When the High Speed Rail between KL and Singapore was first mooted many, many, many years ago, it was already announced that going to Singapore from KL and vice-versa would be faster than taking a flight. Recently, the sign that this is really nearer to the end of the tunnel, even if it is right now just at the beginning of the tunnel is clearer. A recent report in The Straits Times shed a little more light on this matter. It said that the rail service would have stops in Seremban, Ayer Keroh (Malacca), Muar, Batu Pahat and Nusajaya in Johor. The total time stated was that it would take 2.5 hours, even with these stops and this is said to be shorter compared to flight which would take up to four hours.
I agree that it will be a shorter duration but five hours is indeed a little too conservative. I just took a flight to Singapore from KL two weeks ago. I arrived at KLIA2 about 1 hour before the flight with my boarding pass printed and it took me another one hour by flight and 30 minutes by taxi to reach my office in Singapore. Total time taken was slightly lesser than 3 hours. Okay, if compared to car, this is by FAR much better. Why drive and arrive too tired to do anything else? Why not just check in your luggage and arrive fresh, plus during the journey you can do your work or just keep taking selfies and post in Facebook? Or for the younger ones, Instagram?
A comparison was also made with the HSR link between Taipei and Kaohsiung which carries an annual ridership of 44.5 million. The HSR between KL and Singapore would probably carry up to 49,000 passengers daily by its 10th year of operation. This would be an annual ridership of 18 million. If you want to know what’s 49,000 passengers daily is versus the plane, a typical Air Asia flight seats 180. So, to carry 49,000 passengers, Air Asia needs to have 20 planes flying to and fro KL-Singapore-KL 7 times every day. In other words, nearly non-stop for the while day. You fly, land, fly, land and fly and you still need 20 planes just to do that. 🙂
The most important line in the report is this, “The Straits Times understands that the Singapore and Malaysian governments have been meeting once a month on the project.” Before you rush to buy properties along the way or even Iskandar, do note, this HSR is expected to commence ONLY in 2020. Yes, you still have some time to build up some cash reserves and view more than 10 different projects before deciding on the one which meets your expectation. I know, there are those who said, if I wait too long, the cheaper ones may already be gone. If you know the number of units coming up or is in planning, I think the opportunity continues to be present for a few more years to come. However, a slight premium is definitely expected, depending on how integrated Iskandar and Singapore can be within these few years.
written on 5th July 2014