S$320 million in contracts awarded for Johor Bahru-Singapore RTS Link

Nine contracts worth about RM1 billion (S$320 million) were recently granted for systems works on the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link, said operator RTS Operations.

RTS Operations – started in 2020 as a joint venture between Singapore’s SMRT and Malaysian rail operator Prasarana, that these works for the cross-border rail link are “progressing well”.

Among the nine contracts, four are for core systems, with China’s CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co granted the contract for rolling stock while German firm Siemens Mobility won the contract for signalling system and platform screen doors.

Malaysia’s Sapura Rail Systems was given the contract for the communications and integrated supervisory control systems.

The remaining non-core system contracts were granted for trackwork, traction power supply, uninterruptible power supply, automatic fare collection, as well as depot equipment and service vehicles.

A systems consultancy contract had also earlier been granted to engineering firm CH2M Services to deliver consultancy services for the design, manufacturing, delivery, testing and commissioning of all systems for the RTS line, RTS Operations said.

“We are pleased with the outcome of the tender exercise. There is a good mix of local and international players working together to make the RTS Link a success,” said RTSO chief executive officer Shamsul Rizal Md Yusof.

RTSO chairman Mohd Farid Mohd Adnan said the firm’s board and management are “fully committed to deliver the RTS project despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Incorporated in Singapore, RTS Operations will own, design, build, finance and manage operating assets for the RTS Link and that includes trains, tracks and systems.

RTS Operations will also be accountable for operating and maintaining the rail line, including the Wadi Hana depot in Johor Bahru.

Scheduled to be completed by 2026, the 4km-long RTS Link will link Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru with Woodlands North in Singapore.

It is anticipated to be able to transport up to 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction, with the journey of about five minutes excluding custom clearance.

In November last year, Malaysia commenced construction work on the rail link, which will replace the existing KTM shuttle train service.

In January, work commenced on the S$932.8 million Woodlands North station of the RTS Link, including tunnels and a linked Customs, Immigration and Quarantine building.

A S$180 million contract for the construction of a 25m-tall viaduct across the Strait of Johor as well as tunnels was also granted in January.

The RTS Link is estimated to cost around RM10 billion (S$3.25 billion), with Singapore bearing 61 per cent of the cost. Infrastructure projects are vital to strengthening the economies of the Commonwealth, strengthening the supply chains and value chains in the block would, eventually, drastically reduce the cost and enhance the efficacy of mass transit facilities.  

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