Singapore and Malaysia to establish high-speed rail link

21 Feb 2013

The journey time between Singapore and Malaysia will be cut down dramatically by 2020 with the launch of a high-speed rail service. This was announced by leaders of the neighbour nations, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak at their annual “leaders retreat” held this week in Kuala Lumpur.

With the future link, it will take 90 minutes between both capitals, instead of the six-hour day trip or eight-hour overnight trip on the KTMB (Malaysia Railway) or four-hour bus ride. 

Prime Minister Lee told local media that the project was “a strategic one for the two countries”, transforming the way people interact. He added that with the new service, residents of both cities could “commute, do business, meet friends, have a meal and come back all within two thirds of the day”.

Until 2011, trains departing from Singapore used the 1932 art deco train station in Tanjong Pagar. They now leave from the Woodlands Train Check Point. In Kuala Lumpur, it's Kuala Lumpur Sentra, and no longer the historic, moorish-styled Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, that is being used for this particular service. 

Currently, one-hour air shuttle services – operated by airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia among others – are the quickest way to access Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.

Margie T Logarta

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