Malaysia, Singapore ink 350km high-speed rail deal

The new line is expected to cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and the city-state to just 90 minutes.

The governments of Malaysia and Singapore have signed a memorandum of understanding to bring the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail link to completion by 2026.

The scheme will see Malaysia build 335km worth of tracks, dotted with seven stations, while Singapore will take care of the remaining 15km stretch. 

The country's respective governments will be responsible for developing and maintaining the line and stations within their own countries. The job will be undertaken by MyHSR Corporation in Malaysia and the Land Transport Authority in Singapore. 

Through international tenders, a management company will be appointed to provide and maintain the project assets, in particular the trains and its associated systems including tracks, power, signalling and telecommunications. Two train operating companies will also be hired to operate the service both within Malaysia's domestic market and internationally. 

The estimated cost of the project remains unknown. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak recently suggested that “it's too early to say,” according to local reports.

The new line is expected to help trim travel time between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to just 90 minutes, compared to the four to five hours needed to cover the distance by road. 

The discussions on this project occured in the 1990s, and a detailed project proposal was conceived in 2013. After three years' of progress, two sides have agreed to complete the project by 2026.