The politics and costs of high-speed rail projectThe one planned for Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and estimated to cost $14.9 billion, has been hailed by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong as a “game-changer”. The two prime ministers gave the green light to South-east Asia’s first HSR project two years ago. Once operational, the 300kmh train service will significantly reduce travelling time between the two capitals to 90 minutes, shorter than that of even low-cost air carriers.
Most of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore transit stations, based on the current masterplan, are located away from the city centre. Moreover, the terminal in Kuala Lumpur will not be KL Sentral, and at the Singapore end, the terminal will be in Jurong East and not downtown.
I am personally quite excited about this project. I have used high speed rail in other parts of the world and think it is very very reasonable and efficient.
Why it works for me (well when I worked internationally) was the ability to take the train downtown to be delivered down town. This is especially so in Japan and especially between Tokyo and Osaka which I have done numerous times.
The concern for me is the distance from the city centre for the stations being proposed.