AECOM Technology has been awarded a $42m contract for the design and engineering study of the Malaysia-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link by Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission and Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA).

Under the deal, the company will provide an architectural and engineering consultancy study for the proposed RTS Link, which would connect Singapore with Johor Bahru in southern Malaysia and is expected to cost about RM30bn ($9.7bn).

The study is expected to determine the technical parameters and options for a convenient and cost-effective system that would be integrated with public transport services at both ends.

Scheduled to be completed by 2018, the 300km high-speed rail link start from JB Sentral on the Johor side and terminate at Republic Polytechnic, Singapore.

According to a primary estimate, the rail network is expected to reduce travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore from six hours to 90 minutes, with trains travelling at speeds of 250km/h.

About 60% of the outlay will be invested in infrastructure development, including civil works and track laying, while 30% will be invested in rolling stock.

In November 2011, the two countries sought a tender for a consultant to develop possible alignments and offer design for the RTS, following the signing of an agreement in May 2010 by both the Prime Ministers to jointly develop the rail link.