Lao Cai-Hanoi train derails entering station

By Doan Loan   August 6, 2017 | 01:20 am PT
Lao Cai-Hanoi train derails entering station
The derailed train is seen at Yen Vien train station on August 6, 2017. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Hoa
The line remains open, but police are investigating the incident.

A train carrying 100 passengers traveling from Vietnam's northern province of Lao Cai to Hanoi derailed in the early hours of Sunday as it was entering Yen Vien Station on the outskirts of Hanoi at a speed of 15kph, according to Pham Nguyen Chien, head of the security division at Vietnam Railways.

Rescue workers uncoupled the last railcar, the only one to come off the tracks, and relocated passengers so the train could finish its journey, which it did at 6 a.m.

No deaths or injuries were reported, but the derailed wagon was seriously damaged.

The Hanoi-Lao Cai route remains open, but police are investigating the cause of the derailment. 

Vietnam's railways have been largely neglected for years. 

Only 3 percent of the state budget's infrastructure investment went on railways over the past decade, while roads received nearly 90 percent.

While other countries in the region have developed thousands of kilometers of electric dual-gauge tracks, 85 percent of the network in Vietnam still runs on the narrow one-meter gauge, a design that has been blamed for regular train crashes.

In 2005, a train flipped in the central city of Hue and killed 11 people. There were three major rail incidents in 2010, and another two in 2011.

In an effort to brighten the picture, the government has approved a plan for various improvements to the network, including speeding up trains from 50-60 kph to 90 kph by 2020 and starting work on a dual gauge track for high-speed trains that will run at 200 kph.

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