The largest railway station in Southeast Asia

An Olympic bid for the new Indonesian capital, Luang Prabang railway station update, Singapore's Cross Island Line MRT, and more construction and transport news in Southeast Asia.

Hello from Ho Chi Minh City, where we are in hard lockdown mode for two weeks. In fact, most of Southeast Asia is in a dire state this month, with Indonesia now the Covid epicentre of Asia. Not to turn this into a current affairs newsletter, but this preamble is somewhat related to this week’s article.

I have a loose publishing calendar that keeps me on track for what to publish. This week I had scheduled a story on Bang Sue Grand Station in Bangkok, which was supposed to open this month. Even if it’s not operating yet, it’s now the largest railway station in Southeast Asia.

The station is now planning to open in November, and this cavernous space is currently being used as a vaccination centre. The latest Covid wave in Thailand is so bad that they also transformed the new terminal at Suvarnabhumi into a field hospital.

I visited the Bang Sue construction site in 2019 (that’s where my current profile photo comes from), and last year I was half hoping that I could be there on the opening day. That looks unlikely now.

[Bang Sue Grand Station under construction in 2019.]

Bang Sue will be replacing Hua Lamphong as the main station of Bangkok. Originally Hua Lamphong was going to close permanently and turned into a museum. It will be served by the SRT Dark Red line, but that is years away from being operational.

I’m interested to see what will happen to the area around Bang Sue. There are plans to turn it into a new central business district (images of which are in the article), but so far they haven’t found an interested developer. Bang Sue could end up becoming like Makkasan Station, which even before the pandemic was almost empty.

Whether the station becomes a vibrant hub like Tokyo Station (supposedly what it is modeled after) or ghostly like Makassan won’t be known for a few years after the pandemic is over. Either way, I’m excited about the prospect of one day being able to get a high-speed train from Bangkok to Luang Prabang.

Latest Posts At Future Southeast Asia

Bang Sue Grand Station – The largest railway station in Southeast Asia

Updated Posts

Indonesia

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil: If I'm not mistaken, the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train can start in October 2022

Indonesia ponders 2032 bid change

“According to Reuters, the government is evaluating how to make the unnamed new capital its candidate city for the 2032 Olympics, replacing Jakarta.”

To build a new capital city, Indonesia must design for resilience

Laos

Luang Prabang station along Laos-China Railway to be completed next month

Malaysia

One island is enough for Penang

“Malaysian state's offshore reclamation plans risk environmental disaster.”

Boring machine for ECRL tunnel excavation works arrives at Port Klang

“The first of two tunnel boring machines (TBM) which will be used to start excavation works for the Genting Tunnel as part of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project has arrived in Malaysian shores on July 4, 2021 as scheduled, after extensive factory tests in China.”

Thailand

Complaints hit northern rail projects

"Bidding for the two double-track railway projects worth 128 billion baht in the North and Northeast could be marred by alleged irregularities, a seminar was told."

Other News

Asia

The attraction of rail travel in Southeast Asia is growing as networks expand, giving travellers a viable alternative to flying

Cambodia

Phnom Penh to expand radius by 100 kilometers to enlarge population to six million people by 2035

Khun Sea development fills In Mekong River near Arey Ksat ferry stop

“Seng Phen, a representative for Khun Sea Development, first denied involvement with the filling in of the river, but later admitted it was part of a 70-hectare development granted by the government. He said the new development would be a “Hong Kong-style” entertainment area costing $1.5 to $2 billion.”

And another article on the story…

Khun Sear’s company clears way for Arey Ksat satellite city

“Residents living in Arey Ksat have been surprised to learn that a stretch of the Mekong is being filled in to pave the way for a 70-hectare satellite city developed by the Khun Sear Import Export Company, owned by the well-connected real estate tycoon Khun Sear.”

Conference on ‘smart cities’ being created across nation

“The government has been discussing plans to turn three of the Kingdom’s cities into “smart cities”, more environmentally friendly urban hubs that improve the standard of living for locals and make them more attractive to tourists.”

Indonesia

Indonesia must chart a way to urban sustainability

Indonesia to build electric vehicle battery plant, production starting in 2023

Laos

Vientiane capital to upgrade roads and infrastructure

Lao farmers driven from their land by foreign concessions, rising costs

Malaysia

[Photos] 1972, the year that transformed Penang

“Once a bustling port of the British Empire, by the late 1960s George Town was a city in decline. But 1972 would prove to be the turning point for Penang, transforming the island once again into a Malaysian economic powerhouse.”

Philippines

Expert warns of risks of Manila Bay reclamations after Florida condo collapse

PNR Calamba segment to be operable by 2025

Conservation of La Loma Cemetery chapel underway

“The Diocese of Kalookan and non-government organization Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation recently partnered to save the old La Loma Cemetery Chapel in Caloocan City from further deterioration.”

Singapore

6 possible Cross Island Line MRT stations and condominiums that might benefit

A “then and now” from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.

“Four decades ago, Changi Airport opened its doors to passengers. In its first year of operation, 4.3 million passengers passed through the airport.”

Thailand

Massive golf and entertainment complex from the U.S. to open in Bangkok

“It will be part of Bang Na’s sprawling Megacity project.”

Vietnam

Capital city plans to build more public and green spaces

China-Vietnam freight train trips surge in H1