Singapore-Kuala Lumpur 'bullet train' delayed to at least 2023

By David Flynn, May 6 2015
Singapore-Kuala Lumpur 'bullet train' delayed to at least 2023

It's the announcement which nobody wanted to hear, although few were surprised: "The 2020 express train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur has been delayed. By several years, in fact. We don't know when it'll actually arrive, but we apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Yes, the high-speed track between Singapore and KL is no longer on track, with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong now saying the original plans to have trains running in 2020 were unrealistic.

"We looked at the original timeline of 2020, and think it is not really realistic," Lee admits, adding that the project was a "very challenging" one.

First announced in 2013, and costed at close to A$14 billion, the bullet train would have travelled between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in just 90 minutes non-stop, reaching peak speeds of 300kph along the specially-built 320km track.

That compares to a 45 minute flight between the each capital city's airport, although passengers must then make their way to the CBD.

Read: When the train beats the plane

Slower trains would also visit six stations at major cities along the route.

A revised timeline is due to be announced by year's end, but Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said construction of the line itself would take five years, following one year each for design stage and tender process – which points to a new date sometime in 2023 at the earliest.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

"very challenging" diplomatically no doubt!

Like Australia's relationship with Indonesia, Singapore's relationship with Malaysia is sometimes a bit of a cross to bear.

But you won't hear a squeak of it of course being "good ASEAN" neighbours and everything!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2213

It's also financially challenging, as it's going to cost Malaysia a lot of money for what is alleged to be not very much economic benefit.


Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

08 Aug 2012

Total posts 33

I believe the gateway plans are different to the diagram.  The HSR terminal for Singapore is now in Jurong East, so travel via 2nd link and Nusajaya.

Johor/Woodlands was changed to an extension of the Singapore MRT to Johor Bahru.

Agree both options are challenging.


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