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Old April 19th, 2015, 03:26 AM   #341
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Old April 19th, 2015, 03:37 PM   #342
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kullerauge View Post
Ok, seems sensible. I never understood the idea of Yingluck's government to offer high speed passenger transport routes linking Bangkok with the North and Northeast anyway. The northeastern region is populous, but it has very low urbanization, all the population is scattered in thousands of villages and a few small urban centres and purchasing power there is the lowest in Thailand. And a high speed rail ticket from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (the only significant city in the north) would cost more than a flight and be a lot slower.
In terms of Malaysia’s affordability to finance the project that has been repeatedly questioned in the media, Mohd Nur reteriated that the main focus of this project does not concretely depends on transporting people but as an economic catalyst to further develop and spur new modern townships and economic activities along the lines that will cross towns in Negri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor from Kuala Lumpur.

“For instance, at this juncture, the HSR line will add value to the economic development

A quote from the Malaysia-Singapore thread.

Economic planners take the long term view with regards to HSR.

Eventually Thailand will function as a hub for a HSR network linking to China via Laos, Vietnam via Cambodia Singapore via Malaysia and India or even Europe via Burma/Bangladesh.
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Old April 19th, 2015, 03:47 PM   #343
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Sure the costs are lower than in Germany, in China tickets seem to be about half as expensive.
The dilemma of high speed rail is that it only really makes sense if it connects enough cities with enough population, provided these cities are neither too close nor too distant. In Germany most high speed rail connections aren't much faster than conventional intercity express trains due to too many stops. In many cases high speed rail travel time is almost the same as with conventional trains, only more expensive.

In my view the only route in SE Asia which, at this time, makes total sense regarding high speed rail is Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
You made a good point re population and HSR but also missing the point.

HSR will help drive urbanization along economic corridors creating those very urban centers it needs to justify its existence.

The trans continental railway in the United States had that effect and I'm pretty sure the coming of the railway in Europe help increase population and economic activity around the railways.

Taking into the account the huge growth in inbound tourism in Thailand especially from China such infrastrucutre would have a practical end.

What is true in Germany isn't always absolutely universally true everywhere.
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Old April 19th, 2015, 04:21 PM   #344
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Frankly I think the "catalyst" theory to be wishful thinking. Conventional rail links would do as well - it is perfectly ok to have a good rail network, but why invest so many extra billions in high speed rail? Is the considerable extra cost worth the investment? In Germany high speed rail sure didn't "catalyze" anything significant I could think of, other than making Siemens happy with multi-billion contracts.

PS:
Thailand should rather invest the billions in a better telecommunication infrastructure, especially solve their last-mile problem with it's incredibly messy and archaic overhead cabling which is now becoming a real problem because Bangkok's electricity company has forbidden to lay any additional cables on the electricity poles, which will greatly impede expansion of telecom services and bandwidth.
Again you are making a valid point but missing one as well.

Decisions like these are not made with the best interests of the public at heart but more so what's best for the political and business elites AKA profitable.

What is conventional railway in Asia? One meter guage at 30 kmph?

Forces much larger than we can comprehend are behind this it's a done deal.

Second point is valid re elecricity cables.
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Old April 19th, 2015, 05:56 PM   #345
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Adding some more fact for you:

Section from BKK (Bangsue Central) to Phitsanuloke and even the section from Phitsanuloke to Sukhothai and Sisatchanalai is relatively easy to construct due to the fact that
1. Section from Bangsue Central to Phitsanuloke follows the existing railway line (Opened since 24 Jan 1908) - with the stations at the same yard at the existing station with exception for Lopburi - since they pick Pa Wai (5 km South of existing station in Lopburi city) as station for High Speed train and Phichit which is 2 km North of existing Phichit station since the new station is closer to the highway that connect the station with downtown Phichit on the other bank of river.

2. The section from Phitsanuloke to Sukhothai and Sisatchanalai is a flat land to begin with - just need proper land exappropriation and may consider the extension of the existing branch line from Sawankhaloke terminus to become feeder for Sukhothai station. This measures is to quell angry voice of those farmers in Sawankhaloke district whose land will be exappropriated.

The truly tough sections are
1. the section from Sisatchalalai for the case of Uttaradit people to Nong Wua Thao (Southeastern suburb of Lampang city)
2. the section from Hang Chat (Northwestern suburb of Lampang city) to Lamphun

The rest just follow the same old railway track which are on the flat plateau. At least, we don't have to sacrifice 5000 workers due to Malaria and other maladies during the construction from Uttaradit to Chiang Mai as happened between 1909 to 1922 though.

Yah, Soisatchanai station is likely beetroot station since those from Uttradit and Phrae are going to boycott this line unless they got the right connection with high speed train in their provinces - Uttaradit station in Uttaradit city or Sila At station at the Northern suburb for those in uttaradit while those from Denchai want the High Speed train connection at either Denchai or downtown Phrae.
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Old April 19th, 2015, 05:57 PM   #346
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Waiting 10 more years, where construction cost will rise considerably and the country will not be competitive anymore.
Bangkok - Chiang Mai line cost 387,821 million baht in 2013, but now it cost 426,898 million baht.

Here's a quote from the government. (roughly translated)

Quote:
"For the value of high-speed rail. We (the government) look at it in terms of economic benefits.

If we take only the fare and the economic payback into account, that would be for another idea. But the government sees the benefits of high-speed rail as creating business, creating cities and creating income.

Just as we build roads over ten years ago. We put money into constructing roads for 6 billion baht. We did not get a refund, and we did not charge road users. However we got economic benefits and increasing developments and wealths.

The concept of high-speed rail is similar. We have to look at the economic benefits."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kullerauge View Post
PS:
Thailand should rather invest the billions in a better telecommunication infrastructure, especially solve their last-mile problem with it's incredibly messy and archaic overhead cabling which is now becoming a real problem because Bangkok's electricity company has forbidden to lay any additional cables on the electricity poles, which will greatly impede expansion of telecom services and bandwidth.
Underground powerlines projects are already taking place in many roads and cities.. Some are completed, some are on-going.
A new law for this problem has already been given to the government for approval.

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Originally Posted by Kullerauge View Post
No, that's not what I meant. I'm very much in favour to upgrade Thailand's outdated rail system so it can offer adequate speeds and service quality, especially for freight transport. The trouble of high speed rail is that it costs significantly more than conventional rail and it is questionable if the speed gains are commensurate with the extra costs. Conventional European rail already could reach maximum speeds of 200 km/h, even 80 years ago.
Unlike Thailand, Germany already had an excellent conventional rail network which had served it very well before Deutsche Bahn started its high speed rail segment. Another difference is that Germany has its own high speed rail technology manufacturing sector, while Thailand would be importing it from China or maybe Japan with little technology transfer. I think that it is too early for Thailand to go for high speed rail, and too costly. Of course China and Japan will say otherwise, they want the lucrative contracts.
For the joint thai-chinese railway.

A joint venture will be set up to divide the work into three phases.
  • In the first three years, China will take responsibility for train operations and rolling stock.
  • In the fourth year, Thailand and China will work together.
  • After the seventh year, Thailand will be solely responsible for the entire operation, with China serving as an adviser. China has agreed to Thailand's proposal for China to provide training to staff from entry to high levels and technology transfer to the Transport Ministry, State Railway of Thailand and the private sector.
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Old April 19th, 2015, 06:56 PM   #347
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Yes, cost vary a lot, but do you think, it will be cheaper as years goes by?? Certainly not. Besides the price given are thai prices for constructing HSR in Thailand, and not in other countries.

P.s. Other underground projects in provinces are progressing faster. For Sukhumvit, the delays are mainly because they only work after midnight for some hours, and they also had to lay down new water pipes as well as putting the lines underground and they are also problems with the telecom company. The powerlines had already been removed, while the cables will be removed this year. But that's an entirely different topic.
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Old April 19th, 2015, 09:55 PM   #348
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The infrastructure projects will not raise public debt by much and they make sure that it will not exceed 50%. Thai HSR will only cost US$10 billion (867km) + US$13 billion (672 km) = US$23 billion, which is only 6% of current GDP (nominal).

Profits from ticket sales are not enough, so they will also get profits from cargo and from land development around the station as well.

BTS and MRT are also not profitable, but can you see the benefits?
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Old April 20th, 2015, 07:25 AM   #349
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You have to take many factors into account when you want to justify the cost and benefit of building HSR in Thailand as oppose to its neighbors such as KL-SG line.

- As I say. There are at least 5 million passengers travel between Chiangmai and Bangkok each year and number keep growing at a lot faster pace once the arrival of Chinese tourist become a boom.

- There are also need of short distance travelling between each city among the line.

- Thailand has been growing mainly only in Bangkok since forever. Its now time to start pushing urbanization to regional main city. HSR wont solve everything. Its just part of the longer term plan to expand development outside capital.

- There are 2 ways of pushing growth and development when you want to build a country. Wait until enough demand is reach then build something. Or do it in advance and push the rest. The very good sample of the former case is here in UK when the government start HSR2 plan. With just London - Birmingham route it already cost 3-4 times more with shorter distance. When there is already existing line reaching 200 km/h speed running. Not sure why the government even care to make one. Same rule of thinking applies here i guess.

- There is also plan for upgrading the conventional train of course.

- Additional note. There is also plan for underground powerline. And a separate underground telecommunition line which is just proposed by กสทช to put everything telecommunication line underground within 2 years. Its one of
The thing that has been negleted for so long and finally someone come to their sense and realize the need. Bit again. You dont need to scrap the whole HSR or other country development plan just to do this thing. Its totally resposible by different organization. Diffent goal.

- you raise Chinese case and mention that only Shanghai and Beijing is profitatable. Yes. Then why the chinese even care to built it. What other benefit their country and population could possibly gain. Same applies for the rest of emerging world. Turkey? India? Indonesia? The way of thinking is now change. People no longer wait for country to develop then start building something. As UK case I point out above. See how much it cost them now. European way does not apply everywhere and it does not serve everyone interest.
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Old April 20th, 2015, 01:19 PM   #350
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The one difference is that these other emerging economies have several large and important cities. There is no other country in the world more suited for high speed rail than China - it is a large country with dozens of important economic centers and cities with several million inhabitants.

The high speed rail idea carries a lot of prestige thinking behind it, which at times may supersede purely economical considerations. Especially governments of emerging economies may be a bit more susceptible to such thinking because they may feel a greater urge to give their country a modern image. If high speed rail really were something essential, then why neither USA nor Canada have it? High speed rail is also a latecomer in Europe, except in France - it was introduced 30+ years later than in Japan. Before European countries caught the high speed rail fever they already had a very well-developed conventional rail network, high speed rail was just the icing on the cake.

PS:
Currently in Germany it is the income from the conventional rail services that is making up for the losses of Deutsche Bahn's high speed rail segment.
There are not dozens of cities in China but hundreds, 244 cities with one million plus inhabitants and that list is growing.

To answer your question as to why the chinese built an extensive HSR system the reasons are

1. Free up more lines for freight

2. Move more people faster aka increase the volume take pressure off the increasingly under pressure conventional rail.

3. Help relieve traffic congestion around aviation hubs.

4. Help move people in both directions across international borders faciliate the flow of tourists etc.

5. Improve their capability in design, planning , construction and operation of HSR systems for export purposes.


Nobody builds or intends to build an internationl, intercontinental HSR network for soley for prestige.
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Old April 20th, 2015, 05:59 PM   #351
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Not solely, but who can deny it plays a psychological role? The psychology behind high speed rail is maybe a tad like the psychology behind building skyscrapers. Skyscrapers are impressive and look futuristic, but no country needs them to become an advanced economy.

I also don't think China cares much if Thailand really needs high speed rail or not. It is looking all over the world for markets to sell its rail technology, even in Kenya. Does China really care if dirt poor Laos risks to bankrupt itself with a high speed rail route it doesn't need a bit?
Yes, that obviously play a role. But nobody in the right mind will pay billions just for that purpose alone sir. What is your exact point?

I think all this attitude only come from the fact that Thailand is not yet an advance economy. By having this run in the country it will look totally out of place (at least in your view). China can get away with it only because of its scale. Nobody care if its GDP/Capita is still in the middle range.

Why don't we just wait for another 15 years, until we reach the high income point and build it right? It will only cost 2-3 times higher, as oppose to building it now.
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Old April 21st, 2015, 07:49 AM   #352
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At least in the special case of Laos one has to wonder why the government there is going to increase the external public debt by a sum equivalent to more than 60% of GDP for a high speed rail route (or two) which at least 95% of the local population won't be able to use because they can't afford it.
For the case of Laos, Chinese pressure via Chinese faction within Lao politburo as well as the politics within LPDR to realize rail link which the old Royal Lao government failed to do so ... So, the investment scheme will be as follows for the case of Laos:

LPDR investment: 840 Million US Dollars
Chinese investment: 1260 Million US Dollars
Loan: 5200 Million US Dollars
http://www.rfa.org/lao/economy/railr...015161902.html
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Old April 21st, 2015, 08:47 AM   #353
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I didn't say it is the sole purpose, only that prestige might also be a driving force, motivating the investors to go for riskier and costlier investments, like e.g. building tracks exclusively for high speed passenger transport instead of only much less costlier conventional multipurpose tracks for both passenger and freight transport.

At least in the special case of Laos one has to wonder why the government there is going to increase the external public debt by a sum equivalent to more than 60% of GDP for a high speed rail route (or two) which at least 95% of the local population won't be able to use because they can't afford it.
Is proposed China-Laos-Thailand railway a 160km/h single track electrified railway for goods and passengers or a real 300km/h passenger dedicated high speed railway? All I've seen in the news is the former, but since you're so sure, I'm bit confused.
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Old April 21st, 2015, 09:50 AM   #354
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Is proposed China-Laos-Thailand railway a 160km/h single track electrified railway for goods and passengers or a real 300km/h passenger dedicated high speed railway? All I've seen in the news is the former, but since you're so sure, I'm bit confused.
Initially, 160 - 180 kph but it can be upgraded later to 300 kph if there is a demand to do so.
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Old April 21st, 2015, 10:53 AM   #355
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Initially, 160 - 180 kph but it can be upgraded later to 300 kph if there is a demand to do so.
That means all the criteria of track design need to meet 300kph, minimum 5000m curve radius, minimum 4.8m track centre and much higher standard bridges, tunnels, track foundation, switches etc.

Haven't seen the design details yet, but highly doubt this would be the case.
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Old April 21st, 2015, 11:16 AM   #356
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That is the case.

Electrified Dual-track rail routes using a 1.435-metre standard gauge with average speed of 180 km/h at first.
The High Speed Lines will be constructed to be able to handle a speed of 300-350 km/h. Much of the system will match high speed trains except for the speed to save cost.

Only video with info in english, the rest of the videos are in thai.

Joint thai-chinese line 180km/h at first

Bangkok - Nakhon Ratchasima section (english)

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Old April 21st, 2015, 01:25 PM   #357
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Is proposed China-Laos-Thailand railway a 160km/h single track electrified railway for goods and passengers or a real 300km/h passenger dedicated high speed railway? All I've seen in the news is the former, but since you're so sure, I'm bit confused.
The first option is more likely due to the terrain even the Gui Yang Kunming and Nanning kunming HSR lines are only 200 kmph through similiar terrain.
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Old April 21st, 2015, 01:38 PM   #358
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Yes, that obviously play a role. But nobody in the right mind will pay billions just for that purpose alone sir. What is your exact point?

I think all this attitude only come from the fact that Thailand is not yet an advance economy. By having this run in the country it will look totally out of place (at least in your view). China can get away with it only because of its scale. Nobody care if its GDP/Capita is still in the middle range.

Why don't we just wait for another 15 years, until we reach the high income point and build it right? It will only cost 2-3 times higher, as oppose to building it now.
Unfortunately I have to agree with your claim.

The assumption is unless you are an advanced country you don't deserve access to or a need for advanced technology.

When the IMF decides you are ready the World Bank might lend you the money because they know best.

Skyscrapers, HSR and the like are neither needed or wanted in developing countries due to the fact that 95% are poor can't afford cars, houses etc.

Of course I know all about the real world because they watch TV via the western media who define for others what they do and don't need.
.
The project is going ahead regardless they have the finance , the technology
and the expertise finally most importantly the ambition.
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Old April 21st, 2015, 02:00 PM   #359
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Transport Minister may apply Article 44 to state projects
April 16, 2015 1:02 pm

The Transport Ministry is considering the use of Article 44 in the provisional charter to speed up infrastructure projects, minister Prajin Juntong said on Thursday.

The article gives the junta broad discretion to issue orders and undertake actions deemed appropriate for national reform.

In a bid to bring several projects initiated during this administration to fruition, he said he might apply the article to ongoing issues, as it could serve to speed up the projects.

The Transport Minister is understood to have been referring to the replacement of the Department of Civil Aviation, which has been downgraded, by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Many of the ministry's development projects face slow progress. Prajin said that unexpected problems requiring urgent correction have impeded the ministry's efforts to execute its projects.

Among the several projects the minister wishes to accomplish within this administration are the expansion of Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao airports; the construction of the dual-track railway, new motorways and expressways; and the purchase of NGV buses.



http://www.nationmultimedia.com/poli...-30258075.html
https://www.facebook.com/Homebuyersf...=page_internal
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Old April 21st, 2015, 02:29 PM   #360
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You don't have to become sarcastic.
The point in question is if the extra billions for high speed passenger rail, which, unlike freight transport or conventional rail passenger transport, is hardly an essential service, could not be spent on other more important projects in a middle-income country. If you want to build a house, you don't start with a golden roof. Thailand may be a borderline case, as it is a relatively developed country among the emerging economies - but Laos sure has other priorities than wasting 6 billion dollars on luxury rail (Laos' anual GDP is 10 billion dollars).
AFAIK Chinese section will be 160km/h mixed double track and single track electrified railway without any speed upgrade options, I suspect Laos section would be similar.
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