Malaysia Singapore rapid train system

Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System on the right track towards completion

The Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link Project between Singapore and Malaysia has reached a significant milestone with the completion of the connecting span, which connects the marine viaduct between Singapore and Malaysia.

This is a 17.1m-long reinforced concrete structure connecting Malaysia’s Pier 47 and Singapore’s Pier 48 above sea level – the closest piers to the other country.

Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong and Prime Minister of Malaysia Anwar Ibrahim graced a ceremony held on 11 January, 2024, to mark the completion of this symbolic ‘connection’ at the RTS Link Marine Viaduct site in the Straits of Johor.

During the ceremony, both Prime Ministers signed commemorative plaques symbolising the shared commitment of both countries to deliver the cross-border rail project, which will further improve connectivity between the two countries.

Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System rendering

The RTS Link is a 4-km international cross-border rail shuttle service that will connect Malaysia’s second largest city, Johor Bahru and Woodlands, Singapore, crossing the Strait of Johor, with a peak capacity of up to 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction. Passengers will enjoy a fast and seamless travel experience between Singapore and Johor Bahru on the RTS Link, with a train journey time of about five minutes.

The RTS Link aims to ease traffic congestion on the Causeway that links Johor Bahru and Singapore – one of the world’s busiest border crossings with 360,000 people and 100,000 vehicles crossing the Causeway daily,  as reported in the  New Straits Times. It is also estimated that soon 450,000 are expected to cross the Causeway daily.

The RTS Link is expected to absorb at least 35 per cent of the human traffic at the Causeway and easing congestion on the land link.

According to Malaysia’s Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRT Corp), the service will operate from 6am to midnight, with trains running at four-minute intervals during peak hours.

Malaysia’s Transport Minister Anthony Loke said, “We are very confident that the implementation of this project will go smoothly and that the RTS Link operation will start on Jan 1, 2027”.

Construction of the RTS Link has crossed roughly 65 per cent of structural works on the Singapore side. The project has also reached 65 per cent completion on Malaysia’s end. It is estimated to cost US$2.15 billion as reported on CNA.com.

To facilitate a seamless travelling experience, there will be co-located Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities at both the Malaysian and Singapore stations, such that commuters only need to undergo immigration clearance at the point of departure.

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