ECRL Project Achieves Milestone with 30 Tunnel Breakthroughs Ahead of Schedule


The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project has reached a significant milestone by completing the excavation of 30 tunnels along its rail alignment, demonstrating remarkable progress and efficiency in its development. In a noteworthy achievement, the project team successfully executed three tunnel breakthroughs within the Bentong district in a single day, utilizing the “drill and blast” tunnelling method to accomplish this feat ahead of schedule. The tunnels in question—Bentong, Kampung Lentang, and Kampung Lentang 2—represent crucial components of the project’s extensive infrastructure works.

Datuk Seri Darwis Abdul Razak, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL), the project owner, expressed optimism about the ECRL’s trajectory towards completion. Scheduled for December 2026, the project aims to connect Kota Bharu to ITT Gombak through a seamless rail link designed to enhance connectivity and spur economic growth across the region. Darwis emphasized the significance of the tunnel excavation achievements, acknowledging the inherent challenges and reliance on geological conditions inherent in such endeavors.

As of February 2024, the ECRL project has achieved an overall progress of 62.4%, propelled by rapid advancements in critical infrastructure components, including tunnel excavation, beam launching, track laying, and station construction. This impressive progress underscores the project’s commitment to meeting its ambitious timeline, while also highlighting the dedication and expertise of its workforce.


The ECRL project, once completed, promises to transform the transportation landscape of Malaysia’s east coast, offering a faster, more efficient mode of travel and freight movement. The project’s success to date reflects a significant step towards realizing this vision, bolstering confidence in its timely completion and the positive impact it will have on the nation’s economic and social development.

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