Kuala Lumpur–Singapore high-speed rail

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Kuala Lumpur–Singapore
high-speed rail
TypePassenger-dedicated high-speed rail
SystemKuala Lumpur–Singapore high-speed rail
Locale Malaysia
TerminiBandar Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Iskandar Puteri, Johor
Jurong East, Singapore
Services3 (express, shuttle and domestic)
Opened1 January 2031
Malaysia MyHSR Corp website
Singapore SG HSR website
OpCo International (Express & Shuttle service)
• OpCo Domestic (Domestic service)
Rolling stock10-car trainsets capacity for up to 100 passengers per car
Line length350 km (220 mi)
Malaysia 335 km (208 mi)
Singapore 15 km (9.3 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
ElectrificationOverhead line
Operating speed320 km/h (200 mph)
Route map
Illustrative map of the location of the stations Source: LTA Singapore

The Kuala Lumpur–Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project is a currently postponed and upcoming project to link Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Singapore via a planned high-speed rail line.[2] It was announced by then Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak in September 2010 and he and Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, officially agreed in February 2013 to go ahead and the HSR project is expected to be completed by 2026. However, after the landslide defeat of Najib Razak in May 2018, his successor, Mahathir Mohamad initially announced that the project would be scrapped.[3] However, during a visit to Japan on 12 June 2018, Dr Mahathir said that the project was not scrapped but merely postponed due to high costs.[1] On 5 September 2018, it was announced that the HSR operations will start on January 2031. [4]

The HSR line is 350 km long, and is expected to reduce travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to 90 minutes. It will also stop at several Malaysian cities such as Melaka and Seremban as it travels along the west coast of West Malaysia. The line starts from Bandar Malaysia in Malaysia and ends Jurong East in Singapore.



A high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore was proposed in the late 1990s, but due to high costs the proposal was shelved.[5] In 2006 YTL Corporation, operator of the Express Rail Link in Kuala Lumpur, revived the proposal, with a projected speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). This was expected to trim travel time between the two cities to 99 minutes, compared with 4–5 hours by road, 7 hours by conventional rail services,[6] or 3 hours by air (including travel to and from the airports, check-in, boarding and other airport procedures). In 2008 the Malaysian government halted the project citing high-costs of over RM8 billion.[7]

The proposal was highlighted in 2010 as a high-impact project, out of the 131 entry-point projects,[5] in the Malaysian government's Economic Transformation Programme Roadmap in a bid to increase economic activities concurrently with greater economic synergy between two important regional financial hubs. Studies into the feasibility and conceptual details of the proposal were carried out in December 2010 and January 2011.[8]

Announcements and plans[edit]

The Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Singapore agreed to go ahead with the HSR project after a meeting on 19 February 2013.[6] A committee was tasked with looking into 'the details and modalities' of the project.[6] At the meeting, Singapore and Malaysia have announced that the high-speed rail proposal will be finalised by end of 2014 with a targeted completion date of 2020.[9]

The proposal for Singapore's link was considered by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Budget 2014. According to the Leaders' Retreat which was held on 7 April 2014, the possible locations for the high-speed rail was narrowed down to Tuas West, Jurong East or the Downtown Core.[10][11] On the 6th of February 2015, the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia (JMCIM) released a press statement stating that Singapore had announced Jurong East as the final location for the high-speed rail terminus. However, the terminus would not be connected to the MRT station that serves Jurong East.[12]

Various parties have taken an interest in the project, such as Japan and South Korea.[13][14]Similarly, during a state visit by the Prime Minister of Singapore to France, Singapore's Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew told the press that French firms are keen to participate in the project.[15] On 7 October 2015, the LTA and SPAD jointly announced the launch of a "market sensing exercise" on the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore high-speed rail project.[16][17]

Singapore and Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 19 July 2016 at a signing ceremony held at the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's official residence in Putrajaya, witnessed by both Lee Hsien Loong and then prime minister Najib Razak. It was signed by Singapore Transport Minister and Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure Khaw Boon Wan along with Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan.[18] There were also details including a 25-metre-high bridge link near the Malaysia–Singapore Second Link and three services to be operated by two operators. At the same meeting, the leaders agreed on technical details for the Johor Bahru–Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) link, which will connect the Thomson-East Coast MRT Line (TEL) to Johor Baru via another high bridge near the Johor–Singapore Causeway.[19]


The government of Singapore has made the second large acquisition of land for the project by requiring Raffles Country Club to vacate its plot as the site offers the "most suitable location" to run the HSR tracks after the bridge crossing and to place the tunnel portal leading to the underground tunnels that would take the HSR to the Jurong East terminus. The site is expected to be vacated by July 31, 2018, to be used for HSR crossover tracks and a siding facility to temporarily house a train near the border for safety or operational reasons. The site may also be used for train testing facilities.[20] On 8 February 2017, LTA appointed engineering design firm AECOM Singapore to conduct an advanced engineering study for Singapore's stretch of the Singapore–Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail (HSR) infrastructure.[21]

On 16 February 2017, LTA and MyHSR awarded the HSR joint development partner (JDP) contract to a consortium comprising WSP Engineering Malaysia, Mott MacDonald Malaysia and Ernst & Young Advisory Services. They will provide HSR project management support, technical advice on systems and operations, develop safety standards and help prepare tender documents for the joint project team of LTA and MyHSR.[22] In the same month it was announced that the Singapore terminus would be designed by British architecture firm Farrells.[23][24] On October 17, 2017, the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najb Razak announced that the land acquisition process has begun in Malaysia for the project and also the station designs.[25]

On 5 April 2018, MyHSR Corp announced the results of the selection process for the design and construction for the Malaysian portion of the project: A consortium of Malaysian Resources and Gamuda will build the northern part, and a consortium of Syarikat Pembenaan Yeoh Tiong Lay and TH Properties the southern part.[26] The tender process for the Singapore tunnel sections was started in April 2018 with the start of construction expected in 2019.[27]

Former prime minister and Opposition leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad threatened to cancel or at least delay the project if he won the 14th Malaysian general election, which prompted the CEO of MyHSR Corp to urge all parties to refrain from politicizing the project.[28] By late May of 2018, Mahathir confirmed that Malaysia will scrap the project, citing its high construction costs and downplaying its benefits.[29] However, he appeared to backtrack on earlier statements during an official visit to Japan, commenting that the project was merely postponed until Malaysia was in better financial conditions, further reaffirming the peninsular's need for High-Speed Rail in the future.[30] Among revisions being explored to reduce costs, was to align the route to the existing meter gauge KTM line and lay a standard gauge track in parallel, with a fork running to Jurong East so that bilateral agreement is not violated[31].

After meetings, Singapore and Malaysia have formally agreed to postpone the construction of the KL-Singapore High-Speed Rail until end-May 2020, with Malaysia having to pay Singapore S$15 million for costs incurred in suspending the project before the end of January 2019. In a joint statement, both nations also announced the HSR express service will be delayed until January 2031 instead of the original December 2026. A new agreement was signed by Malaysia's Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali and Singapore's Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan at the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya on Wednesday afternoon. [32]

Plan details[edit]

The railway will be about 350 km and the travel time will be 90 minutes.[19] The construction cost will be MYR 43 billion (MYR 110 billion at the time canceled).[33] The project will require the construction of a brand-new line with dedicated tracks, which will allow trains to travel at least 270 km/h.[34] MYHSR Corp will co-ordinate the project for the essential construction within the Malaysia corridor, whereas LTA will be in charge for Singapore corridor.[35]

Project timeline[edit]

This was the planned timeline. However, the project was postponed by the Malaysian Government.

  • 19 July 2016: Signing of MOU for KL–Singapore HSR project
  • August 2016: Singapore to call tender for advance engineering studies. Singapore–Malaysia joint tender for Joint Development Partner
  • 13 December 2016: Bilateral agreement signed
  • Late 2017: Civil works and tender for private entity overseeing train and rail assets
  • 2018–2025: Construction
  • Late 2023: International and domestic operators tender
  • 2024–2026: Testing and commissioning
  • By December 31, 2026: Operations to begin


Train and operation[edit]

MyHSR Corp stated that Kuala Lumpur-Singapore non-stop high-speed rail express service will run every 30 minutes from Bandar Malaysia, at the outskirts of downtown Kuala Lumpur, to Jurong East in Singapore. The non-stop express service will reach Singapore in 90 minutes and passengers boarding at Bandar Malaysia station will be able to clear Singapore Immigration before boarding.[36]

The HSR will also offer a Malaysian domestic service that will see the train stop at all in-between intermediaries stop at seven stations in Malaysia. This service which also runs every half-hour, will take 120 minutes. Those taking the domestic service from stations such as Seremban or Ayer Keroh near Malacca City who want to enter Singapore will have to clear Singapore Immigration at Iskandar Puteri station and then use a shuttle train service from Iskandar Puteri, which will take another 15 minutes to Jurong East station, the HSR stop in Singapore.[37][38]



Malaysia's Land Public Transport Commission chairman, Syed Hamid Albar, announced the stops in Malaysia on 22 October 2014.[39] On 5 May 2015, The Singapore government has chosen Jurong East to be the terminal for this railway in Singapore.[40] Jurong Country Club, completed the handover of the land parcel on November 2016.[41]

In October 2017, the Prime Minister of Malaysia revealed the concept designs for all stations in Malaysia. According to him, the design of each station is conceptualised to reflect the nation's culture, heritage, and identity on each of the station's corridor while remaining modern and futuristic, and also to demonstrate the growth vision that the HSR would bring.[42][43][44] HSR will also have three depots in Serdang, Muar and Pontian.[45]

The concepts of the stations are:

  • Bandar Malaysia: a re-interpretation of the confluence of Klang and Gombak rivers, which symbolises wisdom and unity of the people.
  • Bangi-Putrajaya: inspired by the Islamic architecture, especially of mosques, and envisions Malaysia's aspirations as a progressive nation, articulated by the pointed arches standing united.
  • Seremban: a modern interpretation of the local Minangkabau architecture of Negeri Sembilan.
  • Ayer Keroh: designed from the image of a merchant ship which symbolises the entrepreneurship spirit of local communities, also symbolising Malacca’s history as a strategic trading port in its heyday.
  • Muar: inspired by the "rehal" which is traditionally used to place the Quran as students learn to recite it, thus symbolising the importance of learning.
  • Batu Pahat: inspired by the "kuda kepang", a horse-like item used in a traditional dance amongst Javanese descendants of Johor, which aims to strike a balance between heritage and modernisation.
  • Iskandar Puteri: a stylised representation of a handshake, signifying Iskandar Puteri's role as a regional city for commerce and international encounters.


Station code Station name Station location Platform Type Express
KL Kuala Lumpur Bandar Malaysia Island and Side
The co-located Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities will be located here. International-bound passengers will need to undergo CIQ clearance by both countries' authorities only at the point of departure. This station also will be a connecting station to the currently under construction of Sungai Buloh–Serdang–Putrajaya Line & the proposed stations for Seremban Line, KLIA Ekspres, KLIA Transit and Circle Line.
PU Sepang-Putrajaya Kampung Abu Bakar Baginda Side
Connection to proposed Putrajaya Monorail
SE Seremban Labu Island
Connecting station to Seremban Line and KTM ETS
AK Ayer Keroh Ayer Keroh, Melaka Side
MU Muar Bandar Universiti Pagoh Side
BP Batu Pahat Pura Kencana, Sri Gading Side
IP Iskandar Puteri Gerbang Nusajaya Island and Side
The co-located Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities will be located there. International-bound passengers will need to undergo CIQ clearance by both countries' authorities only at the point of departure.
SG Singapore Jurong East
The co-located Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities will be located there. International-bound passengers will need to undergo CIQ clearance by both countries' authorities only at the point of departure. This station also will be a connecting station to North South MRT Line, East West MRT Line & proposed Jurong Region MRT Line.

See also[edit]

Media related to High-speed rail at Wikimedia Commons


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  5. ^ a b "Transport operators all for high-speed rail link". New Strait Times. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
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  19. ^ a b c hermes (14 December 2016). "KL, Singapore sign deal for high-speed rail; service slated to start by Dec 31, 2026". StraitsTimes.com. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
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  45. ^ https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RKzRnqCKsqOlv668K3JNozilL--aRVfL

External links[edit]