Singapore and Malaysia have officially agreed to build a high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore by 2020 at a meeting between Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak in Singapore on February 19, 2013.
The rail link would create a 90-minute journey for commuters, seen by the two prime ministers as “game changer in the way we do business, the way we look at each other and interact.”
The project will be a private-public one, with the link being built by private contractors with government infrastructural support. No details on the project costs were released. According to a feasibility study, the project costs would be between $ 2.5 billion to $ 3.7 billion, but rumours speak of a total cost of above $ 9 billion.
Analysts said that projects’ funding might be the principal challenge faced by the two governments.
The project will request the construction of a brand-new line with specific tracks, which will allow trains to circulate at over 250 km/h. Currently, maximum train speed on the KL-Singapore rail link reaches only 130 km/h. Stops on the route would include Melaka and Malaysia’s border town of Johor Bahru. So far, Chinese and Korean companies have already applied for the high-speed rail line construction.