The High-Speed Rail (HSR) link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore is expected begin construction in Q3 2015, said media reports.
Details will be finalised at a meeting between the two governments early next year, according to Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) Chairman Syed Hamid Albar.
“I think – this is my own view – that (construction will begin) likely in the third quarter of next year. This is my own guess. We targeted it for next year; when exactly next year, we will wait for the first-quarter meeting between us and Singapore,” he said.
Both countries are expected to ink an agreement on the project, which includes the purchase of locomotives and high-speed bullet trains, he added.
They have yet to decide on adopting the European or the Japanese HSR system. He said, “We have been approached by several countries, including China, Japan, Spain, France, Germany and South Korea.”
The HSR will have seven stops in Malaysia, namely Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Nusajaya.
When completed, travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore will be around 90 minutes.
Targeting to be completed in 2020, the timeline will be challenging, according to an expert.
Tomohiro Kobayashi, a director in the office of project coordination at the railway bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, noted Japan’s first HSR line took almost five years to build.
“It will be very tough to meet this (2020) deadline… Given the time for designing and other processes… the actual construction should be started within a year,” Kobayashi said.