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October 2023 News: Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway launched, Cambodia rail plans, Trans-Borneo Railway, Train SE22 from Saigon to Danang
Welcome to another Southeast Asia Railways round-up. I haven’t been travelling this month but I have a backlog of trip reports to do. I published an article about the train from Saigon to Danang, including what it is like to sleep in the cabin, and what kind of food to expect.
The big news for this month was the launch of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway. I have picked out some news articles and a trip report for that.
"In a meeting with Wang Jianping, Chairman of the Board of China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), Dr. Hun Manet, Prime Minister of Cambodia, emphasised the direction of the development of the Cambodian railway system to have the capacity to cover the whole country."
"President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Monday inaugurated a $7.3 billion high-speed railway connecting Jakarta with the city of Bandung, a China-backed project that has been marred with problems."
Indonesia now has one of the fastest trains in the world, and it’s not even a competition between fastest and second-fastest trains in Southeast Asia.
"PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China/Indonesia-China High-speed Train Company (KCIC) has announced a promotional fare of Rp300,000 for the Whoosh high-speed train on all routes, including feeder trains to and from Bandung Station, West Java."
"A joint venture between Vietnamese infrastructure developer Deo Ca Group JSC and Petroleum Trading Lao Public Company (PetroTrade) has been allowed to develop a railway project linking the two countries."
"The government will conduct a feasibility study for a proposed railway linking Sabah and Sarawak to Indonesia, says transport minister Loke Siew Fook."
“The Philippine National Railways (PNR) will cease all of its passenger services in Metro Manila by January 2024 to give way to the civil works for the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR).”
“The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will ask the cabinet to approve the funding for the second phase of double-track upgrades between Khon Kaen and Nong Khai next week, according to Department of Rail Transport director-general Pichet Kunathammarak on Thursday.”
”The Eastern Economic Corridor Office of Thailand (EECO) has approved a feeder electric train linking with a high-speed rail link between the capital’s airports and U-Tapao airport in the high-speed rail project’s second hearing.”
If you are in Bangkok on November 22 then check out this talk with a panel of rail enthusiasts and experts, where Matthew Woodward will launch his new book “Bang Sue Junction.”
The book launch is at The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand.
• Thailand's top 6 train journeys, by Austin Bush for Lonely Planet.
“The withdrawal of the "marshals" is prompted by the latest restructuring of the Royal Thai Police (RTP), and their members will be redeployed in other departments within the force under the National Police Act 2022.”
Train SE22 is the Vietnam Railways service that operates from Saigon to Danang. Here is what to expect on this overnight service.
This is my review at Nomadic Notes. Sign up for the Nomadic Notes Travel Newsletter for more travel updates.