The Langkawi light rail maglev plan

News #214: Thai-Chinese high-speed railway on track to open in 2030, Johor eyes Shenzhen-style hub with Singapore, Cebu metro line, grand metro plans for Hanoi and HCMC

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

Hello from Makassar. This is the last leg of my Indonesia rail research trip, and I fly out today. So far I have been to Sumatra and Java, and have met with the Department of Transport in Bali to discuss the proposed railways of Bali.

In Makassar, I took a ride on the Makassar-Pare Pare Railway which partially opened last year. This is the first section of a proposed Trans-Sulawesi Railway. I posted some photos here, and I will have a full report soon.

This week's feature article is about the proposed Langkawi LRT. I keep track of every urban transit proposal in Southeast Asia, no matter how unlikely. Sometimes these proposals are just politicians that are wishful thinking out loud, so I haven't covered every proposal in detail. In the case of the Langkawi LRT, an official study has been commissioned by the state government, so I have started a fact sheet to keep track of the project.

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🇰🇭 Cambodia

🇮🇩 Indonesia

🇱🇦 Laos

🇲🇾 Malaysia

🇵🇭 Philippines

“Commuters may soon have more transportation options if the feasibility study for the Metro Cebu Urban Mass Rapid Transit (UMRT) Central Line yields positive results.”

🇹🇭 Thailand

Here is my previous article on why the Thai Land Bridge is a bad idea.

"Chiang Mai tourism operators are urging the local government to help revive the transport service provided by the province's iconic rot daeng ("red cars") as more passengers have switched to other forms of transport."

“Phuket Highways Office Chief Yutthana Phitak has confirmed that there are plans afoot to build a new bridge connecting Phuket to the mainland, but has assured that the famed Sarasin Bridge will not be demolished.”

🇻🇳 Vietnam

They are saying they want 18.3 km of metro built every year for the next 10 years. For reference, Line 1 is 19.3 km and it has been under construction since 2012.

“ The Hà Nội Department of Transport has just submitted an investment proposal and a pre-feasibility study report on a project to build a tunnel connecting two urban railway lines, No 2A and line No 3.”

In my 2023 Hanoi Metro report, I was disturbed to see the lack of planning regarding metro interchanges. The first line (Line 2A) and Line 3 (under construction) have stations at Cst Linh, but there is no obvious place to interchange.

Now they are discussing a pre-feasibility study to build a tunnel connecting the two stations. Why wasn’t this done at the start, especially when it was already known that the two stations would interchange?

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