Southeast Asia is witnessing the emergence of new railways from the earth in a special competitive field between China and Japan, which will facilitate travel in the region and soon become more environmentally friendly. South China Morning Record.
From Vientiane to Phnom Penh via Bangkok; From Ho Chi Minh City to Luang Prabang via Hanoi and Kunming; Half of the stations mentioned from Hong Kong to Singapore, in addition to Kuala Lumpur – make train travel more and more convenient between the major cities of Southeast Asia.
Supporting the European trend, Asia is investing heavily in the railway sector Slow journey. The latter involves preferring the train over the plane, as its CO2 emissions are higher, especially for a few hour journeys.
Most of the Southeast Asian railways derived from colonialism have, more or less, been preserved in good condition since independence: they are now being modernized and augmented by new ones.
“Since the launch of the Asia Rail Network Development Plan in the late 2000s, Southeast Asian nations have invested in rail development, a way to stimulate growth, adapt to the region’s rapid urbanization, and strengthen regional cooperation.”, Analyzes Jessica Liao, a political science lecturer at North Carolina State University (USA).
Major projects are underway
By 2023 (scheduled completion date), Indonesia’s most populous island, Java, will finally have the high-speed line to complete its network. Malaysia is building rail infrastructure on the long-neglected east coast. At the same time, the north-south crossing is being upgraded to accommodate high-speed electric trains. Plans to modernize the long-discussed, Vietnamese network, although very slow, are progressing like building a metro in Ho Chi Minh City. Similarly, the long-controversial plan for a train connecting Vietnam and Cambodia is even more relevant: the Cambodian government has begun a feasibility study.
The largest project in progress is the 414-kilometer route, which will connect Botan and Vientiane on the Sino-Laodian border.
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