High Speed Rail? Completion Timeline ‘derailed’. 2020 not possible.

To many who were waiting to buy along the High Speed Rail, you may need to wait even longer. Instead of 2020, it may be up to 2023 before the High Speed Rail is ready. This is despite the fact that the HSR is already using as much as government land as possible to avoid property-acquisition disputes. One good news stated was that the HSR was not as expensive as what was initially forecasted. This may be due to the many competitive proposals submitted by the French, Japanese, Chinese and German companies. No estimate was however given, only that it would be comparable to international benchmarks for similar system and distance. To understand more, read: HSR: KL – Singapore, 7 stops in Malaysia, buy, buy and buy now?
The HSR is expected to operate four times hourly with two services, one non-stop and the rest, six stops before Singapore. Those with stops would take two hours, which is still better than to take flight even though flight would only be one hour. The reason for the delay was due to additional elements not considered earlier. It is not possible to rely only on ticket sales alone. It has to include the contribution to the economy as a whole, especially to the cities and towns along the route. The line will try to avoid villages and private properties.
Personally, I love trains more than planes because trains would help many more cities to grow. Look at China, Japan and even Germany. Growth happens to all the cities along the routes. The delay is should however be expected because this is not just a train within Malaysia but it goes into another country. In fact, with the latest rumours, this may even be part of the China – Singapore rail which was being pitched by China to Thailand. For that to happen and to avoid costly adjustments later on, it may be wiser to have the same system all the way from China to Singapore? If that’s the case, perhaps magnetic levitation trains instead of bullet trains. From over 300km / hour, it can thus go to 500km / hour. In fact even Japan will be starting it’s magnetic levitation service between Nagoya and Tokyo. For the same route I have taken their bullet train which was very smooth and comfortable. I think with maglev, it will be even more smoother and faster.
Most importantly, HSR must be finalised as soon as possible. Getting the right technology provider would help tremendously too. Push for everyone to provide their best in their tender. It’s a plus for both economies with a closer integration. This is especially when all the other neighbours have much larger population and thus, in the future, bigger economies compared to Malaysia or Singapore.
written on 29 Oct 2014
Next suggested article: High Speed Rail (HSR) for KL – Singapore. 2015 Tender.


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