24 July 2016
When high-speed trains began running between Tokyo and Osaka 52 years ago, they revolutionised travel between the two Japanese cities.
Since then, high-speed rail links in Europe and East Asia have changed travel patterns and drawn cities closer together.
There are similar expectations for the planned high-speed rail link between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
Last week, both governments signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on key points of the project, paving the way for further progress in key areas.
Joint tenders will have to be called, numbers crunched and decisions made – from working out details of the alignment of the tracks to financing the project – before the trains start running around 2026.
The benefits will be significant. As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said after the MOU signing in Putrajaya: “It will draw our peoples and our economies together, and we can think of Singapore and KL in the same way as people think of London-Paris, Taipei-Kaohsiung or Tokyo-Osaka.”
… S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies research fellow Wu Shang-su and Associate Professor Alan Chong say in a commentary that high-speed rail lines such as the Eurostar between London and Paris and Brussels took years to turn a profit.
They point instead to firms in Japan and South Korea, which emphasise urban development around stations as crucial for profitability.
CMS / GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 25/07/2016