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$1 bln project to revive French-built railway to Da Lat

By Anh Duy   July 14, 2022 | 06:00 am PT
$1 bln project to revive French-built railway to Da Lat
A train that once served the Thap Cham - Da Lat rail line is being used as a tourism attraction in Da Lat in this photo taken in October 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
An 84-km railway line from Thap Cham to Da Lat, built by the French in early 20th century, will be revived at a cost of VND28 trillion ($1.15 billion).

Built over a long period of 25 years (1908-1932), the line ran from the former coastal Champa Kingdom near Thap Cham town in Ninh Thuan Province to resort town Da Lat in the Central Highlands.

The revival will be implemented as a public-private partnership (PPP) project, it was said at a Wednesday meeting between the Ministry of Transport and Ninh Thuan authorities.

The ministry has chosen Bach Dang Hotel Complex Trading – Service JSC based in Da Nang as the project's investor.

The investment will go into recovering the entire route, which comprises 17 stations, 64 bridges, five tunnels and a 16-km rack rail section.

It is expected that the investor will complete investment preparation and pre-feasibility study for approval within 2024 so that the project can be completed and become operational in 2030.

A section of the Thap Cham - Da Lat railway that runs through a tunnel in Lam Dong Province. The tracks are gone but the tunnel remains. Photo by VnExpress/Truong Ha

A section of the Thap Cham - Da Lat railway that runs through a tunnel near Da Lat. The tracks are gone but the tunnel remains. Photo by VnExpress/Truong Ha

When it was built, the route was the second in the world to use track rails to traverse steep terrain, after the Jungfraujoch that runs across the Alps.

The railway line remained operational for around 14 years after the colonial French regime was defeated and withdrew from Vietnam in 1954. Then it fell into disuse and the tracks were dismantled by people to sell as scrap metal.

Part of the railway line, a short distance of seven kilometers, has already been revived. Operated by Da Lat, it has become a popular tourist attraction.

 
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