This week, Singapore and Malaysia signed an agreement to build a high-speed rail line between Singapore and the latter’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur. They hope the new bullet train will be up and running by 2026, and will make the journey in just 90 minutes instead of five hours.
It takes 45 minutes to fly between the two cities, and that’s discounting travel and airport time, so it seems this new high-speed option will be a hit. “One can have breakfast in Kuala Lumpur, lunch in Singapore, and be back in time for dinner in Kuala Lumpur,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said after the news was announced. But this is nothing new; a bullet train was proposed on this stretch in 2013, but never got underway.
Bullet trains are becoming popular all over Asia; the originated in Japan in the 1950s, but are spreading to Indonesia, China and India.