The Thai Land Bridge is a proposed rail and road transport corridor in Southern Thailand that would connect the Andaman Sea to the Gulf of Thailand. This has been touted as an alternative to the Thai Canal, which would cut a canal across Southern Thailand as a short cut to the Strait of Malacca.
Deep sea ports would be built at either end of the “bridge”, where containers would be unloaded, transported across the peninsula, and continue on another ship.
A land alternative to a canal was proposed in the 1990s. That route was from Pak Bara in Satun on the Andaman side, to Songkhla on the Gulf of Thailand side, via Hat Yai. The most recent route preference is from Ranong to Chumphon, and a decision on the route is expected to be made by June 2021.
The Ranong to Chumphon route might be incorporated into a planned Ranong to Chumphon railway, but so far these two projects appear to be separate.
The Thai Land Bridge proposal is not to be confused with the Thai Bridge proposal, which is a sea bridge across the Bay of Bangkok.
Thailand pushes “land bridge” for trade to supplant Strait of Malacca – [21/03/21]
“The Thai government is pushing ahead with a plan to build a “land bridge” of highways and rail lines linking two new deep sea ports, one on the Andaman Sea and one on the Gulf of Thailand. The project aims to make southern Thailand the main route for cargo and oil traveling from the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf to the Pacific by offering a faster and cheaper alternative to shipping through the Strait of Malacca.”
Thailand surveys locations for land bridge linking Gulf of Thailand, Andaman Sea – [17/03/21]
“The Thai government is conducting surveys of possible locations in Chumphon and Ranong provinces in southern Thailand for a land bridge project connecting the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea”.
Govt mulls southern bridge spots – [16/03/21]
“The government is surveying locations along the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea in Chumphon and Ranong for engineering, environmental and economic potential”.
Govt launches Bt4.47bn study for southern land bridge – [05/03/21]
“The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy has hired Index International Group (IND) to draft a study for a land bridge connecting the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea via the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC). The project is designed to link up the SEC with the Eastern Economic Corridor.”
Land Bridge in place of Kra Canal: Game changer for Thailand’s future engagement with region and China? – [01/02/21]
“A mega project proposal that envisions building a “Land Bridge” between Chumphon Province on the Gulf of Thailand and an enlarged deep-sea port in Ranong Province on the Andaman Sea has now been touted, supported by the Prayut administration.”
Govt floats new plan for land bridge – [12/10/20]
“The land bridge is part of the government’s plan to develop a Southern Economic Corridor covering Chumphon, Ranong, Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat which will connect with the Eastern Economic Corridor in Chon Buri and Rayong.”
Thailand mulls path linking Indian and Pacific Oceans – [14/09/20]
“To avoid dredging a canal, the government proposes an alternative pathway through its southern isthmus. It plans to build two automated seaports — one on the Indian Ocean side and another on the Pacific side — and link the ports with a 100-kilometer expressway and rail network to transport goods between them.”
Thailand eyes ‘land bridge’ to link its coasts – [11/09/20]
“Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha this week publicly endorsed a proposed land bridge between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, apparently shelving a long-discussed project to build a canal across the Malay Peninsula.”
A land bridge or the Kra Canal for Thailand? – [09/09/20]
“Why the land bridge idea will never work.”
PM dusts off South Land Bridge plan – [09/09/20]
“Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday ordered a new feasibility study into a proposal to build a land bridge between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, seen as a potential key part of a new major economic development plan in the South.”
Thailand looks to cut Malacca Strait shipping time by land link between Indian, Pacific Oceans – [31/08/20]
“Thailand is looking to construct a land passageway that would connect the Indian and Pacific Oceans, bypassing one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.”
Thailand puts forward southern land bridge project to link two seas, promote rail transports – [27/01/20]
“The Rail Transport Department and the Marine Department have been assigned to jointly conduct a study and design on the southern land bridge project between Chumphorn province on the western coast of the Gulf of Thailand and Ranong province on the southeastern shores of the Andaman Sea, Saksayam said.”
Southern Land Bridge study sped up – [07/05/17]
“Aimed at facilitating the transport of cargo containers from Pak Bara deep sea port in Satun, on the Andaman shore, to Songkhla deep sea port, on the Gulf of Thailand shore, the project will connect Hat Yai train station in Songkhla to Pak Bara deep sea port in its first phase of implementation.”
Southern landbridge resuscitated – [06/11/12]
“The landbridge idea has been circulating for more than 20 years. Former prime minister Chatichai Choonhavan floated the idea in 1989. The National Economic and Social Development Board completed the project’s master plan in 1992.
The project was revived by the Thaksin Shinawatra government, but shelved after the devastating tsunami hit Thailand in 2004.”