The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) service, which is set to launch in January 2026, is one that will not impress customers, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wei Ka Seong. According to EdgeClaims that ECRL fares cost six times more than air fares are speculative and unproven.
Wei added that discussions are underway at the federal level to make ECRL fares equivalent to Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad’s (KTMB) Electric Train Service (ETS) for the West Coast.
“It is a known fact that ETS fares are very reasonable and much lower than air fares for routes and destinations on the west coast of the peninsula. The ECRL fare is based on the recommendations of the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD). ”
“Basically, the rates that will be set will ensure that ECRL fares will be competitive and affordable, as well as be able to cover the cost of operation and maintenance. Most importantly, it does not impose a burden on consumers, “said Wei.
Now, construction of the 640 km mega project is underway, and it is expected to be completed by the end of 2026. The route, which involves the construction of about 59 tunnels, covers four states – Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Selangor – and will cost about RM 44 billion to build. It is RM68.7 million per kilometer, less than RM95.5 million
The use of standard gauge tracks – as the name implies, the standard of ordinary modern railways – opens the way for high-speed trains up to 300 km / h if the operator wishes. ECRL passenger trains will run at 160 km / h and freight trains will run at half their speed. Wei said the cargo transport service is expected to generate more than 70% of ECRL’s revenue.