Singapore, Malaysia to sign high-speed train agreement

Singapore, Malaysia to sign high-speed train agreement

Singapore and Malaysia are expected to sign the bilateral agreement on developing the highly anticipated high-speed rail that will link the two countries early next month.

“We are working towards signing the bilateral agreement on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail at the next leaders’ retreat on Dec 5, 2016,” TODAY on Tuesday quoted a spokesperson from Singapore’s Transport Ministry as saying.

The rail project was first announced in 2013 by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Both are scheduled to witness the signing of the agreement at their annual leaders’ retreat in Johor Baru, diplomats told the New Straits Times.

The signing of the agreement will pave the way for construction to start in 2018, and the train is targeted to begin operations by 2026.

The New Straits Times reported that the draft agreement would detail the cost and revenue-sharing aspects of the project, and whether the countries would build a tunnel or a bridge across the Johor Strait to link the rail.

Future passengers would also likely be able to clear customs and immigration at their point of departure, the report added.

The proposed 350 kilometre double-track train will slash travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to 90 minutes, with terminus stations in Bandar Malaysia and Jurong East.

After the signing of the agreement, a bilateral committee with representatives from both governments will be formed to manage and regulate aspects of the project, which might affect cross-border services, as well as provide regulatory oversight for the train.

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