Vietnamese North – South HSR Project Feasibility Studies Being Updated
Vietnamese North – South HSR Project Feasibility Studies Being Updated :Le Kim Thanh, General Director of the Vietnamese North – South High Speed Rail (HSR) project has told local media that the Ministry of Transport has requested the update of feasibility studies submitted three years ago by the Japan Consultancy Joint Venture (JCJV), the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KICA) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The 2,000 km long dual track North – South HSR line would replace the current railway system, completed by the French in 1936, thus connecting Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City using the 1.435 meter international standard gauge.
The project will likely be implemented in phases, with the Saigon – Long Thanh section being constructed first; then the Hanoi – Vinh section would be built. The sections from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang would be completed after 2030, with the whole project implemented by 2050.
Train services would initially run at a speed of 160-200 kph, but would travel at 350 kph after 2030.
Chairman of the Hanoi Peopleâ€™s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung met JICA President Kitaoka Shinichi in Hanoi on 8 September 2016 to strengthen the existing relationship and seek further help, amongst other things, for Vietnamâ€™s public transport projects.
On 12 September 2016 Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Ngoc Dong told the National Assembly Standing Committee that, although the National Assembly had rejected the HSR project before due to cost concerns, this was now part of the railway development strategy approved by the Prime Minister. He also stated that the government had instructed the Ministry of Transport to conduct a pre-feasibility study to be submitted to the Government for evaluation in 2018 and then to the National Assembly for approval before 2020. The pre-feasibility report will reportedly analyze the effectiveness, scale and ability to raise funds, and a timetable.
According to National Assembly Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien South Korea and Japan are currently helping to conduct studies on some key sections.
Vietnam Railways Corporation Deputy General Director Doan Duy Hoach stated that railway transport in the country has not met the demand of passengers due to the limited infrastructure of the existing rail system.
Nguyen Van Thanh, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Automobile Transport, also supports the revamped project: “Vietnam ought to have built a high speed rail system decades ago, but it is better late than never.”
Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani
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