Artist’s impression of Forest City.
The joint venture building Forest City off Johor is urging the Malaysian government to establish a High-Speed Rail (HSR) station in the mega-project, reported the Straits Times.
According to an unnamed source, China-based developer Country Garden along with the government of Johor and the state’s royal family are “naturally hoping the HSR will stop there”.
This is to increase the attractiveness of the project, which comprises four man-made islands with a combined area of 1,386ha, or thrice the size of Sentosa Island. It is expected to take more than 20 years to complete at a cost of RM175 billion (S$56.18 billion), and it has an estimated gross development value of RM450 billion (S$144 billion).
If the joint venture’s proposal is granted, the authorities are likely to build a spur line, or a short branch line along the transit service in Malaysia, so that the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore express route would not be affected.
“If the HSR stops at Forest City, the distance will be too short to continue to Singapore,” explained the source on why a spur line is more workable.
However, proposals pertaining to the HSR must be jointly approved by both the governments of Singapore and Malaysia, while the cost of constructing the branch line to Forest City will be shouldered by the latter alone.
There are also plans to set up ferry, road and rail links from Forest City to Singapore and mainland Johor, but the city-state has not yet announced whether it has consented to these.
Expected to start operating by end-2026, the 350km HSR will run from Bandar Malaysia just south of Kuala Lumpur and pass through six transit stops until Iskandar Puteri in Johor before ending in Jurong, Singapore.
Once completed, the rail line is expected to significantly reduce the travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to 1.5 hrs.
This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.