SINGAPORE: Over 350,000 residents journey between Malaysia and Singapore daily, making it one of the busiest crossings globally. And despite their proximity, the commute isn’t exactly a breeze. 

However, according to B1M’s YouTube video, $3BN Plan to Connect Southeast Asia, the new project, progressing towards completion by 2026, is touted as a “game changer for both nations.”

It will be a four-kilometre rail link between Johor in Malaysia and Woodlands in Singapore, initially proposed in 2010.

Currently, individuals must use either the Johor-Singapore Causeway or the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link (Tuas Second Link) to travel between Malaysia and Singapore. The latter was built in the 1990s to ease congestion on the 1 km Causeway.

However, despite these efforts, both crossings have become insufficient. What should be a quick 20-minute journey often stretches to a frustrating four hours due to delays, traffic, and lengthy border checks.

The new Malaysia-Singapore RTS link project is being developed to address these challenges by providing a faster and more efficient transportation option for the daily commute of businessmen and women working to supercharge the economies of Malaysia and Singapore.

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Once operational, the RTS Link will carry up to 10,000 passengers per hour, significantly reducing travel times between the two countries.

There will be no more hour-long waits at border checkpoints. With new stations offering single-point immigration, the whole process will be smoother.

But how exactly are they building it?

Construction of the railway involves building overwater viaducts and underground tunnels. 

Each country oversees distinct sections of the project, with the bridge supported by a series of arches. Upon completion, the segments will stand 25 metres above the Strait of Johor.

In Singapore, 12 piers, three on land and nine over the water, are being built to support the 730-metre viaduct.

Pile caps, thick concrete mats serving as foundations, are placed at the base of each pier. They are supported by 161 piles drilled to a depth of 30 metres.

Workers in Singapore access the piers using boats and barges, while in Malaysia, a temporary trestle bridge was built to provide direct access.

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A significant milestone was reached in December 2023 with the installation of a 17.1-meter concrete span, symbolising a tangible link between Malaysia and Singapore.

The B1M noted that the RTS link “might be the world’s most important rail link.”

The B1M also noted that the RTS Link represents more than just a transportation solution; it symbolises the strong ties between Malaysia and Singapore and the benefits of cross-border collaboration.

With approximately 65% of the project completed, anticipation grows for its positive impact on easing traffic congestion and boosting economic growth in Malaysia and Singapore. /TISG

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