What would Bali look like if it had a metro system

A concept map of a Bali railway system, including an island circle line, a high-speed railway to Java, and an urban rail transit system in South Bali.

What would Bali look like if it had a metro system? If you've ever been stuck in Bali traffic you might have thought the same thing, followed by thoughts of how and where a railway could be built.

[Saigon or Seminyak? Scooters taking a sidewalk shortcut in Bali.]

If you’ve never been to Bali, you might be wondering why a tropical paradise island with palm trees and rice fields would need a railway. The Bali of your Instagram dreams is different from Bali in real life.

My visit to Bali in 2022 coincided with an announcement of a study for two urban transit lines in South Bali, alongside a proposed beach tram. There have been other proposals that have been made over the last decade as well.

I don't know how any of this is feasible without digging tunnels or spending trillions of rupiah for land acquisition, but if they want to build a railway in Bali, then I want to let them.

After reading the most recent announcements I wondered what Bali would look like if every proposed railway on the island was built. To answer this question, I made a map.

You can read the full details of each line here: Bali Railway Concept Map.

You may look at this and think that it’s a ridiculously dreamy map. Most of the map though is based on previous proposals, with only a few sections that I have added to improve it. For example, the line that circles the island is a real proposal, so that fills out the map completely.

My main modification is a line to Tanah Lot with a metro station in Canggu.

This line forms part of a line to Ubud, which has been proposed before. On my map, I've drawn a line through the guts of Bali to get to Ubud. Aboveground? Underground? Who knows. Without knowing a route I have taken extreme liberties in drawing this map. I plotted the route on Google Maps as a guide, so if I have ploughed a railway through your house, sorry about that (or thank me later if you get a nice payout for your property).

With my map you can now from Canggu to Ubud by train. I dreamt about

The lines to watch are Line 1 and 2 (as I have named them), which are now being considered. I keep track of any news about the planned railway and post it in the weekly newsletter, so if you haven’t subscribed, sign up for updates.

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