The fastest train in Southeast Asia (for now)

Cambodia wants high-speed railways, Malaysia's artificial island obsession, a proposed light rail for the new HCMC airport, and more construction and transport news in Southeast Asia.

When you take the airport express train to KL International Airport, you may see this sign declaring the KLIA Ekspres to be the fastest train in Southeast Asia.

I’ve often wondered what are the fastest trains in Southeast Asia, so to answer my own question I’ve made this list. It turns out that the KLIA Ekspres is now the equal fastest, and if all the proposed railways in Southeast Asia get built it will only be half as fast as the future fastest! I’ve listed current and proposed fastest trains in this list.

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🇰🇭 Cambodia

He also said that he wants high-speed railways. This is a good time to point out that the term “high-speed railway” is used frequently in this part of the world by people who don’t know the definition. For example I’ve lost count of how many times the China-Laos Railway is referred to as a high-speed railway. It travels at 160 km/h, which is semi-high-speed (a standard speed for a functional intercity trains in Europe). Nothing wrong with that of course. In fact this would be the ideal speed, but just stop calling it high-speed.

🇮🇩 Indonesia

🇱🇦 Laos

I will visit this place and also review the China-Laos Railway when Laos reopens. Apparently Laos will decide this week if it opens up (like most of Southeast Asia has done by now).

🇲🇾 Malaysia

[Updated: East Coast Rail Link]

🇵🇭 Philippines

[Updated: Mindanao Railway]

🇸🇬 Singapore

🇹🇭 Thailand

• Some images of the proposed HSR station for Pattaya.

🇻🇳 Vietnam

The two lines are Thu Thiem Station-Long Thanh International Airport, and Bien Hoa-Vung Tau. Both lines have been planned for years with no progress.

[Updated: Mekong Delta Railway]

While not physically in Southeast Asia, you could soon be driving an electric vehicle made by a Vietnamese company in the US. The news was even Tweeted by Biden.

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