When I was younger, I spent many hours playing Transport Tycoon building bus and train stations, growing the size of towns and cities and adding airports etc eventually. Train stations are almost always the first things that I built.

In real life, connecting train stations, especially high-speed ones, are especially challenging and costly. Apparently, it seems like the High-Speed Rail (HSR) link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore has been postponed (not scrapped, yet).

Making the right and tough decisions take true grit – even if they may be unpopular decisions. To Dr. M, it may be the best option he has, regardless of how unpleasant it is, given the mounting debt his country is facing.

On our side of the causeway, there have also been voices of support for Dr. M who think that the project is a waste of money. All I have to say is this :

World’s busiest route. Three-and-a-half flights every hour. I hope that our leaders can continue to make the right and tough decisions that will benefit our country and my fellow citizens, even when they may be unpopular ones. Not for my sake, but for the future generations who will take Singapore to greater heights. I will probably be dead by then.

Feature image is credited to OpenTTD, an open source simulation game based upon Transport Tycoon Deluxe.

More –

From the consumer perspective, for simplicity sake, let’s just assume the price of a HSR ticket is the same as a low price budget flight at about $60, with identical travel time of 60-minutes. Consider the overall travel experience of buffer time for check-in, ease of clearing immigration, baggage allowance and comfort (seat pitch), the HSR (using Taiwan/Japan bullet trains as reference) should be more ideal than a no-frills budget carrier.

From the logistical perspective, let’s simply assume that half of the passengers who originally flew SIN-KUL are inclined to take the HSR now (in all likelihood that price is likely to be cheaper). So, reducing 294 flights per week is about 4% of Changi Airport weekly traffic capacity of 7200 flights. How much is 4% of air capacity worth?

Playing around with simple Maths but the idea is that a problem/solution can usually be more than 1-dimensional. Oh yeah, I learnt all that from a computer game 😀