Planned railway set to steam through Vietnam’s north and link up with China

By Doan Loan   April 6, 2018 | 01:32 am PT
Planned railway set to steam through Vietnam’s north and link up with China
A train on the current railway that connects Lao Cai in Vietnam's up north with its capital city of Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Doan Loan
The new line is expected to boost trade and economic development in the region.

Vietnam is working on a plan to build a railway line that will run through eight northern cities and provinces and up into China to boost economic development in the region and trade with its giant neighbor.

The planned railway will run 391 kilometers (242 miles) from Lao Cai Province in the far north to Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc, Hanoi, Hung Yen, Hai Duong, Hai Phong before ending at Lach Huyen Port in Hai Phong City.

Running at speeds of 160kph for passenger trains and 90kph for freight trains, it will connect to Hekou Yao County in China on a 6.29km track from Lao Cai.

The railway will be the most important in Vietnam in terms of transporting goods and passengers, Nguyen Ngoc Dong, deputy transport minister, told a meeting in Hanoi on Thursday.

The route will support logistics in the northern region and contribute to socio-economic development, while boosting Vietnam’s trade with China, he said.

China Railway Engineering Machinery Research and Design Institute will act as the consultant on the project, including the Chinese section.

“Vietnam’s transport ministry is working with the Chinese side to come up with a final solution to link the lines, and may give priority to building the connecting section first,” said Dong.

Vietnam currently operates a railway from Lao Cai to Hanoi that steams through Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho and Yen Bai. It was built by the French in 1906.

In February, transport officials from Vietnam and Cambodia in February agreed to push forward with a plan to build a railway between Ho Chi Minh City and Bavet, home to a special economic zone and a casino kingdom.

The 250km route will be part of a larger network that also connects Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and China.

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