The governments of Malaysia and Singapore signed a memorandum of understanding on July 19 setting out how the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail Project is to be developed for opening by around 2026.
The MoU covers technical parameters, the commercial model, border procedures, the regulatory framework and project management, and also reiterates the governments’ commitment to open tendering designed to encourage participation from worldwide suppliers. The MoU is the result of extensive discussions between the transport authorities of the two countries, and is to be followed by a legally-binding bilateral agreement which is expected to be signed towards the end of this year.
Each government will be responsible for developing, constructing and maintaining the civil works and stations within its territory, through the Malaysian government’s project delivery company MyHSR Corp and Singapore Land Transport Authority’s HSR Group.
An international tender will be called to appoint an asset management company, AssetsCo, which will supply and maintain the track, power, signalling and telecoms and trainsets, which will run at more than 300 km/h.
The termini of the 350 km route will be in at Jurong East in Singapore and the Bandar Malaysia area 7 km from central Kuala Lumpur, with six intermediate stations in Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and at Iskandar Puteri on the Malaysia/Singapore border.
Two train operating companies are to be appointed through an international tender. OpCo International will operate the 90 min Bandar Malaysia – Singapore non-stop Express service and the Iskandar Puteri – Singapore cross-border Shuttle, while OpCo Domestic will operate services running entirely within Malaysia.
Customs, immigration and quarantine facilities are to be co-located at the Singapore, Iskandar Puteri and Kuala Lumpur stations, with international passengers being cleared by both countries’ authorities at their point of departure.
A joint project team is to manage the shared aspects of project planning and development prior to the start of operations, with an open tender to be called in August to appoint a development partner to provide technical support.
A bilateral committee with representatives from both governments will be formed to regulate the cross-border services and other shared aspects of the project.
Singapore’s LTA is to call a tender for an advance engineering study which will consider the alignment within Singapore, the design of the terminus and the preparation of tender documents. The study is expected to commence by Q1 2017 and take 18-24 months.