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Geili
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Discussion Starter #1
Wen: China to speed up Pan-Asian rail link
(Xinhua)
Updated: 2007-01-15 08:49

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said yesterday China will accelerate construction of the Chinese section of the Kunming-Singapore Rail Link, also known as the Pan-Asian railway network.
Addressing the 10th ASEAN-China Summit in Cebu, the Philippines, Wen said China proposes that a strategic plan on China-ASEAN transport cooperation in the next 10 to 15 years be formulated to facilitate coordinated development of regional transport, improve integrated transport networks, and facilitate communication and transport in the region.

China and 17 other countries, many of them members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, signed an inter-governmental pact last November to build a Pan-Asian railway network, which would include an 81,000-kilometer-long network that would link four key railways in different parts of Asia.

One of the railways is the China-ASEAN link with three separate lines linking Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos with China. The rail will go on to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, and will be 5,500 kilometers long in total.

With its expected completion by 2015, the rail link will play a key role in pushing forward regional economic cooperation and integration.

China has already started construction of the eastern line of the rail link from Kunming to the Vietnamese border and it is investing 50 billion yuan (US$6.25 billion) to build a total of three lines in Yunnan Province to link them with Laos and Myanmar besides Vietnam.

Leaders of China and the 10 ASEAN countries pledged to build the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link when they attended the China-ASEAN Commemorative Summit celebrating the 15th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in October.
 

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Geili
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
*SKRL - Singapore Kunming Railroad

Map of SKRL:



Table 1.2 Route Compositions by Country of SKRL*

Country Route Length (Km)
Thailand Bangkok – Aranyaprathet 200
Cambodia Poipet – Sisophon – Phnom Penh 48 + 352 = 400
Cambodia Phnom Penh – Loc Ninh 300
Vietnam Loc Ninh – Ho Chi Min – Hanoi – Lao Cai 150 + 2000 = 2150
China Hekou – Kunming 350
Lao PDR Vientiane – Thakhek –Mu Da- Tan Ap 466 + 53 = 519
Thailand Three Pagoda Pass – Nam Tok 150
Myanmar Three Pagoda Pass – Mawlamyine 116

Table 1.3 Missing Links and Spur Lines of Selected SKRL Route Configuration

Missing and Spur Lines Country Involved Distance (km)
Poipet - Sisophon Cambodia 48
Phnom Penh – Loc Ninh Cambodia 286
Loc Ninh – Ho Chi Minh Vietnam 149
Ho Chi Minh – Vung Tau Vietnam 75
Three Pagoda Pass – Mawlamyine Myanmar 116
Nam Tok – Three Pagoda Pass Thailand 153
Vientiane – Thakkek – Mu Da Lao PDR 466
Mu Da – Tan Ap Vietnam 53

Source: aseansec.org, feasibility study

Above information is based on a year 2005 figures & statistics. Latest progress shows that China is trying to build a standard guage railroad to Vietnam's border (current one is narrow guage from Kunming to Honoi, which is not suitable for the fast development and exist some safey issues, and I heard that the narrow guage railroad had stopped the service), besides Vietnam, there will be two more lines connect with Myanmar and Laos.
 

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Geili
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Discussion Starter #3
This plan shows that the city of Kunming will recover its glory on 20th century around 1920's, China's first metropolitan city in Southeast Asia.
 

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The map above misses a very important recently opened line from Kunming to Nanning (due east) which is a major hub.

The Kunming-Hekou/Lao Cai railway (narrow gauge) hasn't been running for about two years now, I think. It was damaged by mudslides, and they decided just to upgrade it completely.

Vietnam is the big problem... The section of track from Hanoi to Hekou/Lao Cai is a single track narrow gauge, with no significant upgrades or investment since the 1930s... they have begun restoring the bridges, but it will remain narrow gauge. The fastest trip is 8hrs. for ca. 200km. Nevertheless, this is the busiest line in the whole system in Vietnam.

As far as Hanoi-Saigon... hm, that's narrow gauge one track as well, takes 38 hours on the fastest train.

Myanmar has some good track... The line in Cambodia from PP to the coast no longer has passanger traffic, just some fuel cargo from time to time.
 

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This is what I've dreamt about, even decades ago! Drawn maps of! 1960s!

I won't trivialize my posting by adding dancing bananas.

I"d like to travel this route.
 

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Vietnam is the big problem... The section of track from Hanoi to Hekou/Lao Cai is a single track narrow gauge, with no significant upgrades or investment since the 1930s... they have begun restoring the bridges, but it will remain narrow gauge. The fastest trip is 8hrs. for ca. 200km. Nevertheless, this is the busiest line in the whole system in Vietnam.

As far as Hanoi-Saigon... hm, that's narrow gauge one track as well, takes 38 hours on the fastest train.
Didn't I read on this site recently that a high-speed rail link would be built between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City?
 

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Jubilation
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Interesting to see the 'Death Railway' will be re-opened by the look of it... I've travelled as far as The River Kwai on it, it seemed such a terrible waste of life that much of the route built during WW2 is abandoned. If anyone ever gets the chance, the 'Death railway Museum' in Kanchanburi is well worth a visit. Overlooking the immaculate POW cemetary as it does its quite a moving experience.

I know that Singapore / Malaysia / Thailand is all the same gauge (1m?) from having taken the train from Singapore to Bangkok, but what about the rest? What are relations like between Myanmar and Thailand / China?

Great prospect though... it opens up the possibility of taking a train from Wick (Scotland) to Singapore (okay, with a gauge change or two) :eek:
 

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Will it be high-speed rail or just normal rail?
 

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Jubilation
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Will it be high-speed rail or just normal rail?
I presume 'normal'... I believe Malaysia have upgraded sections of their route to double-track electrified HSR, but most of the route is 1m gauge single-track, and in sections (like Cambodia) in an awful state. The journey from Singapore to Bangkok took us 3 days / 2 nights and involved a lot of dawdling and stopping to allow trains to pass etc. I can't see anyone finding the money to double / upgrade the entire route... It would cost billions.

This route is never going to compete with passenger air travel, but it would obviously be a very useful freight link.
 

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I presume 'normal'... I believe Malaysia have upgraded sections of their route to double-track electrified HSR, but most of the route is 1m gauge single-track, and in sections (like Cambodia) in an awful state. The journey from Singapore to Bangkok took us 3 days / 2 nights and involved a lot of dawdling and stopping to allow trains to pass etc. I can't see anyone finding the money to double / upgrade the entire route... It would cost billions.

This route is never going to compete with passenger air travel, but it would obviously be a very useful freight link.
The Singapore-Bangkok route runs a luxury tourist train.
 

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Well, I didn't get further than Johore Bahru .... and I think it was a different train. Had to get out of the train, wallow through customs, then get back on the same train at "Woodlands", and on the way back no-one would deal with us until about two minutes before the train arrived.

Since I like to have things organized well in advance, turning up at the station and being told I couldn't book a ticket for tomorrow didn't go down very well. And a return ticket? Across an international border? No Way.

My Singaporean partner had her own slant on why we suffered this. Anyway, I'll try again.
 

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Jubilation
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Well, I didn't get further than Johore Bahru .... and I think it was a different train. Had to get out of the train, wallow through customs, then get back on the same train at "Woodlands", and on the way back no-one would deal with us until about two minutes before the train arrived.

Since I like to have things organized well in advance, turning up at the station and being told I couldn't book a ticket for tomorrow didn't go down very well. And a return ticket? Across an international border? No Way.

My Singaporean partner had her own slant on why we suffered this. Anyway, I'll try again.

Yes it was a novel experience going through immigration whilst on a train... You get to Johor Bahru, everyone files off, walks though immigration, and files back on again... It feels like a complete waste of time!

At the Malaysia - Thailand border they just took our passports off us the evening before and gave them back to us in the morning with our stamps in them... Much less hassle.
 

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Geili
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Discussion Starter #15
I think that there will be an agreement between China and southeast Asian countries on visa exempt measures.
 

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Geili
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Discussion Starter #16
Cambodia seeks finances for Singapore-Kunming rail link

SEPANG: Cambodia hopes that Asean can resolve financing problems plaguing the long proposed Singapore-Kunming Rail Link project, which is estimated to cost US$1.8bil (RM6.6bil).

This includes finding private sector parties willing to undertake the mammoth project spanning seven countries, Cambodia's Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh said.

He also called on his Asean counterparts to use the Kuala Lumpur meeting to also resolve the two missing links – 48km in Cambodia and 210km from Cambodia to Vietnam – of the ambitious rail project.


OVERDUE PROJECT: Filepicture shows delegates from China, Thailand and Singapore attending the second special working group meeting on the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link in 1997.
“I hope that if we can find enough financing for these two links. I believe not later than five years, we will be able to take a train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and go up to China,” he said upon his arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the 38th Asean Economic Ministers (AEM) meeting.

Prasidh said he hoped that during the Asean Mekong Basin Development Cooperation (AMBDC) meeting on Aug 26, countries could be found to provide financing for this project.

“We are quite grateful to Malaysia which offiered used rails and fasteners to Cambodia Rail for the construction of the 48km-missing link section of the Sisophon-Poiphet railway, which forms part of the Singapore-Kunming Railway Link project,” said Prasidh.

“If we can realise this project, it is going to be the first time that all countries involved will be linked by railways, thus speeding up the distribution of goods compared to transporting them by sea or roads,” he added.

The AMBDC took off in 1996 within the grouping to enhance economically sound and sustainable development of the sub-region, but funding remains a problem.

For instance, the Singapore-Kunming Railway Link project still needs more funds to finance the rail route that spans seven countries covering Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

Up to 55 AMBDC projects costing about US$183mil (RM671mil) were identified for implementation but only 31 projects valued at US$11 mil (RM40mil) have been implemented or are at various stages of implementation.

According to Prasidh, the AMBDC is very important to support the development process of the Mekong Basin sub-region within Asean.

“Of course, there were countries that showed less interest in this project but Malaysia, China and Thailand have played an important role in supporting and assisting towards its implementation,” he said.

Malaysia has taken the lead role since 1996 by undertaking the US$533,000 (RM1.9mil) feasibility study and hosting the Singapore-Kunming Railway Link regional secretariat for three years since 2004. –Bernama
 

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The map above doesn't make sense. If you're going to build a line to Vientaine, then effectively there is a shorter alternative link to Bangkok and Singapore via Vientaine. The route through HCMC would serve as a detour.
 

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The map above doesn't make sense. If you're going to build a line to Vientaine, then effectively there is a shorter alternative link to Bangkok and Singapore via Vientaine. The route through HCMC would serve as a detour.
True: but the Vientiane line goes over the mountains; the HCMC line goes around them. and, there's lot's more going on in Vietnam than Laos.
 

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Geili
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Discussion Starter #19
The above route map is not a detailed complete one.
Hope this one can explain a more complete detailed routes and sourrounding areas of Kunming - Singapore railroad project:

 

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Sorry to give this thread such a massive (4-year) bump, but any news on these developments, or directions as to where I could find any?
 
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