News: 2 November 2022
Latest Post: Sangley Point International Airport. Dispatches: How to fix Bangkok's rail transit system. News: Sulawesi & Surabaya railway, Chiang Mai "tram", Singapore's future tallest building...
Welcome to another round up for transport and urban development news in Southeast Asia. I’m excited to see that the Sulawesi Railway is now testing with passengers. I would like to visit, but I should probably combine it into a trip that includes the opening of the Jakarta-Bandung HSR next year. I’m already starting to fill out my calendar of places I would like to visit in 2023. One thing I am thinking of doing for this site is having some informal meetups in the region, so if you would be interested in that let me know. I’m also waiting for Substack (this newsletter platform) to open up their forum section, so subscribers can discuss news in the region.
Latest posts at Future Southeast Asia
• Sangley Point International Airport
Dispatches from Southeast Asia
• How to fix Bangkok's urban rail transit system
An open letter to Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt with a summary of the best ways to improve Bangkok's urban rail transit system.
• Southeast Asia’s interiors and infrastructure are built on sustainable design
“Artisans, architects and urban planners are incorporating environmental urgency into their creations as they work to design a sustainable future for the region.”
• Capital-Sihanoukville expressway tolls discounted 20% for first year
• Developers urged to focus on green buildings
• Sulawesi’s first trains begin transporting passengers in trial
"South Sulawesi on Saturday began the trial of running a Trans Sulawesi passenger train across seven railway stations in two districts for a distance of 66 kilometers in the island’s first railway network."
[Updated: Sulawesi Railway]
• Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train to operate in mid-2023: Minister
• Jakarta - Surabaya high-speed rail under serious discussions: Transportation Minister
• From Jakarta to Nusantara: making sense of Indonesia’s capital shift
[Updated: Nusantara – New Capital City of Indonesia]
• Jakarta proposes Rp3.63tn from for flood mitigation in 2023 budget
• Bokeo international airport’s construction to wrap up by 2023
• Laos’ fast train to China brings connection at a cost, with big promises but uneven progress
• Lao, Thai PM Want More Bridges to Connect their Countries
• The cost of Laos’ quest to be Southeast Asia’s ‘battery’, and the World Heritage town at risk
• Construction of new highways in KL to be limited, JKI to jointly develop affordable homes in Semenyih and more
• Kampung Baru survives as a slice of village life in the middle of one of Asia's biggest cities
There have been a few different plans to develop Kampung Baru over the years, so see it while you can.
• The long strange story of the (disappearing) railway from Myanmar to Southern China
“Building a rail link across the northern highlands is a dream that has eluded global capitalists, British imperialists, Chinese state planners and Myanmar governments.”
• 3 new stations mulled on Rizal end of LRT-2
• Groundbreaking for Samal-Davao bridge project held amid strong opposition from environmentalists
• Mindanao Railway: a fading dream?
• Addressing Davao City’s transport needs
• Setting up citywide and inclusive sanitation investment program in Tacloban City
• New 63-storey mixed-use building in Tanjong Pagar will be S'pore's tallest, with biophilic design
8 Shenton Way (305m) is designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
• Charcoal drawings, quirky book titles: 7 art works in Thomson-East Coast Line stations you should not miss
• See the dreamy clamshell design of the Gardens by the Bay MRT station for free next week
• Super-rich get rare chance to join Singapore's billionaire row
“Nassim Road has the most sought-after homes in the country, and a rare sale of three mansions is expected to fetch record prices.”
• City Hall opposes junta's policy on Green Line
”Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt said on Tuesday that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) disagreed with the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order's past decision to extend the Green Line concession for 30 years from 2029 to 2059 for BTSC.”
This is the ongoing Green Line mess that was mentioned in my article about how to fix Bangkok’s urban rail transit system.
• Bangkok’s canal housing settlements tackle flooding but rouse mixed reactions
“Flooding hits Bangkok every monsoon season, and as the capital urbanises, less permeable land is available to absorb water, increasing flood risks during heavy rain.”
• I’ve been going on about the mixed-gauge mess of Thailand’s railways, and I will keep going on about it if I see news reports such as this. Here are the proposed designs of the new railway-road bridge in parallel with existing the 1st Friendship bridge. The bridge will accommodate the meter-gauge and the standard-gauge high-speed railway. This was posted in the Southeast Asia Railways Facebook group if you are interested in seeing more posts like this.
• Trains to most parts of Thailand now leaving from Bang Sue Grand Station
• Chiang Mai to have rubber-tyred tram in 2028
• Thai river communities fight massive water-diversion projects
• Demolition of bypass abandoned hotel to begin
“PHUKET: Demolition of the abandoned incomplete hotel on the bypass road that looms dangerously atop a steep slope beside the road will start today (Oct 28).”
• We shouldn’t have to paint the road bright red in order to make cars stop…
• Lower speed proposed for North-South Railway project over efficiency concerns
“A design speed of 250 kph for trains carrying both passengers and cargo would help ensure revenues for the giant project”.
I have written about the proposed speeds of the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City Express Railway, and I think 200 km/h would be ideal. For reference, when they are referring to “lower”, this is compared to the 350 km/h proposal. 250 km/h would be incredible.
• Delayed metro lines that cost more than planned
“Investment costs for four in five metro projects currently under construction are expected to rise 80-150%, according to a government report sent to the National Assembly.”
• Hanoi makes significant progress in Nhon–Hanoi station metro line
• Province cancels urban area project to protect mangrove forest
• Illegal sand mining in Vietnam's Mekong Delta raises alarm