Any one of you out there resembles Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) who loves train and claim yourself as a train maniac? (Hands up!)
Malaysia has a plan drawn every five years that serves as a guideline in developing the country. During the 6th Malaysia Plan in 1991,Vision 2020 was proposed by Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad in developing Malaysia into an industrialized country encompassing most aspects from economic prosperity, political stability, social well-being, educational as well as a developed united nation.
Malaysia is currently in its 10th Malaysia Plan and will be drawing a plan for the next five year soon as 2015 approaches. In order to achieve Vision 2020, a bullet train is proposed in the 11th Malaysia Plan.
Preliminary discussions of a High Speed Railway (HSR) linking between Kuala Lumpur to Singapore have been made.
Akihiro Ota, the Transport Minister of Japan recently visited Malaysia and had discussions with Malaysia Transport Minister, Liow Tiong Lai. Liow informs that Malaysia welcome Japan’s proposal on technology as well as financial package on the rail project. An RM40bil price tag was estimated and is expected to be built by 2020.
“We are racing against time,” Liow said.
The HSR which stretches approximately 320km with the journey from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore takes roughly 90 minutes.
Many countries including China, South Korea, France, Germany, Britain as well as Spain have expressed interest in the project. Malaysia is yet to appoint tenders whilst both Malaysia and Singapore are conducting feasibility studies.
It is reckoned that bidding for the project will most likely be held in 2015 or later.
As told by Liow, the Shinkansen System is “one of the best in the world.”
Ota expressed that Japan is prepared to provide know-how to build communities along the line and cooperate in financing. Plus, he definitively pin point the reliability and safety of the Shinkansen system.
What is Shinkansen?
Japan is the pioneer in Shinkansen (bullet train) network which has been developed for more than 40 years.
The first generation train in 1964 runs at up to 200km/h (125mph). The technology of Shinkansen was then further developed and improved. 40 years later, the N700 series Shinkansen was introduced and could accelerates up to 300km/h (186mph).
The train is able to fit up for 636 passengers and seat widths are divided into two types, first class and economy class, with latter class seats being 5 inches smaller than the former.
No passenger fatality or injury has been recorded in the course of billions of passenger movements since the beginning commercial operation in the Central Japan Railway Company’s (JR Central) Shinkansen, providing the assurance of safety.
Much research has been done to reduce noise level. The aerodynamic design of the train not only reduces air resistance, but also increases energy efficiency, thus decreasing noise level.
With an approximation of 50% lower consumption rate than other railway system, the N700 has the lowest carbon footprint compared to all existing HSR, contributing to green transport.
Japan is famous for its punctuality and reliability. The Shinkansen recorded an annual delay per train of 36 seconds throughout the entire network in Japan and this is extremely remarkable!
Have a peak at the N700 Series Shinkansen HSR system here:
Although the project is still years ahead and under discussions, we are certainly excited about connecting Malaysia and Singapore nearer to each other.