The proposed cheaper alternative to the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur High Speed Rail (HSR) still needs to be thoroughly studied, according to peninsular Malaysia’s main rail operator Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB), reported the New Straits Times.
This is to determine if it can be a feasible and better alternative to the HSR, said KTMB Chief Executive Mohd Rani Hisham Samsudin.
Last week, the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) created by the Pakatan Harapan government to advise it on important matters was briefed on a potential rail project that is estimated to cost RM20 billion compared to HSR’s price tag of RM60 billion to RM70 billion.
While its travel time is longer at 130 minutes (200km/hr) versus the latter’s 90 minutes (320km/hr), it complements KTMB’s existing railway infrastructure and there’s minimal need for land acquisition.
By implementing this, the Malaysian government will no longer need to pay RM500 million in penalties for cancelling the HSR, as the preparations done by Singapore won’t be ruined.
The proposal involves the installation of one additional rail line next to KTMB’s existing double track so that it can serve standard-gauge trains.
However, Mohd Rani explained that this alternative still needs to be scrutinized, particularly the issue on rolling stock and narrow double tracking.
Furthermore, he revealed that KTMB intends to enhance its tracking system and use better quality trains.
“We are in the process of improving our tracking system and so far it’s good. But we have to improve our services as well,” Mohd Rani added.
Image sourced from NST Online
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