Bullet train to connect Hanoi with HCMC in five hours

By Doan Loan   December 24, 2018 | 10:37 pm PT
Bullet train to connect Hanoi with HCMC in five hours
A bullet traing pulling into Osaka’s Shin-Osaka station, Japan. Photo acquired by VnExpress
Vietnam’s bullet train will cut travel time between Hanoi and Saigon to five hours from the current 24.

The railway project management board has submitted a pre-feasibility study to the Ministry of Transport, which quotes transport consultants’ estimate that if the train travels at 320 km/h, its running time would be from 5 hours 17 minutes to 6 hours 50 minutes depending on the number of stops.

The route from Hanoi Railway Station to Thu Thiem Station in HCMC’s District 2 will be 1,545 kilometers (960 miles) long and run through 20 provinces.

Sixty percent of the tracks will be on viaducts, 10 percent underground and 30 percent on the surface, completely protected by fencing and without a single crossing.

It will have double standard-gauge tracks of 1.435 meters width and 24 stations, according to a consultancy consortium comprising Vietnamese firms TEDI, TRICC and TEDIS. 

It will use the distributed traction technology used by Japanese high-speed trains.

The project is estimated to cost a total of $58.7 billion, comprising $2.23 billion for land, $43.3 billion for construction and equipment and $4.3 billion for management, consulting and other costs.

It will be undertaken as a public-private partnership (PPP), with the government accounting for 80 percent of the cost and private investors for the remaining 20 percent.

Construction will be in two phases, with the 282-km Hanoi-Vinh section and 362-km Nha Trang-HCMC section built first in 2020-2030 at a cost of $24 billion. Commercial operations on these stretches are likely to begin in 2032. The second phase connecting Vinh and Nha Trang is expected to be built in 2030-2045.

The consultants have estimated the project to cost 0.4 - 0.55 percent of the country’s GDP in 2020-2030 and 0.35 - 0.4 percent in 2030-2040.

After being reviewed by the Ministry of Transport, the study will be submitted to the State Appraisal Council and the government for review and to the National Assembly for approval next October.

Vietnam currently has over 3,000 kilometers of railway tracks, none of them high-speed. The railway accounts for just 1.9 percent of the transportation sector in the country, according to the Vietnam Railway Authority.

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