TOKYO, Oct 23 – Malaysia will start finalising details with Singapore on the upcoming High Speed Rail (HSR) project in the first quarter of next year.
Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said this to Malaysian and Singaporean reporters at the High-Speed Rail Conference 2014 here Wednesday.
The conference is held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Tokaido Shinkansen (Tokaido bullet train).
“As far as the feasibility study is concerned, we have submitted it (report)to the (Malaysian) government and they have accepted it. It will go to both the Prime Ministers (of Malaysia and Singapore).
“Two committees have already been established – a technical and a joint ministerial committee,” he said.
Singapore is still in the midst of its own feasibility study and is expected to complete it early next year.
Syed Hamid said the government was currently assessing the best HSR system for Malaysia to adopt based on the ones from Europe, China and Japan.
It was not merely the technology that was being studied but the human capital and cultural mindset behind it as well, he added.
On the lack of rail specialists in Malaysia, he said more universities have been offering courses on rail engineering in preparation for the country’s changing public transport landscape.
He admitted that the HSR “was a whole new level” in rail technology but assured that local rail engineers would be sent for overseas training once the government had decided the country from which the technology would be sourced from.
Syed Hamid said seven HSR stops have been confirmed on Malaysia’s side, namely Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Batu Pahat, Muar and Nusajaya.