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Express rail to connect Hanoi-HCMC in under 6 hours   2009-10-03 - Thanh Nien

An express railway connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in five and a half hours is scheduled to open by 2035, the Vietnam Railway Corporation (VCR) said on September 15.


Several sections of the 1,630- kilometer railway will open before that time, VCR’s deputy general director, Nguyen Dat Tuong, said during meeting on the issue held by VRC and the Japan Overseas Rolling Stock Association.

The Hanoi-Vinh route is scheduled to open in 2020 and the HCMC-Nha Trang route in 2030, said the company (VRC).

The trains could reach speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour (186 miles per hour).

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said the Vietnam-Japan Consulting Joint Venture (VJC) had proposed to apply the same technology used by the Shinkanshen high-speed rail system in Japan.

VJC is a joint venture between Vietnam’s Construction Consultant Joint Stock Company and three partners from Japan, including Japan Total Consulting Company, Japan Railway Technical Service and Nippon Koei Co. Ltd.

“The express railway is expected to serve up to 26 percent of traveling demand and reduce the number of deaths due to traffic accidents,” said Nguyen Huu Bang, VRC’s general director.

It would help to reduce the national railway’s input cost by 57 percent and the number of traffic accidents by 20 percent, he said.

Planners said they had yet to calculate an estimated cost for the whole project, but they guessed that general infrastructure for the project could cost up to US$38 billion. Experts had previously said the whole project could cost up to $55.85 billion.

VJC estimated the project would use up to 4,170 hectares of land, including 9 percent in urban areas, 20 percent in residential rural areas and the rest in agricultural and forest lands.

Around 16,500 households will be affected by the project.

Some 9,500 families would have to contribute their residential land, including 1,700 households in Ho Chi Minh City, while 7,000 others will have to give up agricultural land.

Ngo Thinh Duc, deputy minister of transport, said the ministry would complete the railway project plan and submit it to the central government who would then seek approval from the National Assembly in May 2010.

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