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SINGAPORE and Malaysia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the proposed high-speed rail (HSR) linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and the plan is to have the first trains up and running by around 2026.
The agreement was inked in Putrajaya on Tuesday afternoon by Singapore's Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and Malaysia's Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
The ceremony was witnessed by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The MOU will guide the development of a legally binding bilateral agreement that will be signed by both governments later this year.
The HSR will have eight stations, including the two terminals in Bandar Malaysia and Jurong East in Singapore.
The six other stations along the 350km track will be in Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri. The trains will run at a top speed of over 300kmh.
The customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) facilities will be co-located at three venues - Singapore, Iskandar Puteri and Kuala Lumpur - so that international-bound passengers need only go through CIQ clearance at the point of departure.
Each government will take responsibility for developing, constructing and maintaining the civil infrastructure and stations in their respective countries. In Malaysia, this will be undertaken by MyHSR Corporation and in Singapore, by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
In a statement, LTA announced it will call a tender within the next month to invite bids to carry out engineering studies for the Singapore stretch of the HSR.