Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru High Speed Rail (HSR)
The Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru High Speed Rail (HSR) is the proposed Malaysian high-speed rail system that would connect Johor Bahru and Bandar Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, reported by multiple Malaysian and Singaporean media according to unnamed sources.
If true, the Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru HSR would be a deviated project from the original plan of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) between the Governments of Malaysia and Singapore, with Malaysia planning to venture on a domestic HSR alone, expelling Singapore from the initial discussion and plan since 24 May 2010 as part of the Malaysia-Singapore Points of Agreement Supplement 2010 and deal since 19 February 2013.
If the project is confirmed by 31 December 2020, the Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru High Speed Rail (HSR) will be the second railway line between Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru when completed, adding on to existing ETS Business Class, ETS Platinum Standard, ETS Platinum, and ETS Gold train services plying between Sentral Kuala Lumpur Railway Station (KL Sentral) and Johor Bahru Sentral Railway Station (JB Sentral) in 2029.
Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru High Speed Rail (HSR) Route Map
*NOTE: Route is speculative based on current available information and services, pending the project starting on 1 January 2021.
Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru High Speed Rail (HSR) Service Patterns
Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru HSR Direct Line
The Direct Line stops at Bandar Malaysia and Johor Bahru-Bukit Chagar only.
In the original Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) plan, the International Express Service will run non-stop between the terminals every 30 minutes from Bandar Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur to Jurong East, Singapore with a journey time of 90 minutes. It could be assumed that the HSR Direct Service will adopt a similar frequency.
Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru HSR Transit Line
The Transit Line stops at 6 intermediate stations namely Bandar Malaysia, KLIA-Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh-Jasin, Muar-Pagoh, and Johor Bahru-Bukit Chagar.
In the original Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) plan, the Malaysia Domestic Service would run every 30 minutes from Bandar Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur to Iskandar Puteri, Gerbang Nusajaya with a journey time of 120 minutes. It could be assumed that the HSR Transit Service will adopt a similar frequency.
Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru High Speed Rail (HSR) Train Schedule
To be announced at a later stage.
Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru High Speed Rail (HSR) Fares
To be announced at a later stage.
Fares may be subject to dynamic pricing.
How to Buy Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru High Speed Rail (HSR) Ticket
To be announced at a later stage.
Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru High Speed Rail (HSR) Rolling Stock
To be announced at a later stage.
History and Timeline of Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru High Speed Rail (HSR) – Updated Regularly
25 November 2020: Free Malaysia Today reported that two unidentified but well-placed sources revealed that the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project is expected to resume without Singapore’s participation, and will terminate in in Johor Bahru instead of Singapore.
26 November 2020: Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) confirms that Malaysia has proposed some changes to the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project, and Singapore has been discussing them in good faith with Malaysia. The MOT spokesman told The Straits Times: “Singapore continues to believe that the HSR project is beneficial for both countries, and remains fully committed to fulfilling our obligations under the HSR bilateral agreement. We will make our best efforts to conclude discussions with Malaysia by Dec 31, 2020.” The spokesman said that if, by Dec 31, Malaysia does not proceed with the project, “under our agreements with Malaysia, Malaysia will bear the agreed costs incurred by Singapore in fulfilling the HSR bilateral agreement”.
27 November 2020: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia is negotiating with Singapore on proposals made by Malaysia to improve the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project. Mustapa, also known as Tok Pa, said the two countries had until Dec 31 to complete the negotiation process.
2 December 2020: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had a discussion over video conference on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, taking stock of the progress of discussions on the project, and gained a “good understanding of Malaysia’s and Singapore’s respective positions”.
4 December 2020: Free Malaysia Today reported that the Malaysian Cabinet has yet to decide whether to exclude Singapore from the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project and will soon be discussing the merits of doing so, citing unknown sources claiming that some ministers doubted that the project would be “as beneficial to Malaysia as imagined”, including passengers choosing to fly in and out of Malaysia using Singapore Changi Airport rather than Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
It was also cited from the unknown source that a breach of the HSR agreement with Singapore would cost Malaysia about RM320 million in compensation (which differs from S$250 million cited in 2018), and it would be better in the long run to pay the compensation to Singapore as Singapore “had more to gain from the HSR than Malaysia”.
The proposed KL-JB HSR may also not materialize as a HSR, and Malaysia could consider a different kind of rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru as long as “it is fast and electrified and suits Malaysia’s interests rather than Singapore’s”. This is despite the KL-JB ETS service coming to reality in the future with the good progress of the Gemas-Johor Bahru EDTP rapidly taking shape.
14 December 2020: The Straits Times cited a The Malaysian Insight (TMI) article that Malaysia is planning to continue the project without Singapore’s involvement, and ending the HSR line from Kuala Lumpur in Johor (sic) and not Jurong East. It is said that Malaysia will need to compensate Singapore with a payment of S$104.67 million by 31 December 2020, which is less than half of the S$250 million cited last month by Free Malaysia Today that Singapore would seek as the price to drop the deal.
16 December 2020: RHB Research made a rather obvious statement that the Malaysian government is likely to make an announcement on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) “by year-end”. It also specifies the compensation of RM300 million to Singapore, the Johor Bahru terminus at Bukit Chagar which is the connection to the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS Link), the two direct and transit HSR lines from KL to JB, the omission of Iskandar Puteri station, and the Putrajaya station which may be located at KL International Airport (KLIA).
31 December 2020 (Deadline of the final suspension of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project): There was no news pertaining to the progress of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR).
1 January 2021: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced this in a joint statement that the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project has been terminated, after both countries failed to reach an agreement on changes proposed by Malaysia.
The statement said that the Malaysian Government had proposed several changes to the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project in the light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Malaysian economy. This is despite the HSR project being proposed first on 24 May 2010, 10 years before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world hard.
The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) Bilateral Agreement (BA) has now been terminated as of 1 January 2021, and Malaysia has to compensate Singapore for costs already incurred by Singapore in fulfilling its obligations under the HSR BA in accordance with the Parties’ agreement. The statement did not specify the exact amount that Malaysia has to compensate Singapore yet.
(RailTravel Station’s note: If the HSR project is ultimately cancelled on 1 January 2021, Singapore would have to recover at least S$250 million (2018 figures) from Malaysia for costs incurred in accordance with the bilateral agreement and with international law.)
4 January 2021: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economic Affairs) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed confirms that the Kuala Lumpur-Johor Bahru High Speed Rail (HSR) is purely speculation.
19 May 2021: MyHSR Corp Chairman Tan Sri Esa Mohamed confirms that a domestic HSR to develop Malaysia’s Southern corridor “is very much on track” “as a project of the utmost national importance for Malaysia”. MyHSR Corp adds that the “Malaysian government has a clear vision on where it wants to take the HSR forward and how”. Official press release here.
29 November 2021: Malaysia Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob has suggested reviving discussions on the terminated Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) project during a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on his first Official Visit to Singapore. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong responded that Singapore and Malaysia had previously reached an agreement to terminate the HSR projects, and this has been amicably settled and closed. Nevertheless, Singapore is open to fresh proposals from Malaysia on the HSR project.
2 March 2022: Perikatan Nasional (PN) would support the revival of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project between Malaysia and Singapore if the coalition were to win the Johor state election. Chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he had expressed support for the project even when he was the prime minister, claiming that the HSR would be beneficial for both countries.
15 March 2022: Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong confirms that the Ministry of Transport had been tasked to initiate discussions with the Singaporean government on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR project and that talks were still in the early stages. The Ministry of Transport is preparing to hold preliminary discussions with Singapore in the second quarter of 2022.