KL – Singapore High Speed Rail has huge interest

The original date is out but the High Speed Rail (HSR) between KL – Singapore is still moving ahead. In the current Request for Information (RFI) exercise launched by Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) and Singapore’s Land Transport Authority, a total of 70 companies and consortiums have expressed their interest by registering before the deadline of Friday (16th Oct). This exercise aims to gauge the market sentiment as well as gather the industry opinion on the commercial and technical aspects of the HSR. From these registered parties, those found eligible would then submit their responses to the RFI documents by Nov 18 at 12pm.
According to the report in Channel News Asia, these interested parties includes those based in Malaysia, Singapore and even overseas. According to National University of Singapore transport researcher Lee Der Horng, one major reason for such a huge interest is because the traditional HSR markets in Japan and Europe is getting saturated. Thus, the time is now for ASIA. Besides, the recently scrapped Jakarta to Banding HSR meant that attention has shifted to the Singapore-Malaysia project. As for how many would actually big for the HSR project, Prof Lee said that less than 10 would do so. This is because there are not many qualified companies in the world which can undertake such a project today.
I think the HSR project is not attracting the attention of just these 70 companies or consortiums. Even leaders of the few nations capable of building it has also expressed their interest too. China for one even casually mentioned that the original deadline of 2020 is still possible. I am still in awe of Japan’s bullet train system which is always on time, to the seconds. European nations would be an underdog for this HSR. Considering all three have a similar cost, then I would think either China or Japan would make more sense. Oh yeah, American companies are not experts in HSR, thus we are unlikely to see a serious bid from them even if I would love to see more competitors so that we have the most cost competitive system for both countries. I am still waiting for more details. I think everything remains preliminary thus far.
written on 18 Oct 2015
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