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Old July 4th, 2006, 02:48 PM   #1
babystan03
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KL-Singapore fast rail link

4 July 2006
YTL Corp. in talks for KL-S'pore rail link

Malaysia's YTL Corp, says it's in talks with the government for a rail link to Singapore.

The group currently operates a railway between the international airport in Sepang and Kuala Lumpur.

YTL Managing Director, Francis Yeoh, expects to reach an agreement on the railway in two years.

He said the group plans to take its rail unit public to raise between 6 and 8 billion Ringgit to fund the project if it gets the concession for the line to Singapore.

Mr Yeoh told Bloomberg News that the share sale would excite the market.

"Serious fund managers around the world was looking at it and saying its a no-brainer. When is it going to take off ? So actually this is a project where the time has come, so we seriously looking at that."

Separately, YTL, says it is interested in bidding for a Singapore power generation plant should it be put up for sale.

Temasek Holdings has been reviewing plans to sell its three power generation plants, but a decision has yet to be made on the sale.

Singapore is opening its power market to allow generators and retailers to compete to raise efficiency and bring prices down for consumers.

Copyright © 2006 MediaCorp Radio New Media Development
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Old July 4th, 2006, 03:20 PM   #2
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Cool. Been waiting for this new rail link for very long... like since 2002/3 when AirAsia opened up the JHB-KUL run.
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Old July 4th, 2006, 03:37 PM   #3
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Just connecting it to Kranji Station or Woodlands Station will do. Don't bring it into the city like KL Sentral or Seoul Station where land has to be reserved for it from Woodlands to the City. It will only lead to complications should relations between SG and MY change (obviously hopefully not, I like them the way they are now, if not better). And it won't really bring about too much of an improvement in accessibility by putting it in Marina Bay or HarbourFront or anything.

And the best thing if this succeeds is that they could come up with:
1. Express (Singapore - KL)
2. Local (what they already have now) incorporating Cross Border service (Kranji - City Center), with passport checks in between that is. That would remove the buses from the jammed Causeway, as well as some cars. Train configuration would be like a normal Metro carriage, they have these in Taiwan.

Damn cool. But its only a dream...

Last edited by ignoramus; July 4th, 2006 at 03:42 PM.
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Old July 4th, 2006, 05:29 PM   #4
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Would this affect the existing KTM service? The article didnt mention where in Singapore the train would stop
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Old July 4th, 2006, 10:49 PM   #5
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Don't think it will affect the Tg Pagar run, but maybe S'pore Govt would want to use it for barter. Give up Tg Pagar, and we will build a hub at Kranji MRT. Lols.

Even if not, they can start construction till Johor Bahru first. It's okay.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 08:28 AM   #6
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YTL in talks to build KL-S'pore fast rail link

5 Jul 06

By PAULINE NG
IN KUALA LUMPUR

MALAYSIAN conglomerate YTL Corp is in discussions with the Malaysian government on a high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, its group managing director Francis Yeoh said yesterday.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Mr Yeoh indicated that the plan had the backing of the Malaysian government, which is keen to develop the South Johor Economic Region to drive economic activity and leverage on Singapore's two integrated resorts.

'This is one project that everyone knows can work. Our government is very serious about this and they're encouraging us to look at it,' he said.

A high-speed train would take two hours or so to cover the 300km between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Today's rail service takes seven hours.

Before he stepped down, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad approved an electrified double-track rail line running 636km from north to south of the Peninsular. But the RM14.5 billion (S$6.2 billion) project was shelved by Abdullah Badawi after he took the reins of government in 2003. The line approved by Dr Mahathir was to have been funded by the government and built by a consortium involving Malaysian Mining Corp and Gamuda.

Mr Yeoh indicated yesterday that YTL would fund its line privately.

He said that if YTL is given the concession it will float its 50 per cent subsidiary Express Rail Link (ERL) to raise the RM6-8 billion needed.

ERL, which turned profitable in 2003, operates the non-stop KLIA Express from Kuala Lumpur Sentral to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, as well as a rapid-transit service that makes three stops at key towns along the route.

Mr Yeoh said he is confident that agreement on a rail link to Singapore could be reached in two years, but said political wrangling between Malaysia and Singapore on issues such as the location of Malaysia's Customs, Immigration and Quarantine facilities and land owned by Malaysian state railway Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) would likely complicate matters.

Analysts said it would be a huge feather in YTL's cap if it can pull off the project - but noted that carriers serving the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route could be affected. Mr Yeoh said he plans to offer these carriers and other parties like KTM and the operators of Changi Airport and KLIA stakes in the rail project.

It is not clear how the Singapore government will react to the idea, but YTL would need its agreement if new rail tracks are to be laid. There is considerable two-way traffic between both countries. Singaporeans are the biggest visitors to Malaysia, with over nine million arrivals last year.

Malaysia's National Physical Plan recommends a high-speed rail system that connects all the state capitals be built as part of a proposed integrated national transport system.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 12:41 PM   #7
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2 Hours to KL?? Wow......that would be great for both cities......

Another way is perhaps to let budget airlines fly between Singapore and KL......even better cos it's only 1 hour....
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Old July 5th, 2006, 12:50 PM   #8
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This story was printed from TODAYonline

Track's not cleared for new S'pore-Kuala Lumpur train link

Wednesday • July 5, 2006

Lee U-Wen
u-wen@newstoday.com.sg

TRAVEL from Singapore into the heart of Kuala Lumpur in just over two hours?

Malaysian infrastructure giant YTL Corporation Berhad is hoping to make this happen. An agreement to build a high-speed train line linking the two cities could well materialise by 2008, YTL's managing director Francis Yeoh told Bloomberg in a report released yesterday.

Should the concession be granted, YTL, which owns the railway from Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the city, plans to take the rail unit public to raise up to RM8 billion ($3.5 billion) for funding.

The human traffic between the two countries is staggering. Last year, there were 7.3 million Malaysian trips recorded to Singapore, while Singaporeans made no fewer than 9.6 million trips up north to Malaysia.

The rail link, said the Bloomberg report, would complement existing air travel options. There are currently 31 flights daily between Singapore and KL, just 40 minutes apart by plane. The actual journey by air works out to much longer, with commuters taking more than an hour to travel between Kuala Lumpur's city centre and the airport alone.

The plan to build a fast train connecting the two major cities was first proposed back in 1996. For the idea to get off the ground, however, the two governments would have to agree, as land will have to be acquired in both countries to lay new tracks.

The existing tracks were laid more than 90 years ago and the train journey between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore takes at least seven hours, with numerous stops along the way.

A drive down the highway takes four hours. A high-speed train, however, could complete the 300-km journey in just over two hours.

Mr Yeoh, 51, told Bloomberg: "Indications from a lot of fund managers around the world suggest it's a no-brainer. This is one project that everybody knows can work. (The Malaysian government) is very serious about this and they're encouraging us to look at it."

Observers, however, say there are some kinks to be ironed out before both governments are likely to come to any agreement in the near future.

"The traffic between the two countries is huge, so if you talk about the dollars and cents, there's a viable business to be done. It's just whether there's a political will to make that happen," said Mr Scott Lim from KL-based CMS Dresdner Asset Management.

Mr David Cohen, an economist at Action Economics in Singapore, said the political spat between former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his successor Abdullah Badawi could hamper efforts to get the rail link underway.

Three months ago, Malaysia chose to end talks for a new bridge linking Singapore and Malaysia, to avoid political bickering and various legal disputes. Dr Mahathir then poured scorn on Mr Abdullah and their dispute is still simmering.

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 02:34 PM   #9
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Bullet train to Singapore: From KL in 90 minutes
05 Jul 2006
Rajan Moses
NewStraitTimes




YTL proposes RM8 billion high-speed train link.

KUALA LUMPUR: Imagine zipping in a bullet train from the KL Sentral station into the heart of Singapore in 90 minutes flat. That is something that will become a reality if tycoon Tan Sri Francis Yeohís plan to build and operate such a train service at a cost of up to RM8 billion takes off.

Yeoh told the New Straits Times that the Malaysian and Singapore Governments had been informed of the proposal by YTL Corp for the fast train service.

If approved, the project will become the largest to be launched on a private finance initiative (PFI) basis, as encouraged under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Construction will take three years but it could be two years before cross-border approvals and land acquisition are obtained.

Yeoh said that if the project is approved, YTL would go to the global capital market to raise the needed funds to finance it. Partners providing the rail and train technology for the project could be either Japanese, French or German operators of fast train services.

"Every single fund manager loves this project and a lot of consumers want it. The industries want it. Itís a no-brainer. Itís the perfect alternative to air and land transport between the two hubs and will integrate them," he said.

"This is not a dream and a project that canít be done. It can be done if there is a will to do it. And I pray that there will be this will to do it," he said.

"It will help move the economy ahead. The country now needs the boost of fresh private sector investment and we can do that with projects like this."

Yeoh said the KL-Singapore fast rail link could be an extension of the Sentral-Kuala Lumpur International Airport train service that is currently operated by YTL majority-owned ExpressRail Link (ERL).

The ERL was built at a cheap cost of RM35 million per kilometre compared to other train projects in the developed world built at between RM120-RM150 million per kilometre. The ERL project received no government subsidies.

"We can extend the airport line to Singapore. We can also find ways for the rail link to pass through the newly developing southern Johor Corridor enroute to Singapore," he added.

Under the YTL proposal, a new standard gauge railway line would have to be built across the southern states to accommodate trains with wider wheels that can travel at a speed of up to 350km per hour.

The metre-gauge railway lines currently used by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) can only accommodate trains with a smaller wheel size and a maximum speed of 140 km per hour.

Yeoh said the timing was just right for the launch of the project now as the Malaysian Government was keen on it and the cost of land acquisition to build the rail connection was relatively cheap.

Land cost usually accounts for 70 per cent of the cost of such rail projects while the cost for the technology accounts for 30 per cent.

"It is the land value that is important. The land cost is still affordable now in Malaysia, unlike in Hong Kong, the US or Europe."

Yeoh said Singapore has also had a look at the project.

"I donít think they will be that difficult. We have been chatting with them for quite a while now."

Yeoh said he was ready to accept Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines as well as the airport operators of both cities as "cornerstone investors" in the project to ensure relevant entities from both sides had a stake in the project.

The direct rail link will provide commuters with an alternative to expensive air travel and the slower journey by car or bus.

Would you pay to take a ride on the bullet train to Singapore? If so, how much would you be prepared to pay for the service? Give your comments below.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 02:44 PM   #10
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I think if it's price at about S$100, it's ok to me.......
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Old July 5th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #11
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woah! a hundred bucks?! forgive me coz i havent really taken many long-distant train services, but isnt that abit steep, considering i could get a better deal on budget airlines if i booked early...

although it would be nice to have trains comming in from the tuas side (if im not mistaken thats what they meant) n the 90mins travel sounds really cool n would do wonders for m'sia tourism industry. better still if they extend til Southern Thailand (ok...maybe not now...) but hu noes? in the future i could be going to phuket or bangkok just for a fun day trip thing, n it would take just a lil over 2hrs.... thai govt would LOVE this idea.... agn major tourism boost frm SG
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Old July 5th, 2006, 04:07 PM   #12
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I too think it would be better if it came in by the second link (and extend the MRT again!). It'd make more sense actually, but then you have construction costs to think about. My uncle worked on the airport line project, and yeah. I remembered him saying it'd be 2 hours to Singapore if they did it. At the moment though, they're thinking of extending the KLIA ekspres to the LCCT at KLIA.

Should the line be built though, wouldn't it compete directly with KTM's services? Unless they covered a different area (and would most likely have to sine the line comes from KLIA). Even so, how will KTM hold? Bank on commuter operations eh? Anyway, the current trains, Siemens Desiros have a maximum speed of 168kmph if I am not wrong. Operational speed is 160kmph out of urbanised areas for the KLIA ekspres.

Ticket charge, one way, is RM36 (~S$18). I'd pay +/-S$75, to maybe about S$100 which I think is reasonable.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 04:41 PM   #13
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Personally, I think some key conditions will need to be fulfilled before the train service can become reality:

1. Train service can only stop at the current checkpoint at the causeway and not at city area (Tanjong Pagar or whatever), this is what our govt trying to do in the past.

2. A GLC (keppel or Sembcorp or SMRT) will need to have a fair share in the venture.

3. All existing railway's land and Tanjong Pagar station will need to be co-developed with SG govt. Also no new land should be involved in the new development. The current railway is already taking up to much space and is affecting a lot of developments here.


Without fulfilling the above conditions, a dream will remain a dream.

Good night Mr. Yeoh, time to continue your sweet dream.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #14
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S$100 is too much.... I'll rather fly Airasia. Some SIN-KUL flights can be gotten at that price as well if you're resourceful enough.

A reasonable price would be RM100, based on a market weighting and economics. A bus ride from Larkin will be RM25, possibly RM30 by the time it opens, and paying 3 times that price is probably the max it should go. Also, I expect demand for this rail service to be very high, which will justify a smaller profit margin for each passenger.

Even if they terminated at the current Johor CIQ, I won't mind taking a bus down to catch the ERL there.
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Old July 5th, 2006, 08:30 PM   #15
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route of ERL. last pic, red is LCC-T, the extension is drawn by me, not sure if they'll allow it to run by the taxiway, though it's really tough if they wan to do a double u-turn to north and back to south along the perimeter.







will try to incorporate map of branching off from salak tinggi out to E3 soon in a new post...

Last edited by ^tamago^; July 6th, 2006 at 03:23 PM.
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Old July 6th, 2006, 12:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ^tamago^
S$100 is too much.... I'll rather fly Airasia. Some SIN-KUL flights can be gotten at that price as well if you're resourceful enough.

A reasonable price would be RM100, based on a market weighting and economics. A bus ride from Larkin will be RM25, possibly RM30 by the time it opens, and paying 3 times that price is probably the max it should go. Also, I expect demand for this rail service to be very high, which will justify a smaller profit margin for each passenger.

Even if they terminated at the current Johor CIQ, I won't mind taking a bus down to catch the ERL there.
SIN-KUL flights adds up to about S$180 when it's on offer(Japan airlines and the likes)....so S$100 train ride isn't too unrealistic.......

But I think they will offer different classes of cabin.....hence I think perhaps there will be ticket in the range of S$70-S$100.....
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Old July 6th, 2006, 01:31 AM   #17
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Jul 5, 5:43 AM EDT

Private company proposes Malaysia-Singapore bullet train link

By PAULINE JASUDASON
Associated Press Writer

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysian conglomerate YTL Corp. has proposed building a high-speed bullet train link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to cover the 325-kilometer (200-mile) journey in 90 minutes, a top executive said Wednesday.

YTL, one of Malaysia's biggest business houses, is already in talks with the two governments for the project, managing director Francis Yeoh told The Associated Press.

"We anticipate that in about two years time we should get approvals," he said. "The construction should take less than three years and it should all be up and running in less than five years" from now, he said.

The New Straits Times daily, which first reported the news on Wednesday, said the estimated 8 billion ringgit (US$2.2 billion; Ä1.7 billion) venture would be the largest under the "private finance initiative" encouraged under Malaysia's latest five-year development plan.

Yeoh said the company plans to raise funds for the project through the global capital market.

"Every single fund manager loves this project and a lot of consumers want it ... The industries want it," Yeoh told the newspaper. "It's a no-brainer."

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore link could connect with an express train from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the city train terminal, Yeoh said. The airport train is also run by YTL, which under Yeoh's leadership has developed a reputation for quality and reliability.

Yeoh said the successful operation of the airport train has given the company "a very high competency in this area."

Singapore, located across the Johor Strait at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula, is connected with Kuala Lumpur by air, road and a diesel train on a meter-gauge track built in 1913 by British colonial rulers.

Flights between the two cities are 45 minutes long, while buses take about four hours to cover the distance on the modern North-South Expressway that runs the length of the country.

Yeoh said the high-speed trains that will run at an estimated speed of 350 kilometers per hour (210 miles per hour) would need new tracks, and the technology could come from Japan, France or Germany.

He said the time was right for the project because the cost of acquiring land for it was still relatively low in Malaysia.

YTL's companies are involved in a range of businesses including power generation, real estate, construction, cement manufacturing. It also owns several shopping malls, resorts and hotels such as the JW Marriott Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.
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Old July 6th, 2006, 09:31 AM   #18
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Eh? I'm confused. If they extend the ERL to singapore, then the max speed of the trains would only be 160km/hr... Are they talking about extending the ERL or building new tracks all the way from KL Sentral?
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Old July 6th, 2006, 11:40 AM   #19
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I would prefer to pay RM100 for the train ride. Max also I would forked out is prolly RM150 (abt $75 SGD)

Given YTL's track record, I believe this had a high chances of seeing the light of day. Tan Sri Yeoh is as no-nonsense and are into details as the Singapore govt so I think that both parties could work out something. Furthermore YTL are prepared to have SIA as a partner so the questions of a big Singaporean GLC involved in this project are pretty much answered

I think that the Malaysian govt side isn't much of a problem to them
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Old July 6th, 2006, 11:53 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtfreak
I too think it would be better if it came in by the second link (and extend the MRT again!). It'd make more sense actually, but then you have construction costs to think about. My uncle worked on the airport line project, and yeah. I remembered him saying it'd be 2 hours to Singapore if they did it. At the moment though, they're thinking of extending the KLIA ekspres to the LCCT at KLIA.


I think that the line wouldn't continue from KLIA but it would branched out from Salak Tinggi station due to the station's location and its role as the ERL depot

And of course it would be cost effective to follow the alignment of the North-South Highway which ultimately ends at the Second Link because it had a more 'straight' alignment as well as landbank thus minimizing much land acquisition.

Perhaps Jurong East could be the Singapore Terminus?
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