In the Future
Once upon a time, before World War II, the railway network connected all of the Southeast Asian Countries. You could get around all of Southeast Asia fairly easily. Thailand Railways were very modern and well-organized. Most of the Thai Railway System was destroyed during World War II, and many of the International Rail Connections were lost as well. After World War II, rail connections between Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore were eventually restored. But the Vietnam War and various subsequent civil wars prevented the rail connections with Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Laos from being rebuilt. Now things have quieted down, and Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos have re-opened their Borders. Those three countries and Thailand are now discussing how to rebuild the 'Lost International Rail Connections'. Myanmar's Borders are still closed except for a few crossings not serviced by rail travel.
* In 2006 a Proposal was made for building a 'Trans-Asian Rail System'. This Rail System would eventually link eight Asian Countries (Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China, Singapore, and Eastern Russia) and restore the 'Pre-World War II Time' International Railway Service. Southeast Asian Nations hope this proposed Railway project will be ready by 2015 to facilitate the flow of goods and people across the region.
* A Rail link to Vientiane (Laos) across the Mekong River's 'Friendship
Bridge' is being discussed. Currently, Thai Railways Northeastern (North Isaan)
Line ends at Nong Khai Rail Staion, across the Mekong River from Vientiane. (See
'Thai Railways History' Section for more information)
* Thai Railways also plans to re-open a now defunct Rail Connection with the Cambodian Railway at Aranyaprathet (final station of Thailand's North Eastern Line). There is still a railhead at Poipet (Cambodia). Some very basic train services exist in Cambodia, but no trains go West of Sisophon (Cambodia), (48 km from the Thai / Cambodia Border).
* Railway connections to Myanmar (Burma), via the infamous 'Death Railway',
have been defunct for many years. Ther Former Rail Thai / Burmese Rail Connections
are overgrown with Jungle. There are no serious current plans to re-open this
* Thai-Malaysian 'East-Coast' Railway Connections - There is a rail link at Sungai Kolok (last station on Thai Railways Southern Line Southeast Branch) across the Golok River to Rantau Panjang (Malaysia). There are no cross-border passenger train services there at this time, however. Perhaps in the future both Thai Railways and Malaysian Railways will open this 'Cross-Border' Route to passenger service. There is no information that they are currently planning to do so though.
*Suvaarnbhumi International Airport Rail Link
Thai Railways (SRT) is building a new 'high-speed' elevated railroad called the 'Suvarnabhumi Express'. The 'Suvarnabhumi Express' will link Bangkok with the new Suvarnabhumi Airport. The scheduled opening date has been delayed until 2009 (originally 2008). The 'Suvarnabhumi Express' will provide a 28.5 km link between Suvaarnbhumi International Airport (the New Airport) and the Bangkok City Air Terminal (CAT) at Makkasan. 'Suvarnabhumi Express' will provide Bangkok (Metro) Subway (MRT) / (BTS) Bangkok Skytrain links at Petchaburi (MRT)/ Phaya Thai (BTS) Stations (Service every 15 minutes). 'Suvarnabhumi Express' will also offer Thai Railway Commuter Rail Services (every 30 minutes). Commuter Lines will stop at 8 Stations between Phayathai Station and Suvaarnbhumi International Airport. There are plans to eventually extend this line to Don Muang and Rangsit.
*Other Future Thai Railways Rail Construction Plans
a. SRT Planned Network Extensions:
-Den Chai-Phayao-Chiang Rai/Chiang Saen
-Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son
- Phitsanulok-Tak-Mae Sot
- Lam Narai-Phetchabun-Loei-Chiang Khan
-Bua Yai-Roi Et-Mukdahan-Nakhon Phanom (North Isaan Line)
-Warin Chamrap-Chong Mek
-Jaturat-Chaiyaphum-Loei-Chiang Khan (North Isaan Line)
Eastern Coast Line
-Map Tha Phut-Rayong-Chanthaburi
-Khirirat Nikhom (or Surat Thani?)-Tha Nun-Phuket
-Ban Tap Lamu (Phang Nga)-Ban Bang Poe (Nakhon Si Thammarat)
-Reconstruction of 'Thai-Burma Line' to 'Three Pagodas Pass' (Kanchanaburi-Dan Bong Tee)
b. Bangkok Area Planned Projects
-Hualamphong Rail Station - Pak Tho Line with bridges across the Chao Phraya, Tha Chin and Maeklong Rivers
-Upgrading and electrification of Mahachai and Maeklong Railway
-Chiang Mai Subway / LRT
-Hat Yai Monorail / Hat Yai-Songkhla LRT