MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd, the agency tasked with overseeing the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail project (HSR), has announced that land acquisitions for the project will likely take place by the third quarter of 2017.
The major bilateral transportation project aims to provide a rapid link between Bandar Malaysia in KL and Jurong East in the Island Republic involving a pair of rail tracks spanning 350km. About 335km of the line will be within Malaysian territory.
MyHSR is currently busy identifying parcels of land measuring 50m in width to be used as the final alignment from Bandar Malaysia. Work is expected to start on this portion once the Sungai Besi airfield is vacated, and the Malaysian stretch of the track will lead all the way to Iskandar Puteri in Johor.
MyHSR chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal said a mix of private and state land will be acquired for the project. However, much of the rail stretch will run through plantation land.
The first two milestones for the project in 2017, Ismal said, would be the appointment of a joint development partner for HSR (via a tender process) as well as the appointment of reference design consultants (RDCs) for the Malaysian stretch of the rail project.
“The RDCs will look at the respective stations and alignments to optimise them all, though it will be more from the civil engineering perspective. The appointment will likely be made by the first quarter of next year,” he said.
Ismal also revealed that future HSR stations would be built at new areas that are not situated too far from existing commercial and populated centres.
At the same time, he said the stations need to be large enough to cater to the anticipated future ridership, with ample space to cater to fresh development activity surrounding them.
MyHSR also said the number of stops will be limited to allow for the targeted 90-minute journey from Bandar Malaysia to Jurong East.