By Ami Cholia
Posting in Cities
China wants to build a rail network that would connect the country to Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar.
While China's working to build one of the most robust high-speed rail networks within its own borders, the country is also looking at connecting itself to its Southeast Asian neighbors. This will allow travelers to go from China to Singapore entirely by rail within just a day.
The rail line will make its first "international" stop in the border town of Boten in northern Laos. The zone's vice governor, Vixay Homsombath, is hoping the service will help revive the city's completely downtrodden economy.
While a specific plan for the network hasn’t been made, Chinese media have reported that China plans to first build a line through Laos, Thailand and Malaysia before it reaches Singapore. Additional lines stretching into Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar are also reportedly planned, while another network connecting western China and Central Asia toward Europe is being worked on.
The Laos stretch is likely to be the first, since it will be the easiest to build.
Critics argue that political and economic factors may not allow the project to go through, but if it succeeds it will definitely open the door for trade within the region.
Jun 14, 2011
This plan is totally rubbish.. There 's no way we Singaporeans are going to see their f**king crap trains terminating in our country!! The rails are totally poorly and nastily built in a bid to save lots of costs and time!!
That China's army, won't use high-speed rail, to their advantage. You need to wake up, cause you got to be dreaming.
Ahhhhh...... Asia is so technologically advanced and it has so many great cultures. It will be so nice to move through it at super high speed. It makes me feel like the borders between these countries are getting thinner and thinner when we use innovative technologies to make travel faster between them. One day, we will have such an advanced transportation system that going to a different country will be like going for a ride to the grocery store.
Considering that the Chinese subcontracted their railroad to Tibet to Bombardier, the Canadian aircraft and railroad giant, I wonder where they are in all this.. if they are at all.
The USSR used non-standard rails for years for just that reason. Invading armys could not use their own rails against them. Blow up a few engines or take them all with you and the tracks became useless.
...expense is the least of China's worries. Why would any country (except North Korea) want to provide China with an invasion route that deep into the heart of their country?
They just admitted that most of their HSR tracks have to be ripped up and rebuilt because of faulty concrete. They are going to spend over $1 billion fixing them. Why the heck would anyone want them to build tracks in their country?
I've been following news on Chinese HSR forever and haven't seen any news reports that would suggest this. Besides $1 billion would not be nearly enough to rebuild a significant stretch of a railway, let alone the whole network.
China's problems with high speed rail were news back April. They included shoddy workmanship that required speed reductions, corruption. lower ridership than predicted, and cost overruns. I don't know about track being ripped up, though. See for example http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703983104576262330447308782.html .