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Old April 8th, 2007, 07:30 AM   #1
nazrey
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MALAYSIA / SINGAPORE | High Speed Rail

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Siemens keen on KL-S'pore high-speed train deal

By Adeline Paul Raj
April 7 2007
BusinessTimes





SIEMENS, a global expert in high-speed rail technology, is keen to be the technology provider for the proposed high-speed train project linking Kuala Lumpur (KL) to Singapore.

The project, proposed by YTL Corp Bhd, is now under the Malaysian Government's consideration. Singapore has expressed interest in the project and both governments are expected to begin detailed talks this year.

Tim Hunter, Siemens' new head of rail for Malaysia, said the company has had vast experience managing large rail projects like this worlwide.

"We're certainly well-qualified for the job," he told Malaysian reporters in Madrid, Spain last week on a test-ride of the world's fastest series production train linking the city to Barcelona.

The train, which uses Siemens' Velaro platform, will travel at a regular speed of 350 kilometres an hour when it begins service between the two Spanish cities in the next few months, cutting travel time on the 650km distance to just 2.5 hours compared with about four hours previously.

Siemens aims to use the same technology and speeds for the Malaysian line.

While YTL's proposed project in Malaysia is likely to draw strong international interest from other rail technology experts such as France's Alstom, Siemens is seen as a strong contender because of its good track record with YTL.

It had been the technology provider for YTL's express rail line which connects the Kuala Lumpur International Arport to KL Sentral, a central station in the city, in 28 minutes. It finished the project three months ahead of time.

YTL's current rail proposal involves travel time between KL and Singapore being cut to just 90 minutes compared with existing KTM trains which take about seven hours.

"For Peninsular Malaysia, the topography is very appropriate for a high-speed line," says Hunter, adding that the biggest engineering challenge would be to cross the straits to get into Singapore.

Asked about the route the trains would take, Hunter said, "The only routes that I'm aware of, that's been talked about, are the existing KTM routes." He noted, however, that these would have to be upgraded significantly, as would the causeway crossing.

"Ideally, it would begin from KL Sentral, linking the airport and Johor Baru and Changi Airport - that would make sense to me because inter-modal exchanges are most important.

"You can't just have an isolated line that is fed by lots of taxis... you need to link to existing transport modes."

Linking the line to cities such as Malacca could also be a possibility, he added.

He said the Government is currently carrying out an impact study to look at the political, social, economic and environmental issues that the project might entail.

"There's some anticipation that we'll hear some information on that in the next two to three months," he said, acknowledging, however, that such studies would take time.

The Goverment is likely to be concerned, for example, about how a high-speed train might affect the business of local airlines which ply the KL-Singapore route.

Airplanes take less than an hour to fly between KL and Singapore, although the journey is actually longer once travel time to the airport and check-in time are factored in.

Typically, rail fares are also lower than plane fares, given that the system is more cost-efficient, Hunter said.

Another Siemens official noted that when a high-speed line between Madrid and Seville began in 1992, it steadily stole market share from airplanes. By 1998, the market share for air travel between the two Spanish cities dropped to 18 per cent compared with 67 per cent before.

In a more dramatic example, he pointed out that flights between German cities Cologne and Frankfurt had to be ceased soon after a high-speed train began operations.

Asked about a high-speed line's potential impact on the local airlines, Hunter said: "It should take market share because of the convenience of the time, (however) there's a big question mark over how much of the market share.

"But in our experience, its not a finite market. The market actually grows so everybody benefits."

The high-speed train's seating capacity is expected to be a major factor in Malaysia, with talk of fitting in 400 to 500 passengers per train on each trip, said Hunter.

On the potential cost of the project - which media reports say is about US$2.3 billion (RM8 billion) - he said it was hard to give an estimate now, given that there were many factors involved.

Land acquisition costs would be a significant factor, he said, and that would depend on which route the line would end up taking.

On how long it would typically take to build a high-speed line like that, he said it could be anywhere between two and five years.

Asked if he expected the Government to make a decision on the project this year, he said: "There could be some initial decision on which way to go this year."

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Old April 8th, 2007, 07:37 AM   #2
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Map of Peninsular Malaysia

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Old April 8th, 2007, 11:38 AM   #3
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I assume that any new high speed line would bypass Johor Bahru and the causeway to avoid the congestion there. For the same reason I've heard of plans to build an expressway bridge across the straits. Any progress with this proposal?
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Old April 8th, 2007, 11:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Luc View Post
I assume that any new high speed line would bypass Johor Bahru and the causeway to avoid the congestion there. For the same reason I've heard of plans to build an expressway bridge across the straits. Any progress with this proposal?
current malaysia PM canceled that project!
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Old April 8th, 2007, 12:40 PM   #5
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^ Why? There seems to be a definite need for it, judging by the congestion on the causeway.
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Old April 8th, 2007, 01:03 PM   #6
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he doesn't give a reasonable answer...
most people believe there are some political issues behind it...and the issue was hot in malaysia once...it involves both current and previous PM

but there's a new gigantic immigration terminal being constructed to tacle the congestion...
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Old April 11th, 2007, 07:04 AM   #7
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Siemens eyes high-speed link
TheEdgeDaily.com, 9 Apr 2007
By Maryann Tan



The Velaro i the culmination of Siemens' efforts to achieve
an average speed of 350kph for high-speed rail transport


In a Siemens-sponsored study conducted by MRC McLean Hazel and GlobeScan, this year will be the first time in history that more people will live in cities than in the countryside.

Hence, city planners have placed top priority on investment in transport infrastructure, deemed as the sector with the biggest impact on city competitiveness.

To the German engineering giant, this means huge opportunities and big money to come. As one of the world leaders in rail transport systems, Siemens has already gained a lead over its competitors.
In Malaysia, Siemens' partnership with YTL Corp is proving to be an effective strategy for it to be involved in the proposed construction of a high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

As Friedrich Smaxwil, vice president of Group Transportation Systems Siemens AG, points out, "Having a good reference in a country is the best argument for us."

Siemens technology has been applied in both the KLIA rail link and Ipoh-Rawang double-tracking project.

With early feasibility studies carried out, the KL-Singapore high-speed link has been estimated to cost RM8.1 billion. So far, no commitment from either the government of Malaysia or Singapore has been made although it has been reported that Malaysia was very keen on it.

With the idea for the link still in its early days, Siemens managers are guarded in their comments.
Tim Hunter, the new head of Transportation Systems at Siemens Malaysia Sdn Bhd, was hesitant to say whether Siemens will be YTL's definite partner if the latter ultimately secures the job.

"It's early to say… I would like to think so, we think we're well qualified. We have had a long relationship with YTL," he told reporters at a Siemens event in Madrid.






(From left) Smaxwil: Having a good reference in a country is the best
argument for us; Hunter: We're well qualified for the KL-Singapore high-
speed link job





Hunter notes that there will be competing technology partners, notably Alstom, Japanese contractors such as Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Bombardier, the Koreans and possibly even a Spanish company, should the proposal advance to the bidding stage.

One possible route for the line is the existing KTM route, although this would have to be upgraded extensively to meet the load, power supply and speed aims of a much more advanced train.

The trains are expected to be much wider so there will be significant amounts of land acquisition, for which both governments will have to provide backing in order for the rail link to be a success.

The KTM route, for instance, runs into the Tanjong Pagar district of Singapore. Although the land currently belongs to Malaysia, it would be impossible to operate a high-speed train without substantial widening of the tracks and tunnels.

Additionally, there have been suggestions that the link connects KLIA, Putrajaya and possibly even Melaka, Hunter says.

He adds that the biggest engineering challenge would be in building the link to cross the straits.
As with most infrastructure projects, the resulting social and economic impact is currently being studied. If priced at an optimum, a high-speed rail, which offers convenience and time-savings, can be very successful in attracting commuters currently travelling by bus, car and air.

For distances of up to 600 km between cities, high-speed rails have proven to be very effective in pinching market share (gaining up to 80%). Airlines will probably suffer most on these routes as passengers save on travelling time to the airport, avoid the hassle of check-in and the discomfort associated with air travel.
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Old April 11th, 2007, 11:03 AM   #8
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Wow highspeed rails popping up all over Asia.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #9
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High-speed train offer from Siemens
STORIES BY CHAN CHING THUT
Monday April 23, 2007
TheStar


YTL Corp Bhd managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh raised the buzz on high-speed rail service when he proposed the service to link Kuala Lumpur and Singapore last July.

Until now, no decision has been made as the Malaysian government is still studying the proposal.

However, Siemens is ready to share its expertise in high-speed rail technology if the project gets the approval.

Siemens Malaysia Sdn Bhd transportation systems head Tim Hunter said the company was likely to work with YTL Corp if the latter was awarded the project.







The Velaro E has a top speed of 350km an hour





YTL Corp had conducted a study, which found the project feasible.

“The Government is identifying the political, economic and environmental impact and all issues relating to the existing transportation network,” he told Malaysian reporters during an international media tour of the new Velaro E in Madrid, Spain, recently.

The Velaro E is the latest in the high-speed trains platform developed by Siemens.

Hunter said there was no deadline on when the Government would conclude the study but he anticipated “soon”.







The interior of the Club Class





“The topography of Peninsular Malaysia is appropriate for high-speed rail.

“As for challenges, it will be to cross the straits into Singapore and integration with existing rail system,” he said, adding that the route could possibly begin at KL Sentral station, linking the KL International Airport (KLIA), Johor Baru and end at Singapore's Changi Airport.

“That will make more sense because inter-modal exchanges are important. It has to be linked to existing transport modes.

“The service may probably link Malacca and Putrajaya, although nothing is confirmed yet,” he said.

The distance between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore City is 325km. If the Velaro E is used, which has a top speed of 350km/h; travel time will be reduced to 90 minutes.







The cockpit






Hunter said the train's proposed seating capacity was between 400 and 500 people on a single trip.

YTL Corp has previously drawn the expertise of Siemens to develop the Express Rail Link, which connects KL Sentral and KLIA.

Siemens has also managed the Ipoh-Rawang double-tracking electrification project, hence, it feels it could offer its latest technology should the high-speed rail project receive the green light.

Besides Siemens, other players that provide high-speed rail technology include France's Alstom, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Hitachi from Japan and Spain's Construccionesy Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles S. A.

Although Hunter did not reveal the project's actual cost, he said it would run into billions of ringgit as factors such as land acquisition, route, civil engineering and system costs, speed and density had to be considered.

According to published reports, the high-speed rail was expected to cost RM8bil.

“Land acquisition cost will be significant. Funding will be another main challenge and it is unsure at the moment who will bear the cost.

“Private finance initiative is one of the options. The project could be completed between two and five years, but that will depend on the engineering issues that may crop up,” he explained.

Hunter said an agreement between Malaysia and Singapore was highly important before the project could even proceed.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #10
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High Speed Train
Malaysia, Volume 84
18.04.2007



Malaysia and Singapore have agreed on a $2.34bn plan to build a high speed train linking Kuala Lumpur to Singapore to increase trade, investment and tourist flow between the two business hubs.

Singapore is Malaysia's second largest trading partner after the US and its largest trade partner within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), accounting for 54.4% of total trade within ASEAN, according to the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA).

The project will enable to cut the 350 km journey to just 90 minutes compared to the seven-hour journey on the current rail service, with each train expected to carry 500 to 600 passengers.

Construction is expected to start before the end of the year and should be completed by 2009.

Malaysia's largest construction and power company, YTL, is spearheading the project, which should receive formal approval from the Malaysian government within the next two months. In the meantime, YTL has already started work on the Design and Track Laying (DTL) plan.

While bullet trains operate regionally in both Japan and Taiwan, the KL-Singapore route will be the first inter-country bullet train outside of Europe. There has also been talk of extending the link to Bangkok, but no action has been taken in this direction.

Siemens, which already has a strong presence in Malaysia, having worked on the high speed train linking Kuala Lumpur's main train station to the international airport, openly expressed its interest in becoming the project's technology contractor.

Tim Hunter, Siemens' new head of rail for Malaysia, spoke of the project in the local press last week, stating, "We're certainly well qualified for the job."

The company, which is also behind the Barcelona /Madrid bullet train that will begin operating next month, is expected to face competition for the project from France's Alstom, Japanese contractor Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Canada's Bombardier.

The new rail link will significant boost the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in south Johor, the Malaysian state which lies closest to the Singapore border. IDR, one of the key growth areas under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, will offer a range of incentives to attract manufacturing and service activities, giving Singapore-based companies a chance to exploit low-cost advantages while remaining close to their headquarters. The increased interconnection the train will offer should make foreign investment from Singapore into the IDR more attractive. According to MIDA, Singapore was the 5th largest source of foreign investments in Malaysia in 2006, contributing $500m.

Another area in which the project will benefit the Johar region will be tourism. With two major resorts expected for completion by 2009, the IDR is looking to develop into a major international tourism centre. According to the Malaysian Immigrant Department, visitors from Singapore account for half the monthly arrivals in Malaysia.

One issue of interest is the impact the new train will have on local flight operators. There are approximately 30 daily flights between the two hubs, with 1.7m passengers reported to have flown between the two destinations in 2005. Some argue that as train journeys are cheaper and more convenient, market share for local airlines could significantly decline.

http://www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com/weekly01.asp?id=2814
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SO it'd be 2 months to go on the decison..everyone pray that this deal will go through.
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Last edited by forrestcat; April 28th, 2007 at 02:02 PM.
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Old April 29th, 2007, 04:08 PM   #11
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Hopefully Thailand will sort out our political issues and this line will be extended to Bangkok soon (or at least Hadyai, then Bangkok, then the rest of our country).
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Old April 29th, 2007, 04:48 PM   #12
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This is the type of Siemens technology I'd like to see as the basis for a high speed line from KL to Singapore:



That said, if Transrapid isn't possible, the Velaro is quite a sexy train.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 05:14 AM   #13
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EPU In Final Stage Evaluating Kuala Lumpur-Singapore Bullet Train Proposal - Chan


KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 (Bernama) -- The Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the Prime Minister's Department is in the final stage of evaluating the proposed RM8 billion bullet train project between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said.

"From the technical aspect, we (Transport Ministry) have given our inputs. The EPU is in the last lap of perusing the proposal paper.

Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the government's investment arm, had completed the social impact study," he said when asked on the progress of the high-speed train project mooted by YTL Group.

YTL, a public-listed conglomerate, had proposed to develop and finance the project which could cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to merely 90 minutes instead of the current eight hours.

YTL conducted a feasibility study and had submitted its findings to the government for consideration. If the project receives the government nod, it would be implemented under the Private Financing Initiative.

Asked on "The Edge Weekly" report that the project was facing stiff opposition from "some quarters" in the government as YTL had sought an annual subsidy to the tune of RM1 billion from the government, Chan said he was not aware of such a request from the company.

He said the government was studying the project proposal carefully and had not made a decision yet.

-- BERNAMA
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Old July 20th, 2007, 04:32 PM   #14
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Bullet train between Kuala Lumpur & Singapore? Just hope everything running well...
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Old August 26th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #15
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90mins...Wow....Hope it gets approved!!!
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Old August 26th, 2007, 05:46 PM   #16
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wow, 90 mins would make it so possible to commute between the cities!
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Old August 26th, 2007, 05:59 PM   #17
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It takes 90 mins to travel from Taipei to Kaohsiung. If Singapore to KL takes 90 mins or less, it would definitely be worthwhile for a trip to KL. But its ticket price better be S$75 or less since Taipei - Kaohsiung is only S$75.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 10:25 AM   #18
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‘Neutral’ on YTL Corp upon securing bullet train project
by Lee Yu Tang, 27 Aug 2007 12:41 PM


CREDIT Suisse equity research has maintained its “neutral” rating on YTL Corp Bhd with a target price of RM9 on the assumption that the company secures the RM8 billion bullet train project.

It said the main risk to its rating would be the possibility of the bullet train proposal being rejected or delayed, and added that the company’s 22% potential upside was below the market potential upside of 32%.

It said YTL Corp’s FY07 net profit was 12% above the market consensus figure due to a one-off deferred tax credit of RM123.3 million, and the FY07 pre-tax profit was in line with both the market consensus and its estimates.

The research house said the company’s FY07 earnings before interest, tax and depreciation as well as pre-tax profits rose 8.4% and 3.6% respectively, driven by the cement and water businesses.

“As we expected, YTL Corp increased its total net dividend to 18.3 sen in FY07 (versus 5.4 sen in FY06), or a net dividend yield of 2.5%,” it said.

Credit Suisse said the company had announced a renounceable offer for sale (ROS) of 2% - 2.5% of its RM1 shares (versus the market price of RM2.29) on a 1-for-15 basis, implying that a holder of one share would gain 8.6 sen (assuming no change in share prices) and translating into an additional return of 1.2% for shareholders.

It said the ROS exercise may expedite the conversion of the company’s warrants into ordinary shares, and added that the ROS would increase the free float of YTL Power International Bhd by 100 million to 129 million shares or an equivalent of 37 to 48 trading days.

It said YTL Corp’s treasury shares of 9.1% of its share capital currently could be redistributed as dividends, which the company had done previously when these shares were close to the maximum 10% allowed level.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #19
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Singapore keen on KL high-speed rail service
Business Times Malaysia, March 27 2007

MANILA: Singapore is keen to receive a plan by Malaysia to develop a high-speed rail service linking the two countries, the city-state's Ministry of Transport said.

Malaysia plans to start discussions with Singapore on the project this year, Johor Chief Minister Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said last week.

"We are open to the idea of a high-speed rail link and we look forward to receiving a proposal from the Malaysian Government," the Transport Ministry said yesterday in an e-mailed statement in response to queries.

The rail link may boost travel between the two countries, where more than 30 flights connect passengers between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur daily on plane rides that last less than an hour.

A high-speed rail service will hasten travel time as the current train takes about seven hours between the two cities with stops along the way. That's almost twice the four-hour drive along the highway.

Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said on November 6 it's still studying YTL Corp's proposed development of a rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

YTL owns the railway from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the city. - Bloomberg
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Old August 27th, 2007, 10:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
YTL plans 2 high-speed rail projects this year
Business Times Malaysia, March 26 2007
By Sharen Kaur


YTL Corp Bhd, the country's largest builder and power group, will ride on its expertise and experience from its Express Rail Link (ERL) development, to execute two high-speed rail projects in Malaysia this year.

The two are the proposed private finance initiative bullet train project by YTL linking Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, which may cost more than RM8.1 billion to develop due to its technical and engineering aspects and environment protection plan, and the pending Sentul-Batu Caves high-speed rail project estimated to cost some RM550 million.

"The Government of Malaysia and Singapore have given the thumbs up for the bullet train project and YTL has started working out the design and track laying (DTL) plan, which will include a prototype design quite similar to bullet trains in Japan and Taiwan, to submit to the respective agencies for approval in the next four to six months," said a company official who declined to be named.

The official said the DTL plan is handled by experts who will also study details of environmental preservation and minimise as much as possible the relocation of people along the stretch.

"Feasibility studies are being carried out. The design will be very sleek and the building of structures will take time to complete to avoid going through grey areas.

"YTL plans to use the prototype of its ERL project and draw the expertise of Siemens AG, Europe's largest engineering company, for the bullet train project," the official said.

The official added that YTL and Siemens are expected to commence work on the project by year end, and the cut off time would be end-2009.

It is firmly believed that YTL is also planning to rope in Siemens, which has worked on several railway developments in Malaysia including the ERL project, as the civil and engineering contractor for the Sentul Batu Caves project.

YTL will work on the Sentul-Batu Caves project via its partly-owned unit, Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd, the developer of the Sentul West project.

The Finance Ministry had in 2005 given out letters of intent to Sentul Raya, Saujana Beta Development Sdn Bhd, a unit of Brunsfield Corp Sdn Bhd, and Golden Land Development Sdn Bhd, an infrastructure development company, to jointly work on the project.

"YTL is expected to work on the entire project after Saujana Beta and Golden Land could not agree on certain terms and conditions and the price structure," said a source familiar with railway development in the country.

When contacted, Saujana Beta and Golden Land said they are unaware of any plan by the Government to hand over the entire project to YTL.

YTL had also declined to comment, saying instead that it is not in their place to make any comments at this point.

"We are however going to confirm our plans for the expansion of the Sentul KTM Komuter station, which in the future will be an integrated themed train centre with retail, F&B outlets, offices and more," it said in an e-mail reply.

The Sentul-Batu Caves rail project involves the installation of a double-tracking system along a 7.5km stretch and electrification, signalling and communication works, upgrading of the Batu Caves station, building of three flyovers and two underpasses and fare collection.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nazrey View Post
Siemens eyes high-speed link
TheEdgeDaily.com, 9 Apr 2007
By Maryann Tan



The Velaro i the culmination of Siemens' efforts to achieve
an average speed of 350kph for high-speed rail transport


In a Siemens-sponsored study conducted by MRC McLean Hazel and GlobeScan, this year will be the first time in history that more people will live in cities than in the countryside.

Hence, city planners have placed top priority on investment in transport infrastructure, deemed as the sector with the biggest impact on city competitiveness.

To the German engineering giant, this means huge opportunities and big money to come. As one of the world leaders in rail transport systems, Siemens has already gained a lead over its competitors.
In Malaysia, Siemens' partnership with YTL Corp is proving to be an effective strategy for it to be involved in the proposed construction of a high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

As Friedrich Smaxwil, vice president of Group Transportation Systems Siemens AG, points out, "Having a good reference in a country is the best argument for us."

Siemens technology has been applied in both the KLIA rail link and Ipoh-Rawang double-tracking project.

With early feasibility studies carried out, the KL-Singapore high-speed link has been estimated to cost RM8.1 billion. So far, no commitment from either the government of Malaysia or Singapore has been made although it has been reported that Malaysia was very keen on it.

With the idea for the link still in its early days, Siemens managers are guarded in their comments.
Tim Hunter, the new head of Transportation Systems at Siemens Malaysia Sdn Bhd, was hesitant to say whether Siemens will be YTL's definite partner if the latter ultimately secures the job.

"It's early to say… I would like to think so, we think we're well qualified. We have had a long relationship with YTL," he told reporters at a Siemens event in Madrid.






(From left) Smaxwil: Having a good reference in a country is the best
argument for us; Hunter: We're well qualified for the KL-Singapore high-
speed link job





Hunter notes that there will be competing technology partners, notably Alstom, Japanese contractors such as Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Bombardier, the Koreans and possibly even a Spanish company, should the proposal advance to the bidding stage.

One possible route for the line is the existing KTM route, although this would have to be upgraded extensively to meet the load, power supply and speed aims of a much more advanced train.

The trains are expected to be much wider so there will be significant amounts of land acquisition, for which both governments will have to provide backing in order for the rail link to be a success.

The KTM route, for instance, runs into the Tanjong Pagar district of Singapore. Although the land currently belongs to Malaysia, it would be impossible to operate a high-speed train without substantial widening of the tracks and tunnels.

Additionally, there have been suggestions that the link connects KLIA, Putrajaya and possibly even Melaka, Hunter says.

He adds that the biggest engineering challenge would be in building the link to cross the straits.
As with most infrastructure projects, the resulting social and economic impact is currently being studied. If priced at an optimum, a high-speed rail, which offers convenience and time-savings, can be very successful in attracting commuters currently travelling by bus, car and air.

For distances of up to 600 km between cities, high-speed rails have proven to be very effective in pinching market share (gaining up to 80%). Airlines will probably suffer most on these routes as passengers save on travelling time to the airport, avoid the hassle of check-in and the discomfort associated with air travel.
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