Brunei Company Unveiled Ambitious Trans-Borneo Railway, Expected to Catalyze Regional Economy

Brunei Company Unveiled Ambitious Trans-Borneo Railway, Expected to Catalyze Regional Economy

A proposal for Borneo's first high-speed rail network has been submitted to reduce travel distances between Kalimantan, Sarawak, Sabah, and Brunei. The plan is expected to act as an economic catalyst for the entire Borneo region and improve connectivity among the inhabitants of the world's third-largest island.

According to Sabah's Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, the project is expected to facilitate smoother trade, drive industrial growth in border areas, and boost the tourism sector in the Borneo region.

Last November, Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi announced that his ministry had received initial proposals for the Trans-Borneo Railway project. Nanta revealed that the idea for the mega rail project linking Sarawak and Sabah, and eventually Kalimantan, came from the Ministry of Transport. He also confirmed that the federal government had allocated special funds for feasibility studies on the Trans-Borneo Railway route through the Sarawak-Sabah regions.

The Trans-Borneo Railway project plan will be implemented in two phases, covering a distance of 1,620 kilometers, Brunergy Utama Sdn Bhd of Brunei announced on its website.

According to the company, the average distance between each station is 150 kilometers, with train speeds estimated at 300 to 350 kilometers per hour. As a result, the average travel time between stations is expected to be only 30 minutes.

The initial phase of the project will connect cities from the west coast to the east coast, starting from Pontianak in West Kalimantan and ending in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, the economic hub. This route will pass through various cities such as Kota Kinabalu, Kimanis/Papar, Beaufort, Sipitang, Lawas, Bangar, Limbang, Bukit Panggal, Miri, Bintulu, Sibu, Sri Aman, Kuching, Sambas Singkawang, Mempawah and Pontianak.

Meanwhile, the second phase will extend its reach to North and East Kalimantan, connecting the main route to Samarinda and Nusantara, Indonesia's new capital. This route includes Long Seridan, Ba Kelalan, Long Bawan, Malinau, Tanjung Selor, Tanjung Redeb, Pengadan, Lubuk Tutung, Bontang, Samarinda and Balikpapan.

The Trans-Borneo Railway is planned to have four terminals as major mass transit centers and 24 stations scattered throughout the island. Both lines are expected to converge in the Tutong district of Brunei, which will serve as the main hub for this railway system.

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