Tuas West the best spot for high-speed rail terminal

HSR

Tuas West is the most feasible location for the upcoming high-speed rail terminal in Singapore, aside from the other two possible locations recently revealed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, which are Jurong East and the city centre, media reports said. 

Experts noted that while the area is presently industrialised, Tuas West is the most ideal site for the planned terminal due to its proximity to Malaysia and the greater availability of land. 

“As we know Jurong East is further into Singapore. By considering the overall construction cost and also the time involved, to put it at Tuas West definitely will save construction costs and shorten the construction time,” said Lee Der-Horng, Professor from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the National University of Singapore.

Another factor that the authorities must look into is the terminal’s link to the rest of the island. In this case, Tuas West is a viable location given the planned expansion of the existing East-West MRT Line into the area.

However, there is a downside. “In Tuas West at the moment, there is no existing population catchment. So next to the malls, the government may actually have to think about rezoning some of the industrial land for residential development,” stated Nicholas Mak, Research Head at SLP International Property Consultants. 

Since the terminal and its train maintenance depot will occupy a large site, building the station in Jurong East would be difficult given its built-up location. As for the city centre, the possibility is even slimmer given the high construction costs and lack of available space.

The high-speed rail is expected to be completed by 2020, but the decision on the terminal’s site will be announced “within the next year or so”.

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