ECRL alignment extended to 665km, says Wee
PUTRAJAYA (March 9): The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) has been further enhanced by extending the original alignment of 640 kilometres (km) to 665km as a more efficient rail alignment system.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the additional alignment will encompass the original 30km which is 24km from Jalan Kastam (Port Klang) to West Port and 6km from Jalan Kastam to the North Port.
"This is the reason why we have to build a land bridge and optimise the usage of rail.
“The primary objective of constructing ECRL is as a cargo route which is 70% cargo and 30% passengers. So we need to ensure there are returns,” he told an MOT Malaysia Prihatin Achievement interview recently.
"An overall study was also carried out to improve ECRL logistic advantages especially involving issues of train congestion and safety currently faced by going through KL Sentral. At the same time, we are also offering better passenger service with connectivity to other public transport to Kuala Lumpur via Gombak Integrated Terminal."
Wee stressed that the success of ECRL is not only reverting to its original alignment but with improvement by passing through Serendah and linking Port Klang, with West and North Port.
"In terms of engineering cost, it only involved about RM50 billion compared to RM46.379 billion which did not include land acquisition which would take it to more than RM54 billion,” he said.
All technical problems faced by the mega project such as heritage sites, Orang Asli settlements and dams have been amicably resolved.
The project, which is expected to be ready in 2026, has reached 20.37% completion in January 2021 compared to the original schedule of 19.39%.
“The progress is due to Section B (Dungun-Mentakab) which was 9.47% completed compared to 5.83% as scheduled,” he said.