Today we focus on Southeast Asia, an area of huge activity, growth and innovation within the rail and metro sector. The ASEAN region, consisting of ten countries with a combined population of approximately 625 million people (8.8% of the world's total) and a combined GDP of an estimated US$2.6 trillion is an area of huge growth. But with this expansion also comes increasing pressure on existing infrastructure, natural resources, population levels and the environment. As a result ASEAN rail projects, metro developments and planning changes are being rolled out across the region and today we bring you eight of the biggest and best...
Cross Island Line (Singapore)
Spanning across Singapore, the Cross Island Line (CRL) will be approximately 50km in length and is targeted to complete by around 2030. Starting from Changi, the CRL will pass through Loyang, Pasir Ris, Hougang, Ang Mo Kio, before reaching Sin Ming. Continuing westwards, it will serve areas such as Bukit Timah, Clementi, West Coast, and terminate at Jurong Industrial Estate. It will provide commuters with another alternative for East-West travel to the current East-West Line, bringing greater comfort and significantly shorter journey times.
Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Project (Malaysia) - pictured above.
The Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit Project (better known with its acronym "MRT Project") is a planned 3-line mass rapid transit system in the Greater Kuala Lumpur (part of Klang Valley region) conurbation in Malaysia. It envisages a "wheel and spoke" concept comprising two northeast-southwest radial lines and one circle line looping around Kuala Lumpur. Preliminary project cost which will be government-funded, at RM36 billion, representing the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in Malaysia. The 52.2km line will include a 13.5km underground section and 38.7km of viaduct with 39 stations. Phase one of the line is on track to be fully operational in 2017.
Rayong to Nong Khai rail line (Thailand)
This planned Chinese-backed rail line will run north-south from Thailand’s main deep-water seaport in Rayong to the Laos border at Nong Khai, with a separate spur that connects to Bangkok. The cost of the 867 km long line, on which trains which will reach a top speed of 180km/h is estimated at 328 billion baht. A 20 year loan for the standard-gauge line from the Exim Bank of China was agreed in February 2015.
Land Transport Authority formation (Philippines)
Following slow progress in getting developments off the ground Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered the establishment of a land transportation authority to oversee all modes of public transport throughout the country. The Land Transport Authority (LTA), which will be set up under the Transportation Ministry, will oversee ambitious projects including the inter-city high speed rail line and light rail transit network in all Indonesian cities. Indonesia is preparing to build a high speed rail line from Jakarta to Bandung with Japan and China already showing their interest in involvement.
This proposed line connecting the capital Jakarta and Bandung will be able to reduce travel time for the 150km route to about 45 minutes from about three hours at present. The government will hold an open tender to select a company to build the line; “We will make [a kind of] beauty contest to ensure the best will win,” Coordinating Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil told a press conference in July. Both China and Japan are likely to be favourites to take the contract, with both competing for a stronger influence in Indonesia’s economy.
The Hanoi Metro (Vietnam)
The capital of Vietnam’s first metro line was originally planned to be completed in 2016 but the launch date has now been pushed back to 2018. The project is part of an integrated transport development programme to provide an efficient and clean urban transportation system and to lower the use of motorbikes, buses and taxis that cause mobility and environmental challenges in the city. Two lines are currently being built, though a total of eight are planned and the first lines will transport up to 200,000 passengers per day.Rail signalling upgrade (Myanmar)
The ageing existing railway infrastructure in Myanmar, is to receive a major boost with a signalling upgrade by Mitsubishi and Hitachi worth ($20m). The project, which will be covered by grant aid from the Japan International Cooperating Agency (JICA), is scheduled to be completed by June 2017. The project will help to improve rail safety and contribute to modernising, upgrading and diversifying transportation infrastructure in Myanmar.
Kunming–Singapore Railway (Region-wide)
The Kumming-Singapore Railway refers to a network of regular and high speed railways that would connect China, Singapore and all the countries of mainland Southeast Asia. The proposed network consists of three main routes from Kunming, China to Bangkok, Thailand: the Eastern Route via Vietnam and Cambodia; the Central Route via Laos, and the Western Route via Myanmar. The southern half of network from Bangkok to Singapore has long been operational, though a high-speed line has been proposed. The project aims to be at least partly operational by 2021.
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