(Source: www.straitstimes.com)

KUALA LUMPUR – The High-Speed Rail (HSR) project linking Singapore and Kuala Lumpur could see a change in alignment, due to a request from the private sector to divert the line to Forest City in Johor, it was reported on Friday (Oct 13).

Hong Kong-listed property developer Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd is courting the government to build a HSR station in Forest City, Malaysia’s New Straits Times (NST) reported, citing sources.

The report said Country Garden has made requests to the authorities and stakeholders.

“Discussions are ongoing between the authorities and stakeholders. They are talking about the additional cost of adding a station in Forest City.

“The discussions will involve the Land Public Transport Commission as it will need a feasibility study. Whether it will be a revised proposal for the HSR project, will depend on the outcome of discussions,” NST quoted a source as saying.

The source said Country Garden planned points of entry from Malaysia and Singapore, with a ferry and light rail transit network at the centre of it all. The possible station in Forest City would be the new transport hub for Johor Baru, similar to KL Sentral in Brickfields, the source added.

The 350km Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR is slated to be completed by end-2026 and will cut travel time between the two cities to 90 minutes.

There will be an express service between the two terminal stations – Jurong East in Singapore and Bandar Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur; a shorter shuttle service will connect Singapore and Iskandar Puteri in Johor; and a domestic service will link the seven stations in Malaysia.

In the current alignment, the train will depart Iskandar Puteri and go towards the second causeway, then cross an overhead bridge into Singapore.

“The same alignment can still be used, but the path may be diverted to Forest City before heading to the (second) causeway. The distance could be longer and will cost more for Malaysia. Singapore, however, will not be affected by this move,” the source told NST.

The source said the proposed station in Forest City would cater to tourists and the 700,000 people expected to live in the residential and commercial enclave when the project is completed in 20 years.

“Country Garden expects Forest City to fuel Johor’s growth and the economy in Malaysia and Singapore. Therefore, having a HSR station there will benefit both countries,” said the source.

More Info: www.straitstimes.com