Consortium wins $35m contract to oversee set-up of high-speed rail

A three-firm consortium has won a $34.9 million contract to partner the authorities on both sides of the Causeway to oversee the set-up of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR).

The consortium, made up of WSP Engineering, Mott MacDonald and Ernst & Young Advisory Services, beat seven other competitors.

Both Canada-based WSP and Mott MacDonald, which is headquartered in Britain, had worked on the 345km Taiwan High-Speed Rail, as well as the upcoming 1,300km California High-Speed Rail project in the United States.

The 350km Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR is slated to be completed by end-2026 and cut travel time between the two cities to 90 minutes.

The consortium - which will have offices in both Malaysia and Singapore - will assist the Land Transport Authority (LTA) here and MyHSR Corporation, a unit under the Malaysian Ministry of Finance.

It will help develop technical and safety standards for the project, as well as provide project management support and technical advice.

It will also help prepare the tenders relating to joint aspects of the project, such as the appointment of a company to provide and maintain assets such as trains and signalling systems.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan emphasised the importance of the tender to appoint the assets company. "This will be one of the largest railway tenders in the world," he said in a Facebook post yesterday.

The "collective expertise and extensive experience" of the consortium in other international HSR projects allows MyHSR and the LTA to kick-start the preparation of joint tenders for the project, said LTA chief executive Ngien Hoon Ping. The appointment of the consortium comes a month after Aecom Singapore won a $24.6 million contract to conduct an advanced engineering study for the Singapore stretch of the HSR.

The two developments mark the "next chapter" in delivering the HSR project, said Mr Ngien.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2017, with the headline 'Consortium wins $35m contract to oversee set-up of high-speed rail'. Print Edition | Subscribe