The ongoing East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) in Malaysia, is reported to be the world’s most expensive railway in the world!
The Edge Property recently purported this railway to be “one of the most expensive interstate rail and cargo lines to be built in the world”, which its cost amounted up to a total of US$13.48 billion (RM55 billion), that covers US$22.48 million per kilometer.
The ECRL will link Port Klang to Gombak before carrying on eastwards, hitting eastern coast states of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.
The Edge Property also compared ECRL to other similar railways in developing countries:
Kenya (Mombasa to Uganda) – US$1.80 billion (US$15.06 million per km)
Bangladesh (Dhaka to Jessore) – US$3.59 billion (US$16.71 million per km)
Ethiopia (Awash to Weldia) – US$1.74 billion (US$4.43 million per km)
If the comparison is real, would you think that yes, Malaysia is soon to have the world’s most expensive railway in the world!
Let’s have a peek at what the project is all about:
1. The East Coast Economic Region (ECER), is an area measuring more than 66,000 square kilometres or 51% of the total area of Peninsular Malaysia with a total population of 4.43 million (2014).
2. It was described the establishment of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) as a 'game changer' and 'mindset changer' for Malaysia as it will significantly cut travel time to and from the east coast of the peninsula.
3. The rail journey was expected to be less than four hours compared to the average eight hours and even up to 12 hours or more, during the festive seasons, thus making the ECRL a comfortable alternative transportation medium once completed.
4. It would become the nation's longest rail project, to be built by the CCCC, one of the leading transportation infrastructure groups and named as the third top international contractor in the world with MRL tasked as the project owner.
5. 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 service annually by the year 2030 as the primary transport between the east coast and west coast.
6. The development of the ECRL was also described as timely with the ongoing expansion of Kuantan Port into a deep-water terminal that would soon be able to cater to larger vessels up to 200,000 deadweight tonnage or 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit container ships.
Source : Various including The Edge Property, The New Straits Times