Column: Asia’s engine of growth
China had begun the process a few years ago by laying out the design of an ambitious rail road network. Now South Korea has also followed suit. New rail links within, and from these countries, are being complemented by upcoming networks across Southeast Asia.
A key project plans to link China to upper Southeast Asia by connecting the former to the CLMV group of countries in the region—Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam—along with Thailand. The specifics of the project include rail corridors from Kunming in China’s western province of Yunnan to Vientiane in Laos, which would produce further connections to Bangkok in Thailand, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam. The link will eventually extend right up to the tip of South China Sea and connect Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. This remarkable pan-Asian rail network bridging Northeast and Southeast Asia is expected to be ready by 2020.
Asian countries have begun investing enormous resources in internal rail networks. South Korea has announced ambitious plans for upgrading its high-speed domestic train network. The plans involve increasing both frequency and speed of trains. ‘Bullet’ is the buzzword in Asia’s rail revolution. By 2020, Korean bullet trains are expected to cover distances in almost half the time that ordinary fast trains do now. This would be similar to what China is doing. Running times from Beijing
Be the first to comment.