THREE FOREIGN FIRMS SUBMIT BIDS FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL IN MALAYSIA

THREE FOREIGN FIRMS SUBMIT BIDS FOR HIGH-SPEED RAIL IN MALAYSIA

Three foreign companies submitted bids by the deadline for high-speed rail service between Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore to the southeast.

The principals are Hitachi Ltd. of Japan, Fiat Ferroviara of Italy and Bombardier of Montreal, said Transport Minister Ling Liong Sik.It is expected to take up to 18 months to evaluate the offers and determine the winner.

Malaysian officials hope to cut travel time by in half to three hours by using a "tilting train" in service by 1997.

Singapore was for many years part of Malaya, as it was then known. It broke away in 1965, but business and other ties remain strong and there is heavy travel between the two.