Unproposed railways of Southeast Asia #1: Koh Samui

Ha Long – Mong Cai Railway, Malaysia keen on resuming high-speed rail project with Singapore, Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge to start in late 2023, first phase of Bangkok - Chiang Mai rail project

Greetings from Ko Lipe, Thailand. This island paradise is not the sort of place I hope gets featured on Future Southeast Asia, but I will be doing some transport articles for Nomadic Notes. Here are a few photos of the beach.

This week I put together a resource page about a proposed railway from Ha Long to Mong Cai on the China border. I only discovered this when I saw a news article from China mentioning a China-Vietnam high-speed railway. It appears that China has gone ahead and built this railway expecting that Vietnam would do the same on the other side of the border.

I’ve also made my own proposal for a new railway in Thailand. This will be the first in the series of unproposed railways that I think should be considered.

Latest posts at Future Southeast Asia

The Ha Long – Mong Cai Railway is a proposed railway connecting Ha Long City in Quang Ninh Province to Mong Cai on the Vietnam-China border. There is also a proposed Mong Cai-Van Don high-speed railway, which is a shorter route connecting the Van Don economic zone to the border.

Dispatches from Southeast Asia

A combined road/rail bridge could put an end to Samui Airport's stranglehold on the island.


🇰🇭 Cambodia

🇮🇩 Indonesia

And locals as well, I guess.

🇱🇦 Laos

🇲🇾 Malaysia

“…the KB Sentral terminal would be adjacent to the proposed East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, expected to be ready by 2027.”

🇲🇲 Myanmar

🇵🇭 Philippines

“The passenger vehicles have been ubiquitous for decades. The way the government wants to replace them with pricey new minibuses is rankling operators.”

🇸🇬 Singapore

🇹🇭 Thailand

This is good news, but again there is a big mixed-gauge problem on the horizon. There is a new railway being built to Chiang Rai, which branches off this line. It’s going to be a metre gauge railway, so it is incompatible with this future standard gauge railway.

🇻🇳 Vietnam

A better headline might have been: “In a completely predictable outcome, thousands of ugly cookie-cutter villas and shophouses that no one wanted have not been sold.”

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