Border province seeks high-speed railway

By Doan Loan   February 18, 2021 | 02:30 am PT
Border province seeks high-speed railway
A train is seen at Dong Dang Railway Station, Lang Son, northern Vietnam, in February 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Lang Son has proposed a high-speed railway between the northern border province and Hanoi that would boost cargo transportation to and from China.

The proposal submitted to the Ministry of Transport envisages that the railway, built after 2030, would connect with a high-speed rail route in China’s southern region of Guangxi, which borders Lang Son.

The province suggests that the railway be built alongside the existing National Highway 1A to reduce road traffic.

With China being the second largest buyer of Vietnamese goods after the U.S., and the largest seller to Vietnam, there is large demand for cross-border transport between the two countries.

However, exporters prefer roads over railways because the latter has been under-developed for decades and lacks a comprehensive network of routes to ensure convenience.

This has resulted in frequent container truck congestion at border gates, especially when exporters need to ship perishable goods like fruits to China.

Vietnam currently has over 3,000 kilometers of railway tracks, none of them high-speed.

Last year, railways accounted for just 0.3 percent of total cargo transport, compared to 76 percent on roads, according to the General Statistics Office.

The transport ministry is currently studying the feasibility of a North-South high speed railway route with speeds up to 320 kilometers per hour.

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