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Out-Law News 1 min. read

Construction begins on Johor Bahru-Singapore RTS link station

Construction work on the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link has started with a ground-breaking ceremony, at the site of the RTS Link Woodlands north station.

The RTS Link Woodlands North station will be constructed underground at a maximum depth of 28 metres with three stories. It has an underground link to the CIQ building. The two facilities together will be 10 times of the size of a typical mass rapid transit (MRT) station, a Land Transport Authority (LTA) statement said.

The RTS Link is a four kilometres rail shuttle service between Woodlands North station in Singapore and the Bukit Chagar station in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. It will be able to carry 10,000 passengers each hour in either direction. It will take five minutes to travel between the two stations.

Benjamin Tay of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “Both Singapore and Malaysia will be keen to see this project through following the termination of the high-speed rail project earlier this month. The RTS Link will alleviate the congestion that has plagued the causeway for many years – and with travel volumes expected to increase in the years to follow both countries have a vested interest to ensure the successful completion of the RTS Link.”

The first of two civil contracts for the construction of the RTS Link was awarded to Penta-Ocean Construction Co Ltd in November at $932.8 million that covers the construction of the RTS Link Woodlands North station, tunnels and the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) building in Singapore. The second civil contract covers the construction of the RTS Link viaduct that to be awarded in the first quarter of 2021.

According to transport minister Ong Ye Kung, the CIQ facilities for Singapore and Malaysia would be co-located at both the Woodlands North and Bukit Chagar stations, passengers can clear immigration for both countries at the point departure other than having to do this again on arrival.

The project had originally been scheduled for completion in 2024. It officially resumed in July 2020 and is expected to start operation in 2026.

Malaysia began construction work on the rail link in November.

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