News: 5 July 2023

Bangkok monorail review, a transit system for Vung Tau, Phnom Penh airport railway, map of land reclamation in Singapore, more delays for Bangkok's 3-airport rail link, and more.

Hello from Ho Chi Minh City! While I’m back at my unofficial home base I’m tinkering around with the site format to see what I can improve. I also have a guest post this week, which bought me some time to work on some longer articles.

Latest posts at Future Southeast Asia

I have spent about 3 months in Thailand this year, and I was expecting to be able to see the opening of the Yellow Line monorail in that time. It turns out that it opened just as I left. Luckily Our Man In Bangkok Greg Jorgensen was able to go, and he has put together this great report on the good, the bad, and the meh of the first monorail in Thailand.

I curate articles from English news sites in the region, which covers most of the news. There are stories that slip through though, so I am looking for a way to catch stories of interest in local media. One news article that slipped my attention in May was this report of a proposed 3-line transit system in Vung Tau. I have posted a translation of the original article.

Vung Tau is a coastal city near Saigon, and like Pattaya is to Bangkok, Vung Tau is a popular weekend escape for Saigonese. I will be looking for more information about this, including maps.

News Extra

This week I’ve added a new feature for paid subscribers: News Extra. I will be posting a collection of short-form news editorial here, which might form longer articles in the future. The main thing is to get the ideas out there rather than languishing in my draft folder. This week’s topics include:

- Getting train tourists beyond Luang Prabang

- Hanoi bike ban

- In Vietnam the planes before trains is insane,

- Why people like old towns

- The overdevelopment of Da Lat

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- The hills of Da Lat covered in greenhouses, as featured in News Extra.


Urban floods

There have been a bunch of stories about urban flooding recently, so I will group them together. Last week I posted about how Da Lat flooded after 30-minute rain.

🇰🇭 Cambodia

“The government is looking to build a light rail line, potentially underground, that would run from the currently under-construction Techo International Airport (TIA) to Phnom Penh, possibly with a station at or near AEON MALL Mean Chey – popularly known as AEON 3 – in a bid to bolster tourism.”

Note for Phnom Penh Post: TIA is the AITA airport code for Tirana International Airport.

🇮🇩 Indonesia

🇱🇦 Laos

🇲🇾 Malaysia

🇵🇭 Philippines

“The Philippine National Railways (PNR) will halt operations in December 2023 to give way for the construction of the ₱873.6 billion North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.”

🇸🇬 Singapore

🇹🇭 Thailand

“The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) proposes changing a plan to procure 184 diesel locomotives in favour of electric trains.”

"The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is looking to relocate its locomotive maintenance and production facilities within a 200km radius of Bangkok. SRT governor Nirut Maneephan said the present facility in the Makkasan area will be developed into a mixed-used complex -- a public park, SRT museum, and a city station for the high-speed rail service connecting Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi and U-Tapao airports."

I have a page that is archiving the history of the Makkasan Train Factory Redevelopment

“A fresh effort is under way to ensure accountability and transparency in any new local administrative organisation procurement projects and installation of so-called sculptural street lights.”

🇻🇳 Vietnam

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