Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bullet Train, Part 2

Malaysia says it will soon talk to Singapore on a private sector plan to build a bullet train between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore on Wednesday, commissioning a study of the proposal, state news agency Bernama said on Wednesday.

According to reports, Malaysian property and utility firm YTL Corp Bhd has proposed to build and run an 8-billion-ringgit (US$2.2 billion) bullet train between KL and Singapore. No other details are available.

The YTL plan, which first surfaced last year, has generated the usual debate about the need for such a service, as evidenced by the responses to a news article posted on Malaysia Today.

There is definitely a need for a fast train service between the two capitals. Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM service as seen in this pix) can take more than eight hours to connect KL and Singapore. Driving takes half the time. Perhaps, the old KTM train service should be dedicated to ferrying non-perishable goods like fertiliser.

The two countries must see a faster train service -- that can cut travel time to between 90 minutes and 2 hours between the two capitals -- as beneficial to the PEOPLE of the two countries and not be sidetracked by smaller and technical issues or "balance of benefits".

Although a faster train project is necessary, there will be many complications as mentioned in an earlier posting.

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