Johor Bahru – Singapore RTS to Commence Passenger Service by December 2024

On 31 July 2017 Singapore’s Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and Malaysia’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan announced that the Johor Bahru – Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS Link) will begin passenger service by the end of December 2024, connecting Singapore and Johor Bahru by building a high bridge across the Straits of Johor.

The new starting date for the line was announced in a joint statement after the 13th meeting of the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia.

The Rapid Transit System link will connect Johor’s Bukit Chagar terminus station near JB Sentral, linked to the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) station for intercity rail services, to the Singapore terminus in Woodlands North, where it will join the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) that is currently under construction.

The link will be operated by a corporate entity and will improve connectivity and reduce congestion at border crossings when completed. Singapore has reportedly invited SMRT Corporation, while Malaysia has asked Prasarana Malaysia Berhad.

The RTS Link was first announced by Singapore and Malaysia in May 2010.

The Singapore Land and Transport Authority (LTA) awarded a contract in June 2017 to a consortium comprising AECOM, MVA and KPMG to conduct a ridership and commercial study.

The same rail systems and rolling stock as the TEL will be used, according to the joint statement. TEL contracts already awarded include:

GE for the supply of the signaling system and Platform Screen Doors (PSD)
Singapore Technologies Electronics for the supply of the communications systems, including CCTV and Passenger Information Systems (PIS)
A consortium of Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Qingdao Sifang for the rolling stock supply

The RTS Link is expected to use CT251 trainsets, comprised of four cars with open gangway connections between all cars. Each car has ten doors, five on each side. The interior features longitudinal seating, with foldable seats for additional standing space.

The tender for the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) line is expected to be called by the end of 2017.

Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani

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