150 companies keen on KL-S'pore high-speed rail
SOME 150 companies have responded to invitations from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and its Malaysian counterpart for a request-for-information (RFI) exercise regarding the proposed high-speed rail (HSR) link between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.
The two sides received the overwhelming response by 6pm on Friday - just nine days after the invitation went out.
Parties which responded are believed to include Japanese, Chinese, Korean, American and European consortia.
The RFI is jointly conducted with Malaysia's Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
The LTA said yesterday that companies which have yet to register their interest "are still welcome to do so". The invitation closes after noon on Nov 18.
In a joint statement, SPAD chief executive Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah and LTA chief executive Chew Men Leong said: "We are pleased by the market's positive response to the RFI exercise. We look forward to receiving their feedback next month.
"This feedback will be critical in helping us with the commercial model of the project, and will help ensure that this project starts off on the right note."
The LTA said the RFI exercise is expected to be concluded by the end of the year.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries was among those which expressed interest in the multi-billion project, which is expected to slash door-to-door travel between the two cities to 2.5 hours - down from 4.2 hours by air today.
Ken Nishiyama, its manager for rolling stock stationed in Singapore, said: "We are keen to take part in this project. In recent years, we've helped build high-speed rail lines in Taiwan and China. And we're involved in all the Shinkansen lines in Japan."
Kawasaki is also pitching to build a HSR line in California.
Alstom spokesman for East Asia, Liping Mian, said the French group is very keen on participating in the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project.
She added that Alstom has "the largest fleet of high-speed trains - more than 600 operating at 300-320kmh, spreading over the largest variety of networks in 10 countries".