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East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) is NOT a bullet train yeah. How fast could it really run?

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East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) is NOT a bullet train yeah. How fast could it really run?

What’s the speed of a bullet train?

Well, our High Speed Rail (HSR) was said to be capable of running 350km per hour. In other words, 90 minutes from KL to SG. So, it’s possible to wake up at 8am, have breakfast in Singapore at maybe 10am and perhaps even in time for a lunch in KL at 1230 noon. No need to smile for now because this has been delayed for a few years and will probably really open after 2030. I do not wish to even comment when the HSR was expected to have started previously.

As the famous song say, Let it Be (by Beatles)… or even the more famous one, ‘Let it go (by Elsa)… Suddenly, there was a news about our ECRL which has always been said to be for cargo could run at speed of 351km per hour? Huh? ETS could only run at speeds of around 120km per hour only. Read more below:

Article in Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) has issued a clarification, correcting media reports that erroneously stated the maximum speed of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) passenger train.

MRL has confirmed that the designed speed for the ECRL passenger train is 160 kilometres per hour (km/h).

MRL, the project owner of the ECRL, said in a statement that the rail infrastructure, including foundation works, rail track, rail signalling system, and rolling stock, has been specifically designed for a maximum speed of less than 200 km/h.

It said the ECRL remains a fast train for passengers but is not engineered to be upgraded or converted into a high-speed train under current specifications and operating systems.

It said, “Therefore, recent news reports citing a Chinese expert suggesting that ECRL can increase its speed to 351 km/h during the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the Asean forum is inaccurate and misleading.”

“MRL wishes to highlight the ECRL is also designed primarily for cargo transportation, with its revenue ratio during operation projected to be derived from 70 per cent freight and 30 per cent passenger.” Please do read the full article here: Article in

If we could have more ETS trains, I would be happy too

Somehow, every time I like to buy tickets for ETS trains, it’s usually just a few days before I need to travel and there are usually no tickets left. My first wish is for ETS to have more trains so that it could carry more passengers like me. Meanwhile ECRL was not envisioned to be a passenger train. I think we just let it do it’s first role perfectly first before anything else. Let’s be realistic also, if it is ONLY for passengers, how will it fill up the seats on days other than long holidays… Who will then bear the huge losses from maintenance? Tax payers? As a tax payer, my answer is NO. Stay focused on the HSR KL – SG. This one for sure is for passengers. Thank for your the clarification MRL.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.


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