Work on high-speed rail to be awarded by 2017

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia plans to dish out work packages for the multi-billion ringgit Kuala Lumpur–Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project by 2017 at the earliest, with completion set for 2022.

“It is estimated that work on the project would take about five years [to complete], and if we calculate the duration backwards, the work packages should be awarded by 2017,” Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) chief development officer Dr Prodyutt Dutt said on the sidelines of the Rail Business Asia 2015 yesterday.

Prodyutt was commenting on the progress of the HSR project that has yet to gain much traction after the 330km rail project’s completion was deferred from 2020 to 2022 as there were reportedly many issues that have yet to be ironed out.

“There are a lot of preliminary works that need to be done by both sides (Malaysia and Singapore governments), for example preparing the tender documents, and that is currently in progress,” he said.

Prodyutt added that there is a need to consult with the Singapore government and that the exact date on the awarding of the HSR project will be jointly made by both governments.

He said the awarding of the project will be carried out on an open tender basis.

On the estimated cost of the project, he said Spad is unable to give an estimate until the tenders are done.

The cost of the project will also be dependent on the value of the ringgit.

He assured that the project remains on track for completion in 2022.

The Kuala Lumpur–Singapore HSR project, which was first announced by Malaysia and Singapore in 2010, will cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to 90 minutes.

 

This article first appeared in digitaledge Daily, on September 3, 2015.