China eyes Singapore-Kuala Lumpur rail

Beijing-based China Railway Construction Corp. is eyeing an $11bn Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed railway link amid intense international competition.

China Railway Construction Corp. Ltd., China's second largest state-owned company with YAN 550 billion ($89bn ; €71bn) under management  is preparing to bid for the construction of a YAN 70 billion high speed railway project connecting Singapore to the Malaysian capital, a Chinese local newspaper reported yesterday.

Unlike light rail transit systems and ordinary train technologies, bullet trains, which made their way in the country’s developed railway network in 2007, have never been exported outside the frontiers to date.

The project, to cover the two economic hubs’ 350 kilometers distance, will aim to reduce the current three and a half hours road journey by two hours and the current 6 hour train journey almost four fold, significantly alleviating the economic impediment currently baring on bilateral trade.

It has been in Malaysia’s pipeline since February last year and a feasibility study, undertaken by Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat, Malaysia’s public transportation commission, is currently undergoing governmental scrutiny in both countries.

Although the tendering process is still at early stages, construction is said to be scheduled for fourth quarter of next year with operations to start by 2020.

Companies which have manifested interest in the project include German Siemens, French Alstom, Japanese Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Spanish and Korean competitors are also said to be in the league.