Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bullet Train Dream

That's the second time the announcement is made to scrap the KL-Singapore high speed train. The 90 minute speed train from KL to Singapore will make it faster to reach Singapore than driving KL-Ipoh or KL-Malacca! The reason given is the cost factor that the Malaysian government has to fund the project (Full report by Channel News Asia or Summary by Lancerlord).

So, for the moment, Malaysia is not joining Japan, Europe or China in having speed trains.

I had earlier envisioned a breakfast in Singapore and a second helping in KL! lol. Ok, actually, I was looking at more like going for a meeting in KL and back on the same day. In fact, within half a day. Take an early morning ride, arrive just nice when office starts and back by lunch.

Of course, that might be an expensive meeting. But for business travelers - it is always time vs. money, and if the meeting is a good one, it might be well worth it.

I've already heard of business travelers doing that, using the plane - imagine what this could do - save more time with less hassle. The no. of business deals between the 2 countries might just increase!

Back on food - I could take the train ride up for the tempting KL hokkien mee! (ok, that would be a costly dinner).

Anyway, I'm sure I wasn't the only one dreaming of the bullet train between KL-Singapore. Some of those who could benefit:

The shoppers or tourists (from both sides) - who just want a fun day shopping spree in the other city. Already there are shoppers going up when Malaysia's Mega Sale is on and KL-ites coming over for the Grand Singapore Sale. Imagine, how many more might just pop by if it was that convenient. And they don't go alone, bringing friends and the whole family sometimes!

This benefit the shoppers, but more importantly the 2 countries. As now even overseas tourists who may not want to go to the other city may do so now. It's just like if you are overseas. Because of the bullet train, you travel to more places.

The tourism industry will definitely get a direct benefit from this.

Next - the concert & event goers. Celine Dion just did a South East Asia stop only in KL. Imagine how many more would have come from Singapore. Or those who flew into Changi and head up to KL just for that concert.

More on the arts scene - realise that there are quite a few international stage theaters which are performed only in KL or Singapore, but are advertised in both places? The train could help boost up more sales.

Or even the F1 - fans will just hop over the next city... making these KL' Sepang F1 and Singtel's Singapore F1 compliments rather than being near rivals!

And when a person visits another city (eg. for a concert), one just don't go in for that concert. They spend in F&B, souvenirs and some might even put up a night in a hotel, if they decided to stay on. And usually if they do, they end up spending more - partly because they may also take the chance to do more sight seeing.

Again, the tourism/ retail industries will benefit. In fact, this will benefit the arts scene and the cross cultural understanding too. Cultures will be shared and we can understand each other better, without having weird perceptions of each other (more: Does Singapore Really Cares About Malaysia?).

For example, Singapore may even promote their popular shows like the Beauty World to the KL-ites to come down and watch it at the Esplanade. And when one watches it, they understand Singapore and Singaporeans a lil better - from the slightly different lingos of 'lei' and 'hor' to why kiasu-ism is not too bad afterall (I know some don't agree, but hey, that's why the train is good!).

beauty world musical singapore
Beauty World - one of Singapore's most popular musicals

It can also do wonders for Malaysia as well. The highly acclaimed Puteri Gunung Ledang or the other performances like the colourful Citrawarna can be promoted even more so to the Singaporeans. And this can help the Singaporeans to know beautiful Malaysia and Malaysians better too. Already, Singaporeans form the largest group of tourists to Malaysia.

puteri gunung ledang musical
Puteri Gunung Ledang Musical - Malaysia's grandest musical

Still Dreaming?
I guess there are many more reasons on why we want to see this come true. Guess, the time is not now, and we once again are not ready for a high speed train yet. Well, at least we have the KL-Singapore budget airplanes for the start.

Hopefully, we can be third time lucky in the next 10 years time? And that time round, let's make the train travel all the way up to Penang & Bangkok! :)


  1. I have never been on any bullet trains in any country yet. Nearly went on the EuroStar from London to Paris but I ran out of time and had to go to Bangkok.

    If Malaysia were to have one, I will probably have a chance to ride on it. It's only a dream now.

  2. Hmm...but I'm sure we will have our very own bullet train one day. At least before I'm dead. Perhaps the funding is to exorbitant, or there might just be other version of reason that no one really know! So let's hope we will have our very own bullet one day!

  3. Had tried d' bullet train in Japan once & it was really fast, when u r standing at d' subway, it past by d' face within split secs only.

    I think d' completion of d' speed train will still take quite some time to be realized. Hopefully, it can be quickly built up, so can easily go to kl when we wished.

    & also your blog's layout is very nice!

  4. Thanks for leaving your comments in my blog.'s like some people can eat worms, crawlies but find durians stinky! :O

    I like the idea of a bullet train btw KL-S'pore. Too bad it was shelved. Even Taiwan can have high speed bullet train (modeled after Japan's Shinkansen), and it really shortens travel time. It's very comfortable too!

  5. i want bullet train too~
    Too bad...

  6. jesie,
    ya, would have been nice ya, yr first ride is in yr own country! :)

    the last time before the made the announcements, the other few reasons are social economic reasons. and i think that holds true - like competing with ktm, budget air etc. these can affect the employees from these co.

    sharoning q
    lucky you. ive yet to sit on one haha. heard the japan's one is cool ya? :)

    *thanks for the compliment of the layout :)

    u too a lucky one - having sat on the bullet train. im sure it was a nice experience :)

  7. dunno what went wrong with ytl's proposal. ytl was confident in getting it tho.

  8. hi johnny

    ya this time round looked more positive... yet it didnt go thru. things involving gov may have more obstacles, so companies need to persevere and continue to have a cash flow in, while waiting for the big income generators.

    sounds familiar with air asia ya. but now - they have gotten their wish of kl - spore! :)


Oh hey, thank you for commenting! :)