ECRL project set to create more jobs, trade in rural areas
KUALA LUMPUR: The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) is poised to create more trade and employment opportunities in rural areas by connecting cities and ports from the east to the west of Peninsular Malaysia.
It will play a vital role in Malaysia’s economic growth by transforming the socio-economic landscape of communities in Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Selangor.
The ECRL project will be undertaken by Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL).
“With this new rail project, we hope to lower the cost of production by reducing the cost of freight transportation. This way, we are able to increase the competitiveness of Malaysian products and services.
“With ECRL’s vast coverage connecting East Coast cities to the Greater Klang Valley demand centre, we also anticipate an increase in commercial activities across the region,” said MRL chief executive officer Darwis Abdul Razak in a statement.
Citing a PriceWaterhouse Cooper report, Darwis said accelerated infrastructure spending would drive economic growth, provide jobs and deliver vital services. The World Economic Forum estimated that for every dollar spent on a capital project, such as transport, an economic return of between five and 25 per cent was generated, he added.
The 600.3km ECRL is strategically located along the trade route. To be built across 23 stations, the ECRL connects state capitals, major townships, industrial hubs, ports, airports and tourism hotspots.
From its first station, Wakaf Baru in Kelantan, it takes less than four hours to arrive at its last station in Gombak, here, where passengers can continue their journey to the heart of the city with the Kelana Jaya light rail transit line.
“The ECRL also is a much needed project to help improve the mobility of Malaysians, especially during festive seasons, as well as to promote the local tourism industry.
“Together with Land Public Transport Commission, we are committed to keeping the travelling cost on ECRL affordable, and providing a safer alternative to travelling on roads, which can be time-consuming and more susceptible to accidents,” said Darwis.
He said planning for the project began in 2007 and three feasibility studies were carried out.
“As such, please be rest assured that MRL has the communities’ best interests in mind, especially those residing in the vicinity of the track route. In the next seven years, MRL will take proactive steps to engage with the local people to ensure the successful rollout of ECRL.”
The ECRL project is on a threemonth public display and construction is targeted to start in July. The electrified railway line is expected to be operational in July 2024.