KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — Putrajaya is considering extending the current express rail link (ERL) service from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang to Malacca.
Citing unnamed sources, The New Straits Times said in a report today that the possible ERL extension plan will cost RM8 billion and will require the purchase of new train sets, construction of a new alignment and communications and signalling system.
Government sources were quoted as saying that could be two to four stations, including a confirmed stop in Seremban and that the KLIA-Seremban stretch could be about 45km, with another 45km to 55km from Seremban to Malacca.
The project's go-ahead would depend on a feasibility study to be undertaken by the Public Transport Commission (SPAD).
Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERLSB) currently operates the ERL services between KL Sentral in Brickfields and KLIA. ERLSB is a joint-venture company between YTL Corp Bhd, Lembaga Tabung Haji and Trisilco Equity Sdn Bhd, with a 50, 40 and 10 per cent interest in the company respectively.
The company was awarded a 30-year concession in August 1997 to finance, build, maintain and control the operations.
The original RM2.4 billion 57km ERL line was financed through equity mergers (RM500 million), loans from Development and Infrastructure Bank of Malaysia (RM940 million) and import credit from four German financial institutions.
ERLSB chief executive officer Noormah Mohd Noor told the NST that the proposed ERL extension to Malacca would help ease congestion on major highways in the Klang Valley.
"It is a good idea as it would help ease the burden of passengers travelling daily from Seremban and Malacca to Kuala Lumpur. Instead of building more roads, the government should channel the funds for railway development," she said.