HSR Railway
First conceived in 2013, the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail (HSR) has been four years in the making. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak signed an agreement with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Putrajaya on July 19 2016. The rail project has been billed as a “game-changer” that will boost connectivity, strengthen economic ties and forge closer ties between people of both countries.

Here are 10 points to note about the HSR project:

Estimated Operational Date

The Express Service, which links Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, is targeted to commence by end of 2026.

8 Stations

The line will consist of 8 stations, 7 of which will be in Malaysia, 1 in Singapore.

The planned stations are Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat, Iskandar Puteri and Jurong East. The Singapore station will be located at Jurong East, where Jurong Country Club is currently located.

350km Total Distance

The project will involve the construction of a brand-new line with dedicated tracks, which will allow trains to reach a maximum operating speed of 320km/h; 335km of the track will be set in Malaysia, with the Singapore stretch spanning 15km.

Shorter Travel Time

The HSR is expected to trim travel time to just 90 minutes, compared with the four to five hours needed to travel by road between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

HSR Travel Time Comparison

3 Services With 2 Separate Operators

The HSR system will consist of 3 services, helmed by 2 different operators, OpCo International and OpCo Domestic. The Express and Shuttle services by OpCo International will consist of the Kuala Lumpur to Singapore stations stretch and the Iskandar Puteri and Singapore stations stretch respectively.

The Domestic service will consist of stations within Malaysia only, from Kuala Lumpur to Iskandar Puteri stations. Having 2 different OpCos will allow the HSR to better cater to the different needs of their passenger profiles. OpCo Domestic will also give Malaysia more flexibility to regulate its own internal service. The Express and Shuttle service will be given scheduling and operational priority over the Domestic Service.

Each Country Is In Charge Of Its Own Stations And Infrastructure

The Singapore and Malaysia governments will be responsible for developing, constructing and maintaining the civil infrastructure and stations within their own countries.

This will be undertaken by MyHSR Corporation in Malaysia and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore.

Implementation Of A Bilateral Committee

A bilateral committee will have oversight over all matters that may affect the express and shuttle services.

A working-level joint project team will also handle all matters that require coordination and joint engagement between Singapore and Malaysia.

Co-located CIQ Concept (Seamless Travel)

Both nations have agreed that the Singapore and Malaysia Customs, Immigration & Quarantine (CIQ) facilities will be co-located at three locations – Kuala Lumpur, Iskandar Puteri and Singapore.

International-bound passengers will need to go through CIQ clearance by both Singapore and Malaysia authorities only at the point of departure, ensuring swift and seamless travel.

HSR CIQ Clearance

Biggest Challenge: Line's Alignment In Malaysia

The finalizing of the line’s alignment in Malaysia will be the biggest challenge as there could be potential risks if environmental concerns and land acquisition. Although the HSR line between Singapore and Malaysia has an ambitious 10-year deadline to get the system up and running by Dec 31, 2026, experts said that it was achievable as long as construction starts by 2021, at the latest.

What they believe is tougher is the drafting of the tender documents and contracts before 2021, as well as the biggest challenge of finalizing the line’s alignment of the 350-kilometre long route, much of which is in Malaysia.

Round Trip Under RM400

Ticket prices for a one-way trip between KL and Singapore on the proposed HSR line could cost commuters “less than RM200,” according to a report by the News Straits Times, citing Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD). Return trip tickets, on the other hand, could cost “under RM400” to “accommodate all market segments, including business and leisure travelers,” according to Mohd Nur Ismal Mohamed Kamal, CEO of SPAD.

In Singapore, prices are expected to hover around S$80-90 for a trip, though it is unclear as to whether or not said fare includes a return journey.


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October 10, 2017