JB-Singapore RTS Link on track to open by 2024: Khaw

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan visiting the site of the future Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link and Thomson-East Coast Line stations in Woodlands North.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan visiting the site of the future Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link and Thomson-East Coast Line stations in Woodlands North.PHOTO: KHAW BOON WAN/FACEBOOK

Works on the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, which lets commuters take the train across the border, are on track for completion in 2024.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan shared photos and videos of the progress of the RTS Link yesterday, after visiting the sites at the Woodlands station as well as Bukit Chagar station in Johor.

"We are bullish about the upcoming RTS Link, linking Woodlands North Station to Bukit Chagar Station in JB," he wrote. "When completed in 2024, it should be the preferred mode of transport for commuters crossing the Johor Strait."

He said that the trip between the two stations takes just five minutes.

"Over at Bukit Chagar, ample provisions will be made for Malaysian commuters to park their vehicles," wrote Mr Khaw. He added that the development "should shift commuters currently using the Causeway", and said the RTS Link is expected to "significantly cut down the Causeway jams".

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak had witnessed the signing of a bilateral agreement to build the RTS Link on Jan 16.

Meanwhile, Malaysia has said it expects to call civil contract tenders for the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project in the first half of next year.

MyHSR Corp, Malaysia's umbrella group tasked with delivering the HSR project, was responding to queries from The Straits Times, a day after Singapore announced that it had called civil contract tenders for its end of the line.

MyHSR said it recently selected its project delivery partners (PDP), comprising the MRCB-Gamuda and YTL-THP consortia.

"The two consortia will be responsible for developing a detailed design for the infrastructure works, including stations and alignment structures within Malaysia, (and) assist with interface management, land acquisition process, and stakeholder engagement activities," an HSR spokesman said.

The spokesman added that HSR is employing the PDP route as it was successfully used for the Klang Valley MRT project in Kuala Lumpur.

"We will be working together with the newly selected PDPs to finalise the civil construction work, and intend to go out to tender in the first half of 2019," he said.

Earlier, Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it had called tenders for the design and construction of tunnels and associated facilities for Singapore's end of the HSR project, and expects construction to start next year.

"We called the tenders for the design and construction of twin bored tunnels and associated facilities on April 6, and the design and construction of cut and cover tunnels leading into the Jurong East terminus on April 11," an LTA spokesman said.

The remaining civil tenders will be called in the coming months, and construction works are expected to start next year, LTA added.

"We remain on track" to start service by 2026, it said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2018, with the headline 'JB-S'pore RTS Link on track to open by 2024: Khaw'. Print Edition | Subscribe