News: March 2024

Malaysia considers extending ECRL to Thai border, proposed Trans Borneo high-speed railway, Vietnam’s transport ministry proposes 350km/h high-speed rail,

Hello from Nha Trang, Vietnam! I got the train here from Ga Sai Gon, and I will then get the train to Da Nang. Getting the train is a good way to hop between cities, though it is slow if you are going long distances. Vietnam needs faster trains, and this month it was announced that the preferred speed for the proposed high-speed railway is 350 km/h. When that will happen is another matter.

Here is this month’s summary of rail news in Southeast Asia.


“Imagine jumping on a train in southwestern China, traveling some 2,000 miles and arriving in Singapore – less than 30 hours later.

That’s the scenario China is envisioning for Southeast Asia as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a vast overseas infrastructure development program that launched more than a decade ago.”

🇧🇳 Brunei

"The first high-speed rail network in Borneo has been proposed, set to shorten the travelling distances between Kalimantan, Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei.

Brunei based Brunergy Utama Sdn Bhd, on its website, announced that the Trans Borneo Railway project would be implemented in two phases involving routes spanning 1,620 kilometres."

The official website is at

🇰🇭 Cambodia

“The Royal Railway of Cambodia (RRC) has unveiled its plan for additional investment to improve the northern railroad line, currently out of service.”

“Khmer Rouge researcher Chhang Youk, who serves as executive director of DC-Cam, said the tours were designed to enable participants to share Khmer Rouge survivor’s experience of forced transfer by train.”

🇮🇩 Indonesia

🇱🇦 Laos

"Starting on March 10, the Laos-China Railway Company Limited has opened two new stations on the cross-border service, namely Xay station on the Lao side of the border and Yuxi station in China."

🇲🇾 Malaysia

"From Bintulu Port to the new capital of Indonesia, Nusantara, it is only a few hundred kilometres. So, with the high-speed railway like China, people can arrive in Nusantara from Bintulu in three hours,".

One of the world’s most beautiful railway administration buildings.

 🇲🇲 Myanmar

🇵🇭 Philippines

“…the five-year hiatus of the PNR will start on Maundy Thursday to give way for the construction of the North-South Commuter Railway.”

“The Panay rail system project includes the construction of a passenger and freight railway, logistics facilities, maintenance depots, and transit-oriented developments.

Also in 2023, the DoTr created a task force for the proposed Eastern Visayas Metro Railway System which will link Samar and Leyte islands.”

🇹🇭 Thailand

“In 2018, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) received 10 second-hand air-conditioned Hamanasu passenger cars from the Hokkaido Railway Company of Japan. The procurement aimed to repair and renovate the cars and press them into service as a tourism vehicle.”

“Passengers were whisked back to the romantic age of rail travel on Tuesday when they boarded a steam train for a special trip from Bangkok to Ayutthaya to mark the State Railway of Thailand (SRT)'s 128th birthday.”

🇻🇳 Vietnam

"In the future, the province will also consider building the Dong Ha - Lao Bao railway to be linked with the Densavan - Savannakhet railway of Laos, thereby forming a railway on the East West Economic Corridor (EWEC)."

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