25 May 2014

ERL line extension to Seremban, Malacca from KLIA, KLIA2

  25 May 2014

RM8b COST: Express rail link service may be extended to Seremban, Malacca

THE government is looking at extending the express rail link (ERL) service from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang to Malacca.

The RM8 billion project will comprise the purchase of new train sets, construction of a new alignment and installation of the communications and signalling system.

Government sources said yesterday there could be two to four stations, including a confirmed stop in Seremban.

Depending on the alignment, the KLIA-Seremban stretch could be about 45km, and another 45km to 55km from Seremban to Malacca, the sources said.

They said the go-ahead for the project would depend on a feasibility study to be undertaken by the Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERLSB) operates the ERL services between KL Sentral in Brickfields and KLIA.

ERLSB is a joint-venture company between YTL Corp Bhd, Lembaga Tabung Haji and Trisilco Equity Sdn Bhd, with a 50, 40 and 10 per cent interest in the company, respectively.

The government awarded the company a 30-year concession in August 1997 to finance, build, maintain and control the operations.

The RM2.4 billion 57km-ERL line was financed through equity mergers (RM500 million), loans from Development and Infrastructure Bank of Malaysia (RM940 million) and import credit from four German financial institutions.

This means ERLSB spent about RM42 million per km, which includes buying the train sets and installing the communications and signalling system.

ERLSB took three years to build the line and achieved profits in 2003, after only a year of operations.
After its completion, YTL had proposed extending the high-speed rail line to Singapore for about RM8 billion.

The ERL trains run at a maximum commercial speed at 160kph, the fastest speed for rail travel in Malaysia.
ERLSB chief executive officer Noormah Mohd Noor said the proposed ERL extension to Malacca would help ease congestion on major highways in the Klang Valley.

"It is a good idea as it would help ease the burden of passengers travelling daily from Seremban and Malacca to Kuala Lumpur. Instead of building more roads, the government should channel the funds for railway development.

"With the ERL, travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Seremban should be about 50 minutes, and an additional 30 minutes to Malacca," she told Business Times.

Read more: ERL line extension plan - Today's Paper - New Straits Times

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