Infrastructure has become common issue for ASEAN countries when thinking about economy development. Many countries in the regions are mulling over high speed railway connection, the ambitious but costly plan. Does the high speed rail really benefit the country economies or is it just fashionable? This is still in doubt for people. Another issue to be considered is the sources of financial.
Planned or proposed high-speed railways in ASEAN
* Vietnam originally proposed in 200 The investment for these routes would only be around $21.4 billion instead of the $56 billion calculated earlier for the full route.9 and conceptualised with the help of Japanese advisors to develop high-speed railways system connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and other major towns. The proposal was rejected by the country’s National Assembly in 2010 due to its high costs but now can be developed “on a trial basis.” Instead of building a 1,630 kilometer railway track between the countries major cities for trains capable of running at 250 to 300 km/h, the Japan International Cooperation Agency suggested to construct “feasible” routes first between Hanoi and Vinh (280 km) and Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang (360 km), that could be economically viable by 2030.
* Myanmar has published plans to build a high-speed railway between Yangon and Kunming in China over a distance of 1,920 kilometers with the help of Chinese investors. Plans are currently on hold.
* Indonesia has expressed interest in high-speed rail links for the densely-populated island of Java, probably linking the major cities of Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya. Estimated costs are $20 billion.
* Laos had plans to build a high-speed railway between Vientiane and China and link it to Chinese high-speed railways, as well as to a proposed high-speed railway to Bangkok. Plans have been put on hold.
* Thailand has plans for several high-speed rail lines radiating from Bangkok, connecting major cities such as Chiang Mai and Nong Khai. Total costs would reach $25 billion.
* Malaysia and Singapore have proposed a high-speed rail to link Kuala Lumpur and Singapore with a possible extension to Bangkok. The plans have been put on hold due to high costs but could be revived to implement such a rail link in stages.
* The Philippines has suggested a high-speed railway on the island of Luzon, passing through Manila, carried out by the San Miguel Corporation. The project is in its development stage.
(Excerp from “Vietnam Revamps High- Speed Train Project “) For the full story please check: