Posts tagged trains

Infrastructure, construction boom in Southeast Asia: Reuters

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News of a boom in Southeast Asian infrastructure spending is creating excitement, according to this piece in Reuters. New government initiatives to attract investment and stimulate economic growth, along with added interest from Chinese investors, will see about US$20 billion worth of new construction projects due to begin across the region this year.

The article is most confident about projects in Thailand and Malaysia, which is about to start its $11.5 billion, three-line Klang Valley MRT railway network around Kuala Lumpur. It says the two countries are “believed to be in the early stages of a new infrastructure investment cycle,” with construction companies posting record orders.

Thailand wants to spend $62 billion in the next two decades to expand its electric rail network to 391km and start building a 23km new line on its metro system, both moves intended to increase traffic on its relatively under-utilized public transit system.

Singapore, with more modest construction projections, is also planning to expand its rail network to 280km from 138km by 2020.

Risks to investors are potential land acquisition issues in Malaysia, Thailand’s politics, a land reform bill in Indonesia and funding problems in the Philippines. Malaysia’s land laws were relatively clear compared to others, but projects with such ambitious land acquisition plans were susceptible to delays.

Analysts in the article were most optimistic about Malaysia’s IJM Corp Bhd and Gamuda Bhd, and Thailand’s Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Pcl.

source & article: Reuters

Malaysia’s Mrails seeking out new export markets for trains

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Malaysian train, tram and monorail manufacturer Mrails International Sdn Bhd is looking for new export markets, particularly in South Asia and Africa. Although the company says it is not in active discussion with anybody at the moment, it hopes to take part in a Matrade-organized overseas trade mission next month learn more about the market from other cities.

Mrails’ current major local project is the Malacca (Melaka) Tram, a RM272 million (US$89.24 million) light rail operation launched just last week and expected to be operating by May 2012. The project is a join venture aimed at carrying 40,000 passengers a day, with Mrails owning a 80% share and Malacca’s government-owned Chief Minister Incorporation (CMI) taking 20%. Mrails is developing its rolling stock in partnership with China’s CNR Tangshan Railway Vehicles Co Ltd.

No further information is available at this stage, but Mrails is also reportedly working on plans for India, Sri Lanka, South African and Angola. The company says it hopes to have new export customers by next year.

source & article: Business Times

Rail stories: intercity system for Iskandar, and a China-Vietnam-Singapore link?

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Our favorite stories from the mass transit sector in the past week: Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Bhd, or Masteel, and KUB Malaysia Bhd are coming together to build a new intercity transit system for Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, while a Chinese region is planning a rail link from Nanning to Singapore through Vietnam, at least part of which is high-speed.

Masteel expects its project will be completed by 2013. The RM1.23 billion (US$ 401million), 100km intercity system will be the first of its kind in Johor and run on existing rail. It will cover 25 regional centers and overseers hope to connect it eventually with the MRT line from Singapore. About 70% of the cost will come from the public-private partnership scheme and the companies are in negotiations with the Malaysian government’s Economic Planning Unit over a 25 year concession deal.

Meanwhile, China’s autonomous southern region of Guangxi Zhuang has plans to increase trade with ASEAN over the next five years with a high speed rail link between the cities of Nanning and Pinxiang near the Vietnamese border. Details are scant at the moment but it seems the $3.05 billion project would connect to a 5,000 rail link passing along the ‘Nanning-Singapore Economic Corridor’ through Vietnam (and presumably other countries along the way).

source & articles: Business Times, TODAY Online

KL-Singapore bullet train to be part of national transport plan?

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The proposed Kuala Lumpur-Singapore bullet train, which could see passengers traveling between the two cities in under an hour and become a vital component in advancing the Johor region economy, is back in the spotlight. Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) has said the high-speed link may be included in its national public transport master plan.

The master plan is a 20 year project aimed at integrating and coordinating the entire national network of land-based public transport, beginning with buses, taxis, light rail (LRT), express rail (ERL) and mass transit (MRT) in the Greater Klang Valley. The government would like to more than double usage of public transport in the region by 2015, which currently sits at around 12%.

Spad said it is already conducting investigations into the 300km high speed line’s feasibility, and that companies like YTL Corp Bhd and Hartasuma Sdn Bhd had already made presentations to the National Key Economic Area (NKEA) lab.

source & article: Business Times

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