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#1 reader

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 06:32 PM

From Coconuts Bangkok

 

14055060_771360293005567_187463208643367

 

 

Bang Sue Grand Station, an upcoming transportation hub in Bangkok’s suburbs, will replace Kuala Lumpur’s Grand Sentral as the region’s largest railway station when it opens in 2020.

 

The Bang Sue Grand Station will sprawl over 300,000 sqm. It will serve as a connecting point for the Airport Rail Link, three MRT lines, and high-speed rails that travel outside of the capital, according to recent updates reported in the Thai edition of China’s Xinhua News.

 

Those high-speed rails will connect to the north (to Chiang Mai), as well as incorporate the Bangkok-Hua Hin line.

 

The site, currently under construction, will replace the old-school Hua Lamphong station, which has been Bangkok’s main transportation point since its opening in 1916.

 

Will the real thing look as good as its rendering? We’ll have to wait until the third quarter of 2020 to find out.

 

Continues with photos

https://coconuts.co/...southeast-asia/



#2 PeterRS

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 10:09 AM

Remember all the hyperbole about Makkasan? How easy it would be to get to, how you would be able check in there for most airlines and get boarding passes before getting the train out to the airport, how the express service would be non-stop but also with a local line having a few stops ... ?

 

The dreams of Bangkok planners have a nasty habit of not materialising as expected!



#3 spoon

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 10:30 AM

And kuala lumpur sentral actually have check in counters for several airlines and complimentary porter services if u take the klia express. Would be nice to see something similar in thailand at of course reasonable price.

#4 abang1961

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Posted 04 June 2018 - 10:42 AM

Is it me alone...thinking that China is trying to colonize South East Asia with all these mega rail projects?

Under that One Road One Belt initiative by President Xi, it seems that China is linking its southern cities to various routes within Peninsular Asia.  Look at the case in Sri Lanka.  China literally bulldozed its way and took control of the ports there as Sri Lanka is unable to pay the interest, much less than loans!

 

 

Good thing that the Malaysian government had canceled that segment from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.  On the surface, both Malaysia and Singapore stand to gain from the HSR but now that it is canceled, the real loser is China.  According to reports, more than 700,000 China mainlanders will be living in Forest City, Johor with the promise of the HSR.  Now that it is canceled, the drama is more than skin-deep with investors bailing themselves out. 

 

The junta is greedy.  They are expecting China to assist these mega projects... Unlike KL Sentral which is centrally located, Bang Sue is too far north.. based on the current train availability.  Unless there is an improvement to the network, it is just an excuse to build more infrastructure in Thailand.

 

By the way, the HSR will bypass Chiangmai... What's the point of having HSR if the two major cities are not connected?

http://www.chiangmai...-to-chiang-mai/



#5 PeterRS

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 10:16 AM

Good thing that the Malaysian government had canceled that segment from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. 

 

 

Why is it a good thing that KL to Singapore is cancelled but you lament Bangkok to Chiang Mai not happening?

 

KL to SIngapore is just 350 kms. Tokyo to Osaka is 500 kms. Most shinkansen trains between the Japanese cities take between 2 1/2 and 3 hours and there are at least 6 every hour. If I took it, total journey from office/hotel/home to office/hotel/home time would  probably be not much more than 4 to 4 1/2 hours.

 

How long does it you take to fly from KL to Singapore? 30 minutes to Sentral, 30 minutes waiting for and taking the train, minimum 60 minutes for queueing, check in, security and immigration, 15 minutes at the gate, 15 minutes to board, 15 minutes to taxi, 40 minutes flight, 15 minutes to taxi, a few minutes to SIngapores very fast immigration, 15 minutes to get your bag, 20 plus minutes in to the city. Total time around 4 hours 15 minutes.

 

A fast train averaging just 150 kms per hour (pretty slow these days) would cut the total journey time by perhaps an hour or more. Each could carry 1,000 passengers or perhaps 6 planeloads. Run 4 per hour during most of the day and you can reduce the number of short haul small jets on the route by between 150 and 200. It would cut carbon emissions considerably. Additionally, with agreement between the countries, more time can be save with immigration formalities carried out on the train as it is on the fast Helsinki/St, Petersburg train, for example,

 

Obviously there would have to be some flights for connecting passengers in both cities. But I fail to see any argument that fails to justify a high speed train on this route. apart from one put forward by Tony Fernandez who is no doubt lobbying extremely hard to prevent it!



#6 abang1961

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 11:07 AM

Don't flame me but I do have my understanding of the political and economic reasons why the High Speed Rail between KL and Singapore is a white elephant.  As much as I agree there are savings in terms of traveling time, the costs and post-operation needs do not justify it.  The Singapore-KL flight route is one of the busiest in the world but driving up is really a breeze.  It took me some 3.5 hours to travel (not as a driver but as a passenger).

 

 

The problem lies not on the end-points of the rail but the stations in between.  Southern Malaysia isn't one of the more populated areas and unless they develop the sleepy towns of Batu Pahat and Muar, there is no reason for the project.  Furthermore, nowadays with technology, it is no longer a necessity to meet up.  Teleconferencing suffices.   

 

 

Why I see the need to link Bangkok with Chiangmai...tourism dollar!  It is of interest to visitors to see both Bangkok and Chiangmai, all within the same country.  Conversely, I don't think that same sentiment is shared between Singapore and Malaysia.  The state of Johore has always wanted to upstage Singapore with its mega theme parks.  The problem is that unlike Singapore, everything is spread out.  Traveling to places like Legoland and Desaru takes almost half the day one way.   Whereas in Singapore, you could see the Gardens by the Bay from 6 pm to 9 pm and take the subway back to your hotel within 20 mins.  Visitors are more inclined to see Melaka and Penang for the rich heritage, rather than KL, another concrete jungle!

 

 

So I wish Bang Sue every success but I doubt I have much use for it as it does not serve my purpose.  With so many different bus terminals in Bangkok, i.e. Ekkamai and Mo Chit etc, it is rather confusing.  I wish the Thai authority could build proper facilities and linkages - very much like TBS (KL) and any bus interchanges in Singapore.   Passengers remain indoors (in air-conditioning comfort)  until the buses arrive.  No accidents, no confusion, everything conducted in an orderly manner.   



#7 spoon

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 11:21 AM

Yes, the main reason for the cancellation of hsr between kl and Singapore are the hig cost, claimed to be purposely inflated by the former pm to pay for his failing 1mdb fiasco. The people of malaysia have made a history for the first time, to elect a new gov after the previous gov has been in power ever since independence. This is the gov that is rife with corruption, bad decisions in the pass, that actually disown singapore because of politic fear, and use race and religion to scare the people. If u think trump are bad, just imagine trump in power for 60years, thats what we have in malaysia before lol. Anyway, there is a lot of benefit for any improvement of infrastructure for sure. China invasion whatsoever isnt the reason to cancel any project, especially internal project.

#8 PeterRS

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:18 PM

Im not trying to flame anyone or put anyojne on the spot. Assume it is just my ignorance and I seek clarification.

 

I understand the issue of intermediate stations. The Tokyo/Osaka shinkansen line has several although the fastest just speed through most of the them without stopping. I also appreciate that the last Malaysian government was as rotten as they come and rail projects which require acquisition of large tracts of land are a real corruption target.

 

What I don't understand though is the economics. Fact is KL to Singapore is the busiest international route in the world in terms of number of flights - 30,000 plus per year. 4 million passengers use those flights. Typical flight time with taxing and delays is 65 minutes - pretty near my guess above. The basic budget air return fare between the cities may be cheap at present but there is a wide range of prices and not everyone pays the lowest fare. With the price of oil now 40% more than a year or so ago, they are bound to go up. And certainly further up over the course of time.

 

I see from the internet the plan was to have a high speed rail with a city centre to city centre time of just 90 minutes. That represents  a huge time saving over a flight. Add in a premium business class as on European trains, plus property development rights at the stations at each each end and en route (like Hong Kongs MRT), commercial outlets and so on. and surely there must be a way of paying for the vast initial development plus the running costs if the investment is spread over a 25-30 year period.

 

I know I am making huge guesses. But there seems as little reason to fly between KL and Singapore as there is between London and Paris or Berlin and Hamburg or Madrid and Seville. All those European routes are served by lots of high speed trains.

 

https://www.bbc.com/...siness-44000000



#9 spoon

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 09:12 PM

Im am in agreement that the benefits of this rail is great, but at the same time saving travel time when the current travel time is already at acceptable range is what makes this a bit more interesting. And if we go to how much of the fares will be to take a high speed train from sin-kl, for malaysia to started to gain profits, its either make it affordable to the masses or risk not maling any money for a long time given the inflated cost of the project, and hsr is only one of the many other giant projects already planned by previous gov, which also faced prospect of cancellation sooner or later like MRT 3 circle line, East coast rail line, TRX, bandar malaysia etc. if u asked me as a malaysian, there are far more pressing issues to be addressed by the current gov that are more important than saving a few hours of travel time for those who commute between kl and singapore, many of which are business travellers, who wouldve prefer fIight over train anyway. In comparison, bullet train in japan isnt any cheaper than the alternative flight as well. Tokyo-osaka return ticket is around 290usd, which is close to the cost of economy plane return ticket from malaysia to tokyo. And japan has their technology themselves to build such high speed train while malaysia has to hire someone else to do it for them, which of course in itself already make it more expensive, even before the corruptions. While there is no denying that driving a porsche is safer and faster than say a toyota doesnt mean everyone can afford it. And i also agree that the high speed rail will affect the plane industry too, which is why tony are also against this lol. And i also agree that the stations were not strategically placed. For your info though, route from KL to the north, all the way to the border of thailand is already upgraded with high speed ETS train, not the fancy HSR but still good enough to make the fare affordable, and it cuts down the travel time from around 8 hours by old train sytem to merely 3 hours from KL to Penang passing Ipoh, two of the cities that is definitely worth a visit.

#10 abang1961

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 08:35 AM

Spoon,

I am amazed that I actually read through your reply.

The subject matter interested me. 

Otherwise, I would have skipped it due to the style of writing.

(Maggi mee style writing demands too much concentration, try to break them up into paragraphs)

 

 

My personal experience

I did a one-day trip to Ipoh from KL Sentral last year and yes, another trip from KL Sentral to Butterworth some ten days ago.  

The journeys were comfortable enough and did not take a very long time.  In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by that colonial train station (in regal white) in Ipoh.  It was definitely a Facebook Check-in spot.

Ipoh-Railway-Station.jpg

 

The novelty of the KL-Butterworth trip was the old-style Penang ferry.  It had that old world charm - something I lost in Singapore.  It was like stepping into a time capsule.    Yes, there is absolutely no need for fancy and frenzy travel modes.  Just KISS - keep it simple and short.  And the ride was dirt-cheap... Just remind me of the ferry in Hong Kong and Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

 

ferry_n_boat2.jpg

 

 

So will the FAST train from Bang Sue to Hua Hin do the same trick?  I remembered a 4.5 hours slow train journey many years ago... Hua Hin deserves more tourist dollars..same as Ayutthaya.  If speedier train service is provided, most of us will be willing to do these trips rather than remaining in the SAFE enclaves of Bangkok, Pattaya, and Chiangmai.



#11 vinapu

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 09:45 AM

lots of great ideas above , I can only  add that ,many of those infrastructure projects are vanity things started without proper accounting for all that concrete pouring with cost in future to maintain in good repair and whether countries in question will be able to afford it.

 

Spoon had great point - idea is fantastic but there are other more pressing issues to consider than say, cutting travel time to Hua Hin from 4.5 to 1.5 ?



#12 PeterRS

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 11:21 AM

All the points are interesting and thanks guys for making them. I am sure planners in places like LA and San Francisco have been going through the same ones - and lots more.

 

But I still am not convinced! Spoon - you suggest more of the flyers between KL and Singapore are business people. Sorry, that just does not fly with the large number of budget flights and the masses of economy seats on the legacy carriers. Most business people will take biz seats and some Y seats on the legacy carriers where they get a degree of service, I reckon. My guess is that a very large percentage of the travellers are leisure rather than on business.

 

I havent done it but I am 99% certain that leisure passenger traffic between the city pairs I mentioned in my previous post has increased massively since the fast train services started. I know people in London who take the train to Paris for lunch, or a days shopping before coming back in the evening. Before the high speed trains, these people would never consider flying with all the cost and hassle. Even though it might be a little cheaper to fly, on city centre to city centre trains most of the hassle of travelling disappears.  Also if you book a month or so ahead on Europes high speed rail system, the fares are very inexpensive. Its the last minute and business travellers who have to travel  on certain days who happily pay 4, 5 and 6 times the price. Three years ago I had a first class rail ticket between Munich and Berlin (albeit with a couple of stops) and it cost around €100. Returning to Munich the cheapest budget non stop air ticket would have cost €90 and a full fare last minute economy flight €450! There are plenty of economic arguments about supply resulting in much greater demand.

 

Initial cost is certainly an issue and there is no point starting a high speed rail service unless there would be enough traffic to justify the investment. I fully accept Malaysia is still reeling from the corruption of the last government (and, to be fair, Mahatiir's excesses in the 1990s - e.g. huge F1 race circuit at Subang which F1 has now ditched). But why does the government have to build it? Make it a private enterprise corporation like Hong Kongs extensive MRT system. Last year its profits jumped 64%. The profit - yes, that's profit - was $7 billion US. Of that, only 30% came from its transport operations. The rest from its property portfolio largely as a result of its being granted the land above stations on a long term lease to develop property.

 

Conclusion. High Speed rail would not work on its own. Sweeten the pill for investors, throw in land and property development and let private enterprise build and run the project on a long-term 30 or 50 year lease.






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