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News: 13 September 2023
The troubled new urban area of Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta transport report, flat-rate train fares for Bangkok, reproposed railways of Vietnam, and more transport and urban development news...
Hello from Chiang Mai. This week I have put together a timeline of the massive new urban development in Ho Chi Minh City. The Thu Thiem New Urban Area was supposed to be “The Pudong of Southeast Asia”, but it has been plagued with all kinds of troubles, which are listed in the article.
I also have a trip report from Jakarta for paid subscribers. When I was in Jakarta I was pondering the report that predicted that Jakarta would overtake Tokyo as the world’s most populous city. What won’t be overtaken is Tokyo’s amazing transit system. Jakarta is building out a transit system, so I had a look at what is there.
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Thu Thiem New Urban Area is an urban redevelopment project in Ho Chi Minh City.
Dispatches from Southeast Asia
Jakarta transit report (2023 edition) [Update for paid subscribers]
Reviewing the urban railways of Jakarta, and other transport observations.
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• Govt to pilot 20 baht flat-rate city train fare over New Year
• First expressway tunnel pondered
”The Expressway Authority of Thailand (Exat) has proposed an underground route to replace a controversial section of the N1 Expressway development following a 17-month initial feasibility study.”
This announcement was made during the US President’s visit to Hanoi.
If you have been following the saga of the proposed North-South high-speed railway, you might think that this headline sounds familiar. Here is a headline from 2007:
I’ve added the most recent report to the pile of proposals.
"Designed for a speed of 160 kilometers per hour, the railway will start in Lao Cai Province, traverse Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc, Hanoi, Hung Yen, Hai Duong, Haiphong, and end at the Cai Lan Port in Quang Ninh."
This is also a recycled proposal with a new twist. The Lao Cai - Hanoi - Haiphong railway upgrade has been talked about for years. There is also a plan to rebuild the Hanoi - Ha Long Railway, which was abandoned. Building a railway from Haiphong to Ha Long (Cai Lan Port) makes more sense than the old Hanoi Ha Long route. It would be a shorter line to build, and it would have the bonus of connecting the cities of Ha Long and Hai Phong, This line could then be extended to Mong Cai and connect with the new railway that China is building to the border.