Work to begin on Gemas-JB double-track railway line

liow trainSEGAMAT: Work will begin next month on an electrified double-track railway line from Gemas to Johor Bahru, at a cost of RM7.13 billion.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said the 197 km double-track line was expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

On completion, the railway will have a network for electric passenger trains from Padang Besar to Johor Bahru.

“We’re hoping that the project will have a positive impact on Johor’s economy specifically as well as the country in general,” he told reporters after visiting a railway site and its nearby areas that might be turned into buffer zones for the project, here today.

He said the government would review the proposed lands that would be turned into buffer zones so that the project would not affect the livelihood of the residents in the vicinity.

Liow also visited a buffer zone site near Tai Poh Yah temple near here after appeals from Tai Poh Yah devotees and others not to take over their land for the project.

The minister said that advanced technology could help the railway to reduce the amount of land needed for buffer zones. “We’ll see whether we can reduce land usage for the buffer zones,” Liow added.

The double-track will allow electric trains to reach speeds of 160 km per hour, with an operating speed limit of 140 km per hour.

It will run through the districts of Segamat, Kluang, Kulai and Johor Bahru.