have been meeting once a month on the project.

In Singapore, the LTA called a tender in April for a feasibility study on possible locations of the HSR’s terminus in the Republic.

Three possible sites have been raised: Tuas West, Jurong East and the city centre.

The authority said the tender has not yet been awarded, but it has received inquiries from several countries which are keen to take part in the project. These include Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Like many on both sides of the Causeway, Mr Barry Kan is excited about the line.

The chief executive of FASTrack Autosports, a Singapore-led company that is building a race track in Nusajaya, said: “We heard there will be a station near our circuit, but there’s been no official confirmation.

“If there is one, it will be more convenient for Singaporeans for sure. But even if there wasn’t a station, I think enthusiasts will still come to the track.”

In an interview with The Star last month, Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission chief executive Mohamad Nur Ismal Kamal said train fares will be comparable to budget airline fares. They range from $72 to $112 for flights in mid-July.

HSR Dots

HSR link from Singapore to Malaysia ‘to boost property values’

May 21, 2014 Property values near the route of the line are set to increase and the project will present more opportunities for developers, real estate experts believe The planned High-Speed Rail service linking Malaysia and Singapore is on track to boost property volumes and values, it is claimed. The ambitious S$15.6billionHigh-Speed Rail (HSR) project, which is due to be completed around 2020, will mean the journey from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur is cut from up to six hours to just 90-minutes. The location of the terminal in Singapore has yet to be finalised, but there are three main choices, the city centre, Tuas West and Jurong East. There is also planned to be five stops along the 330kilometre line across Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor, which will take the journey time to 2 hours for stopping trains. Ong Teck Hui, National Director for global agent JLL, who is based in Singapore, says, “Whichever option is chosen, there will be investment and development opportunities and values of properties at or near the chosen node will be enhanced. “Developers, investors, contractors and other real estate industry players have much to look forward to when the terminal location is decided.” The high-speed rail service is expected to boost travel between the two countries, resulting in significant economic gains for both. “Besides broader economic benefits, the high-speed rail will also have a positive impact on the real estate sector. Of the three locations for the terminal, Tuas West, on the western coastline offers the lowest construction costs and the rail link would complement the new port facilities which are planned there in around 20 years. Jurong East is already a commercial and transportation hub and is just half an hour from the city centre. However, as it is 13kilometres from the border, there would be extra cost incurred in bringing the track all that way. The city centre is the most expensive option and is even further from the border at 27kilometres away. It also presents various engineering challenges, including constructing an underground tunnel through a densely built up area. The location of the Malaysian terminal had already been decided and will be at Bandar Malaysia in Sungai Besi, which is the current site of the Royal Malaysian Air Force base. The route the track will take is still being finalised, but property analysts expect it will run near major urban centres in Negeri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor. Property prices in Nilai and Seremban along the proposed route of the track have already escalated. The announcement of the location was made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at a joint press conference with his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong. “The project has created a lot of excitement and both sides are working hard to achieve the 2020 deadline for completion,” he says. Bandar Malaysia, 3.5km from the Petronas Twin Towers, is set to see further development with new condominium projects, shopping malls, colleges, parks and offices and more in the pipeline. The line could pass through a station at In Nusajaya, where Malaysia’s second Formula 1 track is being built by Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, The RM3.2billion FASTrack Iskandar, the largest of its kind in South-east Asia, is due to open in 2016 and is part of the 1090hectare Motorsports City. In 2013, 1.281 million Malaysians visited Singapore, the third largest nationality after China and Indonesia. Visitor arrivals from Malaysia have been increasing on average at 1 1.3% a year in the past decade, outperforming the total annual average rise in visitor numbers of 9.8% per annum. Malaysia and Singapore’s are also close trading partners.

By Adrian Bishop, Editor, OPP Connect


High Speed Rail by 2020   Final plan for Singapore-Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System (RTS) link by end of 2014 rts-jb-sg

Final plan for Singapore-Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System (RTS) link by end of 2014



Johor Bahru, 7th December 2013 – The Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia (JMCIM) Meeting on Transport Matters was held at Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club on 6th December 2013 in Nusajaya, Malaysia. In a statement issued on Saturday in Singapore, the meeting has reviewed the progress made so far by the Transportation Links Work Group and has accepted the Joint Engineering Study Phase 1 report on the Singapore-Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System (RTS) link and agreed to identify a preferred and agreed option for the RTS link by the end of 2014. The terminating stations of the RTS link, which is targeted to be in operation by 2019, will be in the vicinity of JB Sentral, Johor Bahru and in the vicinity of Republic Polytechnic, Singapore. The RTS link is planned to integrate with Singapore’s Thomson Line at its northernmost terminal station, i.e. Woodlands North Station. Thomson Line is set to cater for 400,000 commuters daily. In September, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) has organized Iskandar Malaysia CDP Open Day 2013 with the theme of “Your Future” – Have A Say In Your Future in Nusajaya. Member of publics were welcomed to take Part in BRT & RTS Public Transportation Survey during the open day where they could vote for their preferred choice of RTS Integrated Terminal in Johor Bahru, i.e. Bukit Chagar, JB Sentral or Tg. Puteri and choice of RTS link, i.e. Underground Tunnel or Elevated Bridge. IMG 2261 File Photo: Iskandar Malaysia CDP Open Day 2013 rts-plan File Photo: Proposed Station Locations and Alignments for Rapid Transit System (RTS)   ——————————————————————————————————————————————–

Singapore-KL HSR, JB-Woodlands RTS need to be optimally designed: Khaw

December 9, 2013

The Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail (HSR) link and the Johor Bahru-Woodlands rapid transit system (RTS) link are two game-changing projects that need to be optimally designed to meet the needs of the people, says National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

SINGAPORE: The Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail (HSR) link and the Johor Bahru-Woodlands rapid transit system (RTS) link are two game-changing projects that need to be optimally designed to meet the needs of the people. Writing on his blog on Sunday evening, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the high-speed rail link is a complex project, with many issues to address. The issues range from financing to engineering and border security control. “There are many HSR projects around the world but cross-border HSR is rare. A prominent example is the London-Paris HSR, which offers a useful reference,” said Mr Khaw. On the RTS link between JB and Woodlands, he said the project is ready to move into the next phase. Consultants have completed the first phase of the technical study, and the authorities in both countries have accepted the report, he said. The two projects were discussed at a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia on Friday. Mr Khaw had co-chaired the meeting in JB with Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Wahid Omar. Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew and Johor Menteri Besar Khaled Nordin were also present. The meeting ended at 10pm, and the Malaysian delegation had to leave immediately for Kuala Lumpur as the UMNO General Assembly was in session. Noting that the Malaysian leaders would have reached KL at about 3am, Mr Khaw said he and his delegation deeply appreciate them for travelling to JB for the meeting. Mr Khaw said: “In the future, when the HSR runs, travelling between our two capitals will be much faster and no longer such a hassle!”

– CNA/ir (Source: Channel News Aisa)