Singapore and Malaysia to ink high-speed rail agreement

Singapore and Malaysia to ink high-speed rail agreement

Singapore and Malaysia are set to ink a bilateral agreement next month for the development of a high-speed rail which will connect the two countries.

The draft agreement will set out the project’s detailed costs, and revenue-sharing aspects. It will also touch on whether a tunnel or bridge will be built across the Johor Strait in order to link the HSR.

“We are working towards signing the bilateral agreement on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail at the next leaders’ retreat on 5 December 2016,” said a spokesperson from Singapore’s Transport Ministry.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak first announced the rail project in 2013. Diplomats told The New Straits Times that both leaders are expected to witness the signing of the bilateral agreement at their annual retreat in Johor Bahru.

The draft agreement will set out the project’s detailed costs, and revenue-sharing aspects. It will also touch on whether a tunnel or bridge will be built across the Johor Strait in order to link the HSR.

Construction of the HSR is expected to start in 2018, with operations slated to begin in 2026. Featuring terminus stations in Jurong East and Bandar Malaysia, the 350km double-track rail will reduce travel time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to 90 minutes.

Notably, rail passengers will, in future, be able to clear customs and immigration at their point of departure.

A bilateral committee with representatives from the two countries will be formed upon the signing of the agreement to manage and regulate aspects of the HSR that might affect cross-border services. Aside from this, the committee will also provide regulatory oversight for the rail project.

 

Singapore and Malaysia to ink high-speed rail agreement

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