Bali Railways: The Canggu subway and beach tram plan

News #218: New Phnom Penh airport set to open in 2025, Indonesia’s new capital, JB-S’pore RTS Link nears 80% completion, testing for Bangkok-Vientiane rail link, updates on HCMC Metro Lines 1,2, and 3A

The Future Southeast Asia Newsletter features transport and urban development news in Southeast Asia, edited by James Clark.

This week it was reported that Bali plans to start construction of an urban railway this year. It’s called the Bali LRT, but the article refers to it as the Airport-Canggu Subway. Seeing “Canggu” and “subway” together still doesn’t seem real. If you are not familiar with Bali, Canggu was mostly rice fields a decade ago, and now tourism development from the south has made its way up the coast. Canggu is now synonymous with terrible traffic and digital nomads.

In a newsletter last month I mentioned that I met with members of the Transport Department in Bali. I was honoured to be invited there as they explained some of the railway plans. They also shared some rail maps, which are now online here.

This week’s articles are all about rail transit in Bali.

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This article covers the proposed LRT that will be built from the airport to Kuta. It will then be extended to Seminyak, Canggu, and Mengwi. There is one map that shows a general route, while another map shows a more detailed route of the first stage.

Map of proposed Bali LRT from the airport to Canggu.

The Bali Beach Tram is a proposed tramway along the Bali beachfront. The tram would connect Ngurah Rai International Airport to Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak beaches (collectively known as Semigita Beach). This is separate from the LRT, and so far they haven’t worked out how to connect it to the LRT.

This is the first page I published about Bali railways. This page includes an archive of previous railway proposals, and I’ve moved the LRT and tram information to separate pages. I’ve updated this page to include this incredible Bali Railway Masterplan map. The section in blue represents where the LRT will run. (View the full-sized map here.)

Bali Railway Masterplan

• If you are new to the Future Southeast Asia Newsletter, last year I made a Bali Railway Concept Map. This map is composed of lines that have been proposed over the years, with a few sections added by myself. The bulk of the map is made from real proposals, such as the line that goes around the island.

Bali Railway Concept Map

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News

🇰🇭 Cambodia

“With the construction of Phnom Penh Techno International Airport (TIA) now nearing its home straight, representatives of the project have announced that preparations are now underway for the airport’s terminal-to-central-city railway development.”

"Vietnam has, at times, sacrificed its national interests for the sake of good relationships with its neighbours. This still rings true today."

The Khmer Times insists on referring to these trains as “high speed”.

🇮🇩 Indonesia

🇱🇦 Laos

🇲🇾 Malaysia

 🇲🇲 Myanmar

🇵🇭 Philippines

🇸🇬 Singapore

🇹🇭 Thailand

“Thailand and Laos are gearing up to open a railway network connecting Bangkok and Vientiane, according to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), with a trial run set for next month.”

• If you have ever taken the BTS in Bangkok, you will be familiar with this voice.

🇹🇱 Timor-Leste

🇻🇳 Vietnam

"The plot of land acquired for building the Tan Kien Depot on HCMC's metro line 3A now lies abandoned and locals use it for agriculture."

Line 3A is technically the western extension of Line 1. I have not found a reason why one line will have 2 numbers. Not that I need to worry about it for the next decade considering how delayed this project is.

Good to see the progress of this delayed airport. It’s also interesting to compare progress with the new Phnom Penh airport. While Phnom Penh is preparing to build an airport rail link, Long Thanh has gone silent on the airport rail link and is now proposing a boat link.

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