Parliament okays $300mln railway upgrade in Vietnam

By Dat Nguyen   August 4, 2018 | 10:15 pm PT
Parliament okays $300mln railway upgrade in Vietnam
Locals sitting on a railway in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Vietnam’s National Assembly has approved a $300 million budget for four railway upgrade projects on its transnational route.

The four projects are to be implemented along the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route. The funds will be sourced from the contingency budget of the Public Investment Plan 2016-2020 that the parliament approved in 2016.

A total of VND1.95 trillion ($84 million) will be spent to reinforce over 100 weak bridges on the Hanoi-HCMC route. Propulsion systems on this route will also be improved.

Another VND1.8 trillion ($77 million) will be spent on reinforcing 11 of over 22 tunnels on the route section between Vinh and Nha Trang provinces. New stations will also be opened along this route.

The route section from Hanoi to Vinh will be upgraded at a cost of VND1.4 trillion ($60 million), which will be spent on reinforcing the current foundation, opening a third track in stations that currently have only two, and other upgrades.

Similar upgrades will be applied on the route from Nha Trang to HCMC with a budget of VND1.85 trillion ($79 million).

The Standing Committee of the National Assembly has also approved VND8 trillion ($343 million) for 10 road projects.

The Vietnamese government has recently initiated efforts to upgrade the country’s outdated railway system. Many experts, including former senior railway officials, have said that the sector has suffered government neglect for a long time.

Vietnam’s railway sector has not received any major investment in the last 140 years.

Fifty-five percent of 7,200 coaches are equipped with an outdated brake system, while 72 percent of almost 400 locomotives are high on emissions and low on economic efficiency, according to the Vietnam Register.

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

All Vietnamese trains run on diesel, while Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Japan and China have electric railway systems.

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