Posted: 28/08/2006 10:56 pm Post subject: ASEAN Railways in 2015?
ASEAN Hopes Railway Will Be Done by 2015
Saturday August 26, 6:26 am ET
ASEAN Hopes Singapore-China Rail Link Will Be Ready by 2015, Says Official
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Southeast Asian nations hope a proposed $15 billion major railway project linking Singapore to southern China will be ready by 2015 to facilitate the flow of goods and people across the region, officials said Saturday.
The Asian Development Bank recently provided Cambodia soft loans of $40 million to build missing links and another $5.4 million has been secured as grants for the project, said Ong Keng Yong, secretary-general of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
China, which last month launched a rail track from Beijing to Tibet, has also shown renewed interest in ASEAN's plan for a rail line spanning 3,000 miles from Singapore to the Chinese city of Kunming, he told The Associated Press.
However, overall progress of the project has been hindered by a lack of funds and other technical issues in connecting the rail to major towns across the region, he said.
"We want to revitalize the railway project which will be good for the region. With the rah-rah after the opening of the Tibetan line, I believe we can move faster," Ong said after a meeting of the ASEAN-Mekong Basin Development Cooperation. "
"Work is being done on a national level to join up with the rail link but we need more funding."
A rail line already runs from Singapore to Bangkok. From Bangkok, Ong said there are plans for two separate rail lines to Kunming. One rail track will snake across Cambodia and Vietnam, with a connecting track to Laos, while the other line will cut west through Myanmar.
Officials previously said it would cost at least $1.8 billion. Ong said that was the cost of constructing certain links.
The entire project, including building railway stations and related infrastructure, is estimated to cost $15 billion with about a-third of the funds to be focused on work in southern China, he said.
Senior officials will meet in November in Kunming to review the project and identify new sources of funds, he said. The group did not set any target date for completion but "we must have some connection" by the time the bloc fuse into an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, he said.
Officials said construction has also been hindered by difficult terrain in some countries, clearing land mines in Cambodia and Laos, and harmonizing customs and immigration.
The railway project is expected to better bind the economies of the region and provide China with easier access to ASEAN markets.
ASEAN trade ministers earlier this week agreed to bring forward plans to turn the region into a single market and production base by 2015, five years earlier than originally planned. The bloc also aims to create a free trade zone with China by 2010.
Apart from the rail project, the group also needs funds worth $44 million for 15 projects involving capacity building, training and other projects to develop the Mekong Basin, said Myanmar Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, U Soe Tha.
To woo new funds, he said membership of the ASEAN-Mekong Basin Development Cooperation -- currently involving only ASEAN and China -- will be opened to interested parties such as the Asian Development Bank and the region's trading partners.
Lao - China High Speed Train delayed until 2014 due to the changing policy of Thai government
Lao railway Authority Officer admitting that Lao - China High Speed Train will delayed until 2014 due the direct result from Changing policy of Thai government.
The current Thai government led by PM Yinglux Shinnawatra making a clear policy through the election campaign that
PM Yinglux Shinnawatra wrote:
1. High Speed Railways to Laos will be shortened to Khorat (Nakhon Ratchasima)
2. High Speed railways from Bangkok to Chiang Mai getting the First Priority
3. Eastern Line also getting the high priority
4. the Southern line of High Speed will be shortened to Hua Hin instead of Padang Besar
Such a changing policy on High Speed Railways Network has compelled Chinese Government to slow and lower down the priority to construct High Speed railway in Laos since Chinese government has made a clear point that
Thailand has to realize the High Speed Train line from Bangkok to Nong Khai and Bangkok to Padang Besar FIRST in order to maximize the profits from high speed railway in Laos by making a connection to Malaysia and Singapore.
Deputy PM SOmsavat Lengsavat also insisting that both governments have to come up with Joint venture company to handle Lao - China Highspeed railway with 70% of Stock in the hand of Chinese government for railway equipment and rolling stocks and 30% of stock in the hand of Laos government for land ex appropriation and removing the unexploded bombs.
The investment of 7 Billion Dollars has compelled Chinese government to maximize the profit at all cost so they have to postpone the investments in Lao - China Highspeed railway until Thai Government has changed mind to finish the line to Nong Khai and Padang besar first
The abandoned Sihanoukville rail station waits for the train
Sihanoukville. Todays generation know their railway and in some regions like in Battambang, the Bamboo Railway has become a very popular way of transport. [1 journeyman] But as for the train, it already seems something of the past. The main Cambodian roads are almost finished and cars can access these to the most distant provinces. You can travel from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City by bus 746.28 kilometers in less than 20 hours, crossing the well-maintained Cambodian roads. But the return of the Cambodian train seems near, at least as it is planned by the intra-Asian railway a project that intents to connect Singapore with China going through the territories of Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.The project is part of the ambitious Trans-Asian Railway Network that would connect the huge continent with Europe.
Certainly, it would be of great benefit for countries, especially in rural areas where roads are less than muddy paths. Currently, Cambodia is rescuing its old railway, built during colonial times, but destroyed by long years of armed conflict and territorial divisions. The Asian Development Bank loaned Cambodia USD $73 million to reestablish the train, including a connection between the capital and the sea port of Sihanoukville. As a colony that ended in 1953 it was possible travel by train from Phnom Penh to Singapore.
But the intra-Asian railway in Cambodia needs to build a 257 kilometers missing segment between Cambodia and Vietnam, work that would cost USD $686 million, according to the Chinese Third Railway Survey and Design Institute study that was announced last Wednesday; Beijing has offered to contribute USD $500 million towards this effort. The missing segment, mostly in the Khmer territory, includes the Cambodian provinces of Kampong Speu and Kratie and the Vietnamese province of Binh Phuoc.
Segment of the Trans Asian Network showing the Cambodian-Vietnamese missing fragment that needs to be built
Construction stocks rise in anticipation of infrastructure projects revived under junta, The Nation 14 June 2014
Blue-chip stocks related to construction have experienced a robust gain in trading over the past few weeks in response to the ruling junta's moves on economic reform, including the Bt3-trillion infrastructure project. According to Stock Exchange of Thailand data, Italian-Thai Development has rallied by 34 per cent over the past two weeks. ITD shares closed yesterday at Bt5.05, up 1.81 per cent from Thursday.
An analyst at Finansia Syrus Securities said the ITD rally followed reports on the country's economic reform plan and investment road map. Prominent projects like railway double-tracking and mass-transit extensions were included. The analyst said although it was unclear whether the Bt350-billion water-management project approved by the elected government ousted by the military would go ahead, ITD stock had been affected by heavy speculative trading. ITD is one of the construction firms that won projects under the water project. However, some stocks such as PTT and Thai Airways International, which are state enterprises, might be at risk, affected by the plans to reform the energy price structure and overhaul government-owned enterprises.
The Transport Ministry has drawn up the outline of a Bt3-trillion eight-year (2015-22) investment plan for infrastructure projects. Most are in line with the ministry's previous plan that focused on transport and logistics, such as double-track railways, mass-transit trains and improvements of highways and ports. The ministry will forward this strategy to the deputy chief of the ruling National Council for Peace and Order, Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, who is in charge of economic affairs, next Thursday.
This strategy consists of five pillars.
First is the railways, including the inter-city lines, with five routes getting double tracking worth Bt116 billion. The five routes are Lop Buri-Paknampo, 148 kilometres worth Bt24 billion; Map Kabao-Nakhon Ratchasima, 132km, Bt29 billion; Jira Road-Khon Kaen, 185km, Bt26 billion; Nakhon Pathom-Hua Hin, 165km, Bt20 billion; and Prachuap Khiri Khan-Chumphon, 167km, Bt17 billion.
The railway development strategy also includes the double-tracking of six more routes with total length of 1,364km worth Bt140 billion. They are Hua Hin-Prachuap Khiri Khan, 90km in length; Chumphon-Surat Thani, 167km; Surat Thani-Padang Besar, 339km; Paknampo-Den Chai, 285km, Khon Kaen-Nong Khai, 174km; and Jira Road-Ubon Ratchathani, 309km.
It also embraces three new double-track routes with total length of 696km worth Bt120 billion, which are Den Chai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Kong, 326km; Ban Pai-Maha Sarakham-Roi Et-Mukdahan-Nakhon Phanom, 347km; and Ban Pachi-Nakhon Luang, 15km.
The second pillar involves the public-transport system in Greater Bangkok (10 routes), while the third pillar is intra-regional and inter-provincial roads.
The fourth pillar is waterway projects such as deep-sea ports.
The fifth one is aviation projects such as development of the second phase of the Suvarnabhumi Airport and the procurement of aircraft by Thai Airways International.
The development of this pillar is divided into three phases. The first phase, which will begin next year and cover both feasibility studies and the start of construction, is worth Bt210 billion. The second phase in 2016-17 and will mostly cover newly developed projects worth Bt170 billion, while some will be projects carried on from the first phase. The third phase will begin in 2018.
Separately, NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha said after a meeting with 36 relevant agencies on Thursday that he had instructed them to reprioritise the previous government's Bt350-billion water management projects to be in accordance with the 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan. The projects should be in line with His Majesty the King's idea of water management, he told them.
NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha also said that he would not allow the High Speed Train with 50-year concession + the settlement for the myriads of immigrant workers on Thai Soil which implied that the cheap loan in Thai favor terms for High Speed train just like JBIC loan for Subway will be considered - so Big Too has focused on massive double tracking all the way to Nong Khai as the substitute for High Speed train at the time being.
It is just fine if they offer loan for massive electrification to allow Isan commuter, Southern and Upper central Commuter as the substitute for the good old DMU trains.
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