Calvin Chan Wai Meng/Getty Images
July 20, 2016

Singapore and Malaysia have signed an agreement to build a high-speed rail line between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, which they hope will be up and running by 2026. The bullet train would make the trip in about 90 minutes—much faster than the current train travel time of five hours.

“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 in a joint news appearance.

If that means a breakfast of nasi goreng and bubur ayam, sign us up.

The new rail system will vastly improve transit options between the two bustling urban centers. And improvement is long overdue: The bullet train was first proposed in 2013, with a planned completion date of 2020.

“The Singapore-Malaysia sector has among the largest airline capacity within the region,” said Bloomberg Intelligence’s Singapore-based transport analyst John Mathai. “A high-speed rail could service some of the traffic within that segment, reducing congestion at airports.”

Flying between the two cities takes about 45 minutes, not including time spent traveling to and from the airports.

While Japan has been running bullet trains for fifty years (they built the world’s first high-speed train, The Shinkansen, way back in 1964), it has taken other Asian nations longer to jump on board. In addition to new super-fast trains in China, there are also plans for high-speed rail in Indonesia, and Japan is helping India build its first bullet train.  

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