The line will run for 1.3km in Singapore from Woodlands North and the Thomson East Coast Line and 2.7km in Malaysia to Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru, with capacity to transport 10,000 passengers per hour per direction.
The online ceremony, which was attended by 200 guests, was led by sultan Ibrahim Ismail from the royal palace in Johor Bahru. Ismail signed an electronic plaque that trigged a siren and pyrotechnics at the site of the new Immigration, Customs and Quarantine (ICQ) facility in Bukit Chagar, to mark the launch of the project.
Construction on the line - phase one of the project - will continue until the end of 2024. Phase 2 encompasses installation of railway systems and testing and will start in early 2025, running until 2026.
The Malaysian section of the line is being developed by MRTS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state-owned Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT). The Malaysian section will cost Ringgits 3.7bn ($US 909.1m), and includes the construction of a station at Bukit Chagar, a depot at Wadi Hana, and viaducts through Johor Bahru and over the Straits of Johor to the Malaysian-Singapore boundary, as well as the four-storey ICQ. The ICQ will include a multi-modal transport hub and mixed property development.
Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has also awarded the first of two civil contracts for the Singapore section of the line to Penta-Ocean Construction. The contract, which is worth $S 932.8m ($US 697.2m), includes the construction of the RTS Link Woodlands North station, tunnels and an ICQ building in Singapore.
Adil Permata, which is building the property development, has been appointed to carry out advance works such as site clearing and utility relocation works. 40% of the infrastructure cost has been allocated for local contractors.
Earlier this year, SMRT, Singapore, and Malaysian public transport operator Prasarana signed a joint venture agreement to form RTS Operations, which will operate the cross-border line when it opens.
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