The proposed railway to the far reaches of Isaan

Proposal (again) for KL-Bangkok HSR, a massive land reclamation project in Manila, redevelopment of Paya Lebar Air Base site, and more construction and transport news in Southeast Asia.

Greetings from Bangkok. I just got back from my 10-day trip around the Isaan region, where I was looking at places with future railway projects. After Khon Kaen, I went to Mukdahan and Nakhon Phanom. These two provincial capitals on the Mekong are planned to be connected by rail, and this is the topic of this week’s article.

I finished the trip in Udon Thani, which will benefit from the planned high-speed rail from Bangkok to the Laos border. I had considered getting the train to Bangkok from here, but the options aren’t good. This is the current timetable from Udon to Bangkok:

There is one day train, and it takes 9 hours to cover the 700+ km journey. By comparison, here are the flights from Udon Thani. There is basically a flight every hour to Bangkok.

I will return to this part of the world when either of the rail projects is completed. The train project to Nakhon Phanom is scheduled to be operational by 2024, but if it is as delayed as the Thai-Laos high-speed rail, then add another decade to that. My mantra for projects featured on this website is “I hope I see it in my lifetime”. Hopefully the next time I visit Udon Thani it will be by high-speed rail.

In The Media

This week I did an interview with Tales of the Orient by Simon Ostheimer. I’ve been following this site for a while so I was happy to be featured. Simon is a travel writer who has a knack for finding interesting stories of people and places in Asia. As I mentioned in my interview, his site is not your usual “top things to do in Siem Reap” travel site. Subscribe here.

I also realised that I needed to make a media page, so here it is:

This page lists whenever I have been featured in news outlets or interviews (such as from Tales of the Orient). And if you are from a media organisation, feel free to message me about anything related to construction, transport, and infrastructure in Southeast Asia.

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