The East Coast Rail Line’s (ECRL) specifications and the breakdown of its tenders are expected to be announced as early as April 2017, reported The Star, citing unnamed sources.
The insiders revealed that the Finance Ministry’s unit Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL), which will own and operate the rail line, had formed a team of experts to oversee ECRL’s implementation.
Its members include people with rail expertise from private companies. One of the senior personnel appointed was Yew Yow Boo, who previously worked for construction firm Gamuda Bhd, where he was involved in double-tracking projects.
MRL expects to commence the construction of ECRL by July 2017, as long as there are no major objections. A source also said the feasibility study for the rail line has been completed and just requires the approval of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
“It is also understood that its track lines will be that of standard gauge as compared to KTMB lines which are operated on meter gauge. With the standard gauge, the trains are able to run at a faster speed,” said the source who is knowledgeable about the rail industry.
Last November, China’s government-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC) announced that it has been appointed by MRL to handle the procurement, engineering and construction management contract for the ECRL.
The Export-Import Bank of China will also provide funding for the project, which is estimated to cost RM55 billion, making it the biggest double-tracking rail project in Malaysia.
In a recent report, CIMB Research reckons that 10 to 30 percent of the overall contract value will be awarded to Malaysian contractors, which translates to about RM5.5 billion to RM16.5 billion. The local contractors that could potentially take part in ECRL include IJM Corp and Gamuda, which have in-depth expertise in rail projects.
The 600km-long ECRL is an important catalytic infrastructure project that will connect Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. In particular, it will link Kelantan’s Wakaf Baru with the Integrated Transport Terminal in Gombak, with future plans to extend it until Port Klang. The train, which can travel at up to 160km per hour, is designed for both passengers and freight.
Among developments by Gamuda :
Among developments by IJM Land:
Image sourced from The Star
Radin Ghazali, Content Writer at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email email@example.com