Ground breaking ceremony for Malaysia’s East Coast Rail Link

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong officially launched the construction of the East Coast Rail Link in Kuantan, Malaysia, that will be performed by China Communications Construction Company Ltd. For the implementation of the EUR 10.9 billion project, Export-Import Bank of China financed 85 percent with soft loans, while the Malaysian government provided the remaining 15 percent via issuing bonds.
“At a cost of MYR 55 billion (EUR 10.9 billion), the 688-km East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) will help upgrade public transport infrastructure in the east coast, said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak when inaugurating a ground-breaking ceremony of the project.
Chinese State Councilor said that ECRL is a “flagship project” jointly built by the two countries under the Belt and Road Initiative, which will boost economic transformation and balanced development of different regions in Malaysia.
The ECRL will be a railway line crossing Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Selangor states. It will accommodate passenger trains at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour and goods trains at a maximum speed of 80 km per hour. Construction of the rail link is expected to be completed by 2024.
“The viability of the ECRL is undisputed as it is estimated that 5.4 million passengers and 53 million tonnes of cargo will use the ECRL service annually by 2030 as the primary transport between the east and west coast,” Datuk Seri Najib said.
The project will benefit the 4.4 million population along its route, said Liow Tiong Lai, Malaysia’s Minister of Transport. He estimated that the ECRL will serve 5.4 million passengers annually by 2030.
The project will significantly cut travel time from Gombak in suburban Kuala Lumpur to Kota Baru in the northeastern state of Kelantan from 7 to 4 hours.

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