The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) has been extended to 665km from the original alignment of 640km, Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said today.
He 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 why we have to build a land bridge and optimise usage of rail.
“The primary objective of constructing the ECRL is as a cargo route which is 70% cargo and 30% for passengers. So we need to ensure there are returns,” he said in a recent MOT Malaysia Prihatin Achievement interview.
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.
Wee said better passenger service would also be offered with connectivity to other public transport to Kuala Lumpur through the Gombak Integrated Terminal.
He said the success of the ECRL was not only in reverting to its original alignment but in improving it 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. This did not include land acquisition which would take it to more than RM54 billion,” he said.
The project, which is expected to be ready in 2026, was 20.37% complete in January, ahead of 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,” Wee said.