Vietnam has announced plans worth $10.5bn to build or upgrade 16 railways with a total length of 4,800km over the next 10 years.
The plans, announced by Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh, envisage the renovation and upgrading of seven lines with a total length of 2,400km and the construction of nine routes with a similar length of track.
The aim is to improve the performance of the domestic system and better connect it with international routes. Priority will be given to north-south high-speed lines and those linking seaports, international airports and major cities.
The nine new lines include a 1,500km high-speed route connecting Hanoi’s Ngoc Hoi station and Ho Chi Minh City’s Thu Thiem station.
There will also be a number of short routes connecting economically important centres. These include:
- A 100km long link between Hanoi and the port of Haiphong;
- A 100km route connecting Vung Ang Port and the Mu Gia Pass along the Vietnam-Lao border;
- A 84km link between Bien Hoa and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces in the south;
- A 174km route linking Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta’s Can Tho city;
- A 128km-long route linking Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Phuoc province, on the Cambodian border;
- A 38km long route from Thu Thiem Railway Station in Ho Chi Minh City to the massive Long Thanh International Airport, under construction in southern Dong Nai province.
According to the Phnom Penh Post, the volume of goods transported is expected to reach 11.8 million tonnes by 2030, and the number of transported passengers will reach 460 million.
The Vietnamese government wants to encourage private sector investment from companies and individuals outside Vietnam.
The government is also hoping to explore international cooperation to learn from other countries’ experience of building modern railway systems.Image: Hanoi station in 2013 (Vietcuongdao/CC BY-SA 4.0)