The proposed Trans-Borneo Railway connecting 3 countries

May 2023: Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway updates, Lao-Thai Railway ready, seeing Vietnam by train.

Welcome to another edition of Southeast Asia Railway News. I’ve been in Hua Hin all month and I took the train to get back to Bangkok (photos on Instagram).

I’m in Bangkok for a rail conference, representing myself for Future Southeast Asia. After the conference, I have two more train trips planned in Thailand, but I haven’t planned anything beyond that.

This month there is a good mix of articles. There are updates on lines under construction, and some new lines. If you just found this site or have been sent it by someone, then subscribe to get monthly updates.


🇮🇩 Indonesia

Not surprisingly, the news in Indonesia is dominated by the upcoming opening (hopefully)of the first proper high-speed railway in Southeast Asia.

🇱🇦 Laos

“Phase II of the Lao-Thai Railway Construction Project (Section II) has been fully completed and is ready to be opened for use by the public.”

Khamsavath is the Vientiane South Station, and it will be the terminus for the metre-gauge trains from Thailand (see previous link). The line is physically ready, but we are still waiting for government approval to run a railway service.

🇲🇾 Malaysia

“The proposed railway will link Sarawak to Sabah, Indonesia and possibly Brunei.”

Malaysia has indicated that they are open to private companies building the KL-Singapore high-speed railway, so there will be more announcements like this.

🇵🇭 Philippines

🇹🇭 Thailand

“The railway from Hat Yai to Sungai Golok offers numerous glimpses into a borderland marred by conflict and marked by contradiction.”

🇻🇳 Vietnam

“Skip the cheap flights and embrace slow travel.”

“According to the popular worldwide travel website Lonely Planet, Vietnam's unified railway line ranks top in nine train travel itineraries.”

(Original article at Lonely Planet.)

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