Malaysia and Singapore will call for international tenders for the high-speed trains for the KL-Singapore rail link in late 2017, NST reported.
Prior to that, both countries will appoint a joint development partner by early 2017.
At the signing of the KL-Singapore HSR project, both nations will set up a bilateral committee to oversee all aspects of the project, which affect cross-border train services, and all other matters mapped out in the agreement.
The agreement between both governments, signed today, also formalised technical safety and security requirements, commercial, financing, procurement regulatory frameworks, as well as customs, immigration and quarantine arrangements for the HSR.
The agreement was signed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan and Singapore’s Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister of Transport Khaw Boon Wan.
In a joint statement, Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong said the agreement marks a historic moment in bilateral relations and reflects both countries’ commitment to the marquee project.
The project, they said, will bring the two countries even closer together, improve connectivity, deepen people-to-people ties and catalyse further economic cooperation.
“Towns along the way will definitely see improvements in terms of economic activities; the project will definitely open a new landscape in terms of bilateral relations,” Najib said.
Lee said there is strong political will on both sides to make the project a success.
“It is a complex project and we are making long term commitments but there is strong political will on both sides to ensure the project is done right and is a success. I look forward to taking my first train ride to Putrajaya in 10 years’ time,” said Lee.
At a joint press conference, Najib said there are no plans to extend the project to the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia despite interest.
“We are focusing on completing the HSR project between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for now,” he said.
Both leaders said they are looking forward to the implementation and commencement of the direct KL-Singapore HSR Express Service by Dec 31, 2026.
The HSR bilateral agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 7th Singapore-Malaysia Leaders’ Retreat.
The rail link, billed as a “game changer” for both nations, is expected to cut overland travel time between the two countries to a mere 90 minutes.
The 350km, eight-station rail line will connect both countries via a bridge over the Straits of Johor.
Three services are expected to be operated.
One is an express service between two stations – Bandar Malaysia in KL and Singapore’s Jurong East, while the other is a shuttle service between Iskandar Puteri in Johor and the island republic.
The remaining service will be a domestic one from KL to Iskandar Puteri, with five stops en route, comprising Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar and Batu Pahat.