What would Southeast Asia look like if it had a fully functioning railway network? I have thought about this many times, usually while on a bus ride from hell (Huay Xai to Luang Prabang springs to mind).
I envision it to be a cross between China’s high-speed rail network and Europe’s international InterCity services. With a single visa for ASEAN an InterCity-style train would be able travel from Bangkok to Phnom Penh in four hours, and a high-speed train in under three.
I take a keen interest in transport and infrastructure development in Southeast Asia. In particular I’ve been following the Kunming-Singapore railway project, which China has planned of connecting via three different routes.
The big project that will transform the region is the line that travels through Laos, from China to Thailand. After years of planning and false starts, this project is finally (probably) about to begin construction in December, 2016.
Over the years I’ve bookmarked news articles reporting railway lines that are under construction, or have been proposed to be built. Compiling all this data I have created a map of what Southeast Asia could look like if all of those lines were built, combined with current railways.