Climate change vulnerability and adaptation for the Singapore-Malaysia high-speed rail system

Sazrul Leena Binti Saadin, Sakdirat Kaewunruen, David Jaroszweski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Paris Agreement in late 2015 demonstrates global unity to set a goal for global warming reduction. It implies that the climate change is unequivocal, and globally the atmosphere and ocean are increasingly getting warmer, the amount of ice on the earth is decreasing over the oceans, and the sea level has risen. According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the total increase in globally averaged combined land and surface temperatures between the periods of 1850-1900 and 2003 to 2012 was 0.78ºC. (0.72 to 0.85ºC). But should we prepare for such a relatively small change? The importance is not the means of the warming but the considerable likelihood of climate change that could trigger extreme natural hazards. The risks, vulnerability of climate change associated with railway infrastructure in Malaysia and Singapore have not been fully addressed in literature due to the difference in local environmental parameters. On the other hand, the projected growth in Kuala Lumpur (>10 million people by 2020) and Singapore (>6 million people) enormously accelerates business activities between the two cities, including road, aviation, ports and rails. Thus, an effective, reliable and fast alternative like High Speed Rail is one of the most-efficient and environmental-friendly infrastructure. The current railway network in Malaysia, over the last decade, has been significantly affected by severe weather conditions such as rainfall, lightning, wind and very high temperatures. This article studies the climate change risks and presents adaptation strategies to climate change for the high speed rail system between Malaysia and Singapore.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-54
Number of pages11
JournalThe Ingenieur
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Binti Sa’adin, S. L., Kaewunruen, S., and Jaroszweski, D. (2016). Climate change vulnerability and adaptation for the Singapore-Malaysia high-speed rail system. Ingenieur 66(2), 44–54.


  • railway infrastructure
  • high-speed rail
  • tracks
  • risk
  • management and monitoring
  • climate change
  • global warming
  • adaptation
  • operational readiness
  • resilience


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