The Section C or the northern alignment of the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) from Mentakab to Port Klang has been reverted to the original alignment as proposed in 2016-2017, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
He said the Cabinet had, on Sept 2 last year, approved the alignment, and in a meeting on March 31, pushed for immediate implementation of the northern alignment project, which connects Mentakab to Port Klang through Bentong, Gombak and Serendah.
“The implementation of the northern alignment will increase the viability of the ECRL and thus, provide more economic, environmental and social benefits,” he said at a special media conference on ECRL here today.
Wee said the northern alignment, now dubbed the ECRL 3.0 alignment, is estimated to cover a total of 201 kilometres (km) including 32.4 km of deviation compared to the ECRL 2.0 previous alignment of 185.5 km including 41.5 km of deviation.
With the latest changes, Wee said the entire line from Kota Bharu to Port Klang now covers 665 km compared to 640 km previously.
He said the northern alignment will involve the construction of five stations, namely in Temerloh, Bentong, ITT Gombak, Serendah Baru and Jalan Kastam (Port Klang) at the initial stage, and two others in Puncak Alam and Kapar in Selangor have been designated as future stations.
“Temerloh, Bentong, Serendah Baru and Jalan Kastam will be passenger and cargo stations, while the ITT Gombak will be a passenger station,” he said.
Wee said the viability of the northern alignment was enhanced with the incorporation of the Serendah Bypass infrastructure into the entire project, which will serve as a significant relief line for the cargo containing hazardous materials or cement from having to go through the Kuala Lumpur city centre.
“This is also to ensure public safety and solve cargo service congestion faced by KTMB,” he said.
Wee said the cost for the northern alignment for the ECRL 3.0 alignment is now estimated at RM50 billion, including the construction of the Serendah Bypass.
“The federal government is now able to offer a cost-saving infrastructure expenditure by having this ideal proposal to implement two rail project at one price.
“Although the northern alignment of the ECRL project has been reverted to the original alignment, it can still be completed in seven years and be fully operational by 2027,” he added.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency