CHINA TOUTS RAIL­WAY TECH FOR HSR PROJECT

China Rail­way cites com­pat­i­bil­ity with many ex­ist­ing sys­tems

New Straits Times - - Business -

OOI TEE CHING

KUALA LUMPUR bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

CHINA is step­ping up ef­forts ahead of a ten­der for the pro­posed 350km high-speed rail (HSR) project link­ing Kuala Lumpur to Sin­ga­pore.

China Rail­way Corp deputy chief en­gi­neer Zhao Guo Tang high­lighted China’s strengths in rail­way en­gi­neer­ing dur­ing a re­cent in­ter­view with jour­nal­ists from Asean in Bei­jing.

“One of the ben­e­fits of procur­ing our rail­way sig­nalling tech­nol­ogy is that it com­pat­i­ble with many ex­ist­ing sys­tems. When we design and build HSR lines, we keep in mind that the align­ment has to serve as many pas­sen­gers as pos­si­ble and on the fastest route,” he said.

Zhao said China Rail­way Corp, which owns and op­er­ates 18 rail­way bu­reaus na­tion­wide, had cost-ef­fi­cient tech­nol­ogy and was ex­pe­ri­enced in con­struct­ing and op­er­at­ing the world’s most ex­ten­sive HSR net­work with more than 22,000km of track.

China first in­tro­duced the HSR ser­vice in April 2007, and, within a decade, it has an an­nual rid­er­ship of more than 1.5 bil­lion peo­ple.

China’s HSR net­work is the most heav­ily used in the world, with the 1,318km Bei­jing–Shang­hai HSR trans­port­ing an av­er­age of 220,000 pas­sen­gers daily.

Other heav­ily used lines is the 2,298km Bei­jing–Guangzhou HSR, the world’s long­est, and the Shang­hai Ma­glev, the world’s first high-speed com­mer­cial magnetic lev­i­ta­tion line and sole non-con­ven­tional track line of the net­work.

“When it comes to the design and con­struc­tion of HSR lines, con­nec­tiv­ity and in­te­gra­tion into ex­ist­ing rail­way net­work is im­por­tant for a thriv­ing trans­port sys­tem,” said Zhao.

The Kuala Lumpur-Sin­ga­pore HSR will have a max­i­mum design speed of 350kph and run on a dou­ble track with a sin­gle gauge. It will cut trav­el­ling time be­tween the two cap­i­tals to 90 min­utes, com­pared with a near five-hour drive un­der nor­mal traf­fic con­di­tion.

The HSR line will start at Ban­dar Malaysia, the site of a for­mer air force base in Kuala Lumpur, pass­ing through Putrajaya, Serem­ban, Me­laka, Muar, Batu Pa­hat and Iskan­dar Pu­teri, be­fore end­ing at Jurong East in Sin­ga­pore via a bridge over the Straits of Jo­hor.

Last year, Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak and Sin­ga­pore’s Prime Min­is­ter Lee Hsien Loong signed an agree­ment de­tail­ing the le­gal re­quire­ments of the HSR line.

Con­struc­tion is slated to be com­pleted by 2026.

Apart from China, other par­ties that have also shown se­ri­ous in­ter­est to ten­der for the es­ti­mated RM60 bil­lion Kuala Lumpur-Sin­ga­pore HSR project in­clude com­pa­nies from Ja­pan, South Korea, France, Spain and Ger­many.

China’s in­tri­cate net­work of rail­way lines ra­di­ate in eight di­rec­tions from the Zhengzhou city, the hub of China’s rail­way net­work.

This rail­way hub is ca­pa­ble of han­dling up to 200,000 pas­sen­gers per day.

In Xi’an city, about 600km west of Zhengzhou city, China Rail­way First Sur­vey & Design In­sti­tute Group Co Ltd (FSDI) said it was fa­mil­iar with Malaysia’s rail­way sec­tor.

While it is not in­volved in the con­sul­tancy for the HSR project, FSDI said it was do­ing work on the 600km East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) link­ing Port Klang (in Se­lan­gor), Kuan­tan Port (in Pa­hang), and Kota Baru (in Ke­lan­tan).

China Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Con­struc­tion Com­pany, the main con­trac­tor for the RM55 bil­lion ECRL, has tasked FSDI to col­lab­o­rate with Malaysia’s con­sul­tant HSS En­gi­neers Bhd in the pre­lim­i­nary design of the route.

“When we look at the over­all as­pect of the ECRL, the most chal­leng­ing stretch would be the 18km tun­nel across the Ti­ti­wangsa Range,” said FSDI di­rec­tor-gen­eral and se­nior econ­o­mist Han Dong.

“From our decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in ex­treme en­gi­neer­ing of rail­way design for pas­sen­gers and freight, we know how to over­come this type of chal­lenge,” said Han.

“We adapt our tech­nol­ogy to the trop­i­cal set­tings and on-the­ground feed­back pro­vided by HSS En­gi­neers, our lo­cal part­ner in Malaysia,” he added.

China Rail­way Corp deputy chief en­gi­neer Zhao Guo Tang says the com­pany has cost-ef­fi­cient tech­nol­ogy and is ex­pe­ri­enced in con­struct­ing and op­er­at­ing the world’s most ex­ten­sive high-speed rail net­work with more than 22,000km of track.

A view of China Rail­way Corp’s cen­tral su­per­vi­sory con­trol and data ac­qui­si­tion sys­tem mon­i­tor­ing rail­way op­er­a­tions through­out its 18 lo­cal bu­reaus.

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