Iskandar commuter train proposal not finalized yet

TRANSIT took note of this article a few days ago, which states that the proposal for the commuter train for the Iskandar Development Region (south Johor) has not been finalized – and the winning contractor not selected yet.

This comes after recent articles in which the Johor MB was said to have given approval to the proposal from Metropolitan Commuter Network Sdn Bhd (MCN). See our comments on that news here.

Not to mention, a few days after it was stated that HSSI had received the contract for Independent Checking Engineer for the MRT project in April – a decision made by the government & overruling Prasarana – despite having already worked on the project since February and also having a prior working relationship with MMC-Gamuda.

In other words, when it comes to public transport-related announcements in Malaysia, do not believe everything you read – and do not take a newspaper article at face value as there is often more to the story.

Govt yet to finalise ICCT project for Iskandar
Monday May 2, 2011

JOHOR BARU: The Government has yet to finalise the proposed intra-city commuter train (ICCT) project for Iskandar Malaysia as the proposal is still open to others.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, who is also Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) co-chairman said that to date, only one company has submitted its proposal to develop the project.

“It is still open to everybody and we welcome others who are interested to submit their proposals to us,” he said in a press conference on Saturday before a briefing on progress at Iskandar Malaysia.

[TRANSIT: That’s not the impression we received from recent articles. One really has to question these unsolicited proposals and see how they fit in with the planning process and the master plan.]

Abdul Ghani said, Metropolitan Commuter Network Sdn Bhd (MCN) had recently submitted its proposal to the Government to develop the rail network covering 100km to serve all the major suburbs in Iskandar Malaysia.

[TRANSIT: We guess that in this context, headlines that use the word “accepted” actually mean “received” – as in, the Johor Government has “received” a proposal “submitted” by MCN etc.]

MCN is a joint-venture company between KUB Malaysia Bhd and Malaysia Steel Works (KL) Sdn Bhd and it had proposed to construct and operate the RM1.23bil train transit network.

The ICCT is expected to start operations by 2013, with total deployment of 19 three-car trains.

[TRANSIT: 19 EMUs – that’s basically all that will be left of the existing Komuter EMU fleet by 2013.]

Under the MCN’s proposal, it would build seven new stations along the route together with 16 halts and the train network to include a shuttle service from JB Sentral to Woodlands in Singapore.

He said the ICCT system would use the existing KTM railway track connecting Johor Baru, Kulai, Pasir Gudang and Tanjung Pelepas.

Abdul Ghani said the ICCT network would be part of the integrated transport system covering 500km in Iskandar Malaysia which include[d] bus rapid transit and other transportation support systems.

“The proposed extension of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) from Singapore to Johor Baru will require the implementation of the double-tracking railway from Gemas to Johor Baru,” he said.

He said squatters living along the railway track in Johor Baru had agreed to be relocated temporarily to Kempas for the double-tracking railway project, while squatters in Gemas, Segamat and Kluang would be offered to buy houses or lands.

Abdul Ghani said that with the relocation of the railway station from Tanjung Pagar to Woodlands by July 1, 2011, Kempas Baru would be developed into an integrated transportation hub for Iskandar Malaysia.

“We could either choose JB Sentral or Kempas Baru for the hub, but the latter is obviously the right choice as it has 80.93ha land area for development,” he said.

TRANSIT Says:

Ok, so there you have it – the Commuter Rail proposal for JB is not being railroaded through. The government of JB is still accepting proposals to run the railway from other companies.

Anyone interested? YTL, perhaps? They run the successful Express Rail Link. Perhaps Scomi? They could restructure their existing factory in Rawang to construct EMUs instead of monorail trains. Or perhaps the bid could be opened up to international railway consortia – Japanese and Korean and Indonesian and Indian Railway Operators. Or what about KTMB? They still run railways in Malaysia, don’t they?

TRANSIT wishes to spread the news to the world – if you are a railway operator or turnkey contractor interested in a railway project that will involve the construction of 25 stations (possibly with electrification and double tracking) – please let the Government of Johor know.

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3 thoughts on “Iskandar commuter train proposal not finalized yet”

  1. All I only hope for is the commuter train project will NEVER EVER intervene by politicians or political issue, everything from tender to constructions must be fully transparent to the rakyat (people). FREE OF GRAFT AND CORRUPTIONS SO THAT THE COST OF CONSTRUCTIONS CAN BE PRUDENT AND THRIFTY!! It must be fully users/commuters friendly, especially for people whom are physically impaired, visually impaired and audioly impaired (deaf).

  2. Make sure they don’t force me to write a long list about JB public transport in The Star Blog.

    1. Perhaps you could go down there for a week and let them know who you are and what you are capable of. Meet Namewee in Muar and head down to JB and see what’s up.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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