Metro Manila's future metro hub

KL's Bandar Malaysia project on hold, Singapore's Cross Island Line, and more construction and transport news in Southeast Asia

Hello from Ho Chi Minh City, where we are continuing our pandemic lockdown. This week I continue looking at future railway stations around Southeast Asia.

Latest Posts At Future Southeast Asia

Unified Grand Central Station – Metro Manila

Unified Grand Central Station (UGCS) is a new urban rail transit station in Metro Manila. The station gets its name for the fact that it will unify two separate lines - LRT Line 1 and MRT Line 3. This however is one of the frustrating things about this station. Instead of being a through-line, the two lines will meet and passengers change to a new train line.

There had been proposals to unify the lines completely. The two lines are standard gauge and run on the same voltage, but they are operated by two different companies.

The station construction was delayed for several years after the station location was moved and then the move was disputed. Another problem has been the naming rights, of which the government allowed a second party to pay for naming rights after the naming rights were already paid by another party. It’s also going under the name of North Triangle Common Station, and the final name isn’t settled yet.

Last week I covered the new grand central station of Bangkok, which is by far the largest railway station in Southeast Asia.

This made me think about what is the biggest metro station. In this instance, I am referring to urban rail transit only, so no multi-system transit hubs like KL Sentral or the future long-distance rail hub of Manggarai in Jakarta.

I’ve been wondering this ever since I wrote about the under-construction Ben Thanh Station in Ho Chi Minh City. This will be one of the biggest metro stations in Southeast Asia, and it’s the first station to pre-build platforms for three lines. Dhoby Ghaut MRT station in Singapore has three lines, but it didn’t build them all at once.

Kuala Lumpur has some metro stations with three lines, though they include LRT lines 3 and 4 which share the same line.

This brings me back to UGCS. There will be four lines converging here, but does that make it bigger than Dhoby Ghaut or Ben Thanh?

UGCS has LRT1-MRT3 which meets to form a broken single line. Then there is the new MRT Line 7 which terminates at UGCS. Then there is the future Metro Manila Subway line, which is the only through service. That means there are really only 2.5 lines here, so can it be called the biggest metro station? The future largest metro station in Southeast Asia will have to be determined by passenger numbers and floor space.

Updated Posts

Malaysia

Hiatus for Bandar Malaysia project

“It is back to the drawing board for the mammoth multi-billion ringgit Bandar Malaysia project, which experts believe will be resuscitated at a later date.”

Myanmar

Chinese casino city in Myanmar recruiting despite COVID-19 crisis

“Amid Myanmar’s COVID-19 spike, the developer of the controversial China-backed Shwe Kokko new city project near the Thai border in Karen State has been recruiting staff, prompting fears over a rise in cross-border crime.”

Vietnam

Railway sector needs 10.4 bln USD to expand network in next decade

“Among the nine new routes, the top priority is given to the North-South high-speed railway project with a plan to build a double track railway of 1,435mm size, stretching over 1,545km.”

Other News

Asia

China’s quest for infrastructure and influence in mainland Southeast Asia

Cambodia

China tops list of investors in H1

“China was ranked first in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) equity inflows to Cambodia in the first half of this year, at about $2 billion, according to the Chinese ambassador.”

Indonesia

School built from recycled plastic in Indonesia offers blueprint for sustainability – and for disaster recovery three years after earthquakes

Laos

Laos deepens reliance on China for key transport projects

“Construction cost could amount to around $18bn amid 'debt trap' concerns.”

Malaysia

Have friendly Malaysia-China relations gone awry?

“For now, Malaysia remains committed to maintaining public displays of friendly relations with China while handling any differences quietly. But the difficulties and pressures of keeping the friendship real, alive, and substantive are greater than ever.”

Minister: Govt to review implementation of construction projects nationwide due to increase costs, land prices

The danger in cancelling mega projects

“Any decision by the government to terminate a mega project or the contractor of a mega project will have serious repercussions on local companies in the long run, a transport expert said.”

Myanmar

Chinese crackdown on online fraud forces citizens to leave Myanmar’s ‘Little China’

Philippines

The controversial proposal to build a ‘mini BGC’ in Dumaguete—what we’ll lose, what we’ll gain

“The project, reported to cost P23 billion, will give rise to malls, condos, business hubs, etc. but will also put Dumaguete’s marine life in danger, say environmentalists.”

MinDa official sees completion of P18.49 billion infrastructure projects in 2021

Singapore

Singapore prepares to swap oil hub status for greener future

Construction of Ang Mo Kio station on Cross Island Line to start in Q4

Thailand

Red Line launch to go ahead: SRT

“The soft opening of the Red Line commuter train services will go ahead as planned on Aug 2, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob insisted, amid rumours on social media that the launch ceremony will be postponed due to the rising Covid-19 infections in the capital.”

Thai economy no longer a subject of global interest, new report says

Vietnam

Vietnam Railways launches freight train service to Belgium

“Vietnam Railways (VNR) on July 20 added a new rail freight link from Vietnam to Belgium, with the first train departing from Yen Vien station, Hanoi, and expected to arrive at Liege City in Belgium.”

179 old Hanoi apartment towers classified as unsafe

MoT proposes to halt the planning of Hà Nội's second airport till 2030

Aviation authority proposes airport upgrade on Con Dao island