Indonesia - the airport railway champions of Southeast Asia

Welcome to Brunei to the Future Southeast Asia archives, test run on the Sulawesi Railway, an airport-to-airport metro for HCMC, and more transport and construction news in SE Asia.

After compiling a master list of current and proposed urban rail transit in Southeast Asia, it occurred to me that Indonesia has become the airport railway champions of Southeast Asia. Indonesia has 5 operating airport railways, 1 under construction, and another 5 that are considered. This week’s article is about current and proposed airport railways in Southeast Asia. It includes a map where you can get an overview of airports with rail links.

While I was researching about urban railways, I found some news items about a proposed LRT/MRT in Brunei. There is not much information about it because it probably won’t happen. It has been officially proposed via government channels though, which was enough for me to make a post about it. Also, I just wanted to establish a Brunei presence on this site. So I now have all of the nations of ASEAN represented here (see the top menu bar on the site). Now I just need an article about Timor-Leste to fully represent Southeast Asia.

If you have any projects in Southeast Asia you would like to read about, send me a message for consideration. I will give priority to paid subscribers, who help keep the site running.

Latest Posts At Future Southeast Asia

A complete guide to the current and proposed airport railways in Southeast Asia.

Updated Posts


“Nai Phun says her rice field was only one month old when the bulldozers came to clear it. The 46-year-old resident has been told she lives in the path of a future runway, and her family and 12 others are currently being pressured to move out and take compensation of $8 per square meter — much less than the land is worth, she says.”


Here is a video of a test run on a section of the Makassar-Parepare railway, which is a small segment of what will eventually become the Trans-Sulawesi Railway.


“Lao villagers displaced by construction near Vientiane of the $5.9 billion high-speed rail line linking China with Laos are still waiting for promised compensation though most stations on the line are almost fully built, Lao sources say.”


"The Department of Transportation said Monday it expects the Tagum-Carmen segment of the P82-billion Mindanao Railway Project to start partial operations by March 2022. "Our target partial operability is by 2022. We are fast tracking the acquisition of the right of way," Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said."


“The metro line No 1 station construction site that has been blocking Ben Thanh Market’s facade for the last five years is set to be dismantled in August.”

“HCMC has proposed a metro line is extended to connect the Tan Son Nhat airport with the new Long Thanh International Airport.”

There are now three proposals (that I know of) to connect the new airport by rail. The original plan was for the high-speed railway from HCMC to Nha Trang to pass through the airport. Another plan is for a light rail/metro from Thu Thiem. This latest proposal doesn’t make any sense if it’s not going through the city centre. I have proposed a airport-to-airport metro line in my Ho Chi Minh City Metro Concept Map. This would be like Line 2 in Shanghai which connects two airports (Hongqiao and Pudong) via the People’s Square and Nanjing Road in the city centre.

[This is how I would built an airport-to-aiport metro in HCMC.]

Other News


“A plan by the Group of Seven nations to counter Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative has been welcomed by countries in China’s immediate orbit of influence but will need to overcome doubts about Western commitment to emerging market projects.

The Build Back Better World initiative, or (B3W), was promoted at last week’s G7 summit in the UK but remains light on details and is not expected to become a reality for some years.”


“After being offered jobs online, Vietnamese have been forced to work 16-hour shifts and were physically assaulted when they tried to escape.”


“The construction project of the Nong Khang Airport in Houaphan Province is 92% complete but has suffered delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”


“Johor businesses are still hopeful and looking forward to a Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru high-speed rail (HSR) link.”


“The Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) has finally approved the PHP20-billion Ming-Mori reclamation project in the southern town of Minglanilla in Cebu.”


“Keppel chief executive officer and executive director Loh Chin Hua disclosed this at the World Cities Summit on Tuesday (June 22), during a panel discussion on how cities can take the lead in responding to climate, social and technological change.”


“Thailand’s government hopes a new Bangkok railway station can solve the city’s traffic woes.”


“The city, has 10 percent of Vietnam's population but generates 22 percent of Vietnam's GDP. It is not just the nation's financial and entrepreneurial dynamo, it's also the still-not-entirely-reconciled former capital of anti-Communist "South Vietnam." Since liberation, the sprawling city has sent most of its tax revenues to the central government for redistribution to poorer parts of Vietnam.”

“But it turns out, Vietnam's capital is less stressful than other Asian cities like Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok.”

“Over the past few years, Vietnamese architects have been developing a new architecture beyond modernism for small projects such as houses and schools. Architects around the world are taking notice and are beginning to follow their Vietnamese peers with similar designs.”

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