Malaysia-Singapore high speed rail still on track


HONG KONG - The timetable for the Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) system appears to be slipping but getting the trains running by 2020 - a mere five years away - is doable, said Land Public Transport Commission CEO Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal.
Addressing a gathering of rail professionals at Asia Pacific Rail 2015, which began here yesterday, he said proper planning for this project and gaining public acceptance would be crucial to getting it finished on time.

"There is much work (to be done) to get people to see that this is not an elitist project and to see the broad range of benefits (it will bring) to the country," he told the audience at this annual conference focusing on rail systems, including the mass rapid transit (MRT).
Security concerns, for example, are expected to feature prominently in the talks with Singapore, with both nations seeing things differently.

"There are differences in how Malaysia and Singapore perceive security issues, with the latter being more paranoid but that is not necessarily a bad thing," said Mohd Nur.
He said security needs would be balanced with giving users a seamless travel experience on the non-stop journey that will take no longer than 90 minutes.
It is expected to be the fastest way to travel between the two cities when check-in and waiting times are taken into account.

Meanwhile, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT Corp) - project owner of the Klang Valley MRT (KVMRT) system - reiterated the benefit of the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) concept.
"It (the PDP concept) was new to me but I could see that it works and we are moving forward in this regard," said Marcus Karakashian, MRT Corp's project director for KVMRT Line 1.
MMC-Gamuda KVMRT PDP Sdn Bhd is the delivery partner for Lines 1 and 2 of the KVMRT, and will step in if needed to ensure the project is delivered on time and on budget.
Prasarana Malaysia Bhd - asset owner and operator of the light rail transit (LRT) and monorail systems in the Klang Valley - said that PDP for the LRT3 project was expected to be appointed by the middle of the year.

The 36km line connects Petaling Jaya with Klang, passing through Glenmarie and Shah Alam.
It features at least four stations where commuters can switch to other lines.
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