PM Anwar, Premier Li officiate Gombak ECRL groundbreaking ceremony

KUALA LUMPUR — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and visiting China’s Premier Li Qiang came together today in a significant display of bilateral cooperation to officiate the groundbreaking ceremony for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) Gombak Integrated Terminal station.

Today’s groundbreaking ceremony paves the way for the scheduled completion of the ECRL rail alignment from Kota Bharu, Kelantan to the Gombak Integrated Terminal, Selangor in December 2026.

Located on an 8.73-hectare site, which is positioned at the edge of the ‘Gombak Selangor Quartz Ridge,’ the longest quartz formation in the world, the ECRL Gombak Integrated Terminal station is also expected to link with the existing Gombak LRT station to facilitate connectivity via the LRT Kelana Jaya Line, according to the statement by Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL).

“The ECRL alignment between Gombak and Port Klang is expected to be completed by December 2027 instead,” the statement read.

The station, built for passenger use, will feature an elevated platform and a range of facilities such as a car park, pick-up and drop-off area, covered walkways, staff quarters, and garden-landscaped areas.

The groundbreaking ceremony is part of the events for Li’s three-day official visit to Malaysia in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.

Also present were Transport Minister Anthony Loke, MRL Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing, China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) Chairman Wang Tongzhou and a host of ministers and senior government officials from Malaysia and China respectively.

Meanwhile, Loke said that the ECRL will optimise connectivity for passengers and freight between the east coast and west coast of Peninsular Malaysia when operational.

“We anticipate the ECRL to drive the shift of cargo movements from road to rail which is a safe alternative mode of transportation for long distances as well as environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

“MOT is also exploring the possibility of extending the ECRL alignment to tap into Thailand’s rail network, paving the way for the ECRL to be part of the Pan-Asian rail network that is able to link Malaysia with China, hence realising the vision of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” the minister was quoted as saying in the statement.

The 665-km ECRL that starts from Kota Bharu and terminates at Port Klang will feature 20 stations, comprising 10 passenger-only stations and another 10 stations combining passenger and freight. — BERNAMA