ERL keen to bid for KL-Singapore HSR project

SEPANG: Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL), the operator of KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit train services, is keen to bid for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, saying it is a good candidate with its capabilities and technical know-how.

Its chief executive officer Noormah Mohd Nor said this was based on ERL’s proven track record of delivering projects as well as being the only company in the country operating a high-speed train.

“Technically, we have delivered the 57km ERL project from KL Sentral to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), and the extension to klia2, which was completed ahead of schedule and within the budget.

“It’s not as simple as running a normal train project. We already have the expertise and the maintenance is all done internally.”

She was speaking  to reporters after a site visit to klia2 by SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar, along with the Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd senior general manager (Operations Services) Datuk Azmi Murad, yesterday.

Noormah said ERL plans to buy an additional four sets of trains to support the transit operation following the commencement of klia2 which would definitely increase the volume of commuters.

Currently, ERL has 12 train sets — eight KLIA Ekspres and four KLIA Transit.

“We have ... invited bids from Europe as well as China, and it’s in the final stage.

“Hopefully, we can conclude the bids within two months and it will take about 23 months for the trains to be delivered,” she said, adding the costs were still under discussion”.

Noormah said the company has proposed extending the railways to Seremban and Melaka in order to serve passengers outside Kuala Lumpur.

Noormah said the company has no plans to list on Bursa Malaysia at the moment but “will study the proposal”.

Both KLIA Ekspress and KLIA Transit will start commercial operations on May 2, in conjunction with the opening of the klia2 airport terminal.

The first 1,000 visitors will be given free return tickest for travel from KL Sentral to klia2 on a first come, first serve basis, available for booking from the website only. — Bernama

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 22, 2014.


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