ECRL not high-speed rail, trains won’t do 350km/h

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) has refuted a claim by a Chinese expert that East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) trains could reach speeds in excess of 350km per hour, saying that such speeds are unattainable with the current design and specifications of the rail network.

On Nov 17, Beijing-based Centre for China and Globalisation vice-president Victor Gao said it was possible for the top speed of ECRL trains to be increased from 160km/h to 351km/h, Bernama reported.

Describing the claim as “inaccurate and misleading”, MRL said ECRL passenger trains will travel at a maximum speed of 160km/h upon the commencement of commercial operations in January 2027 from Kota Bharu, Kelantan, to ITT Gombak in Selangor.

“The primary function of the ECRL is cargo transport, with an expected revenue composition of 70% from freight and 30% from passengers, influencing its design and passenger capacity,” the ECRL project owner said in a statement today.

It said the rail infrastructure, including foundations, rail track, rail signalling system and rolling stock, have been specifically developed based on a design speed under 200km/h.

“Since its inception in August 2017, the ECRL project has planned, managed and implemented its rail infrastructure on the premise of a fast train for passengers and not a high-speed train, which industry standards dictate a running speed of at least 250km/h,” MRL said.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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