28 May 2014

ERL keen to bid for KL-Singapore high-speed rail project

  28 May 2014

Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL), the operator of KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit train services, is keen to bid for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, saying it is a good candidate with the capabilities and technical know-how.

Chief executive officer Noormah Mohd Nor said this was based on ERL’s proven track record of delivering projects as well as being the only company in the country operating a high-speed train.
“Technically, we have delivered the 57km ERL project from KL Sentral to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and the extension to klia2, which was completed ahead of the schedule and within budget.
“It’s not as simple as running a normal train project. We already have the expertise and the maintenance is all done internally.

“Once the government, or Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), has come out with the tender, rest assured we will be one of the keen bidders,” she said.
She was speaking after a site visit to klia2 by SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar, along with the Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd senior general manager (operations services) Datuk Azmi Murad here today.

Meanwhile, Noormah said ERL planned to buy an additional four sets of trains to support the transit operation following the commencement of klia2 which would definitely increase the volume of commuters.
Currently, ERL has 12 train sets — eight KLIA Ekspres and four KLIA Transit.
“We have spoken and invited bids from Europe as well as China, and it’s in the final stage.
“Hopefully, we can conclude the bids within two months and it will take about 23 months for delivery,” she said, adding the cost was still under discussion.
Noormah said the company had proposed extending the railway to Seremban and Malacca to serve passengers outside Kuala Lumpur.

“This is a proposal and the government should consider letting us do it,” she said.
Noormah said the company had no plans to list on Bursa Malaysia at the moment but “will study the proposal”.

“As for now, we will look at how well we serve the public when the train goes to klia2 as well as the growth that it will provide to the company.”

Both KLIA Ekspress and KLIA Transit will start commercial operations on May 2, together with the opening of the klia2 airport terminal.

The first 1,000 visitors will be given free return tickets for travel from KL Sentral to klia2 on a first come-first-serve-basis, available only from the website. --The Rakyat Post

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