Saturday, December 3 2016

VietNamNews

Plan to get people back on to the rails

Update: October, 03/2015 - 12:00

The more Viet Nam's roads get better, the less people want to travel by train.

Plans are therefore being made to get more trains and make the railway system more modern.

There is also talk of the railways allowing train passengers travelling between China and Viet Nam to have their passports stamped on the train.

Another is to offer special deals for people who want to send large amounts of cargo by rail.

A north-south train of Viet Nam Railway Authority. Viet Nam plans to spend US$5.1 billion to modernise the North-South railway from Ha Noi to HCM City.
A north-south train of Viet Nam Railway Authority. Viet Nam plans to spend US$5.1 billion to modernise the North-South railway from Ha Noi to HCM City. -  Photo VNRA

HCM CITY (VNS) — The modernisation of Viet Nam's railway system is projected to cost about US$5.1 billion, experts said during an event on detailed plans to upgrade the 1,726 km stretch of the North-South railway from Ha Noi to HCM City.

The plan, introduced to the public on September 18 by the Viet Nam Railway Authority (VNRA), outlined major projects to be carried out until 2030. The plan aims to eliminate bottlenecks, such as the tunnels of Khe Net and Hai Van, and move the Da Nang Train Station out of the city, as well as more than 90 other infrastructure upgrades to the railway system.

The country's fleet of locomotives would expand to include an additional 14 passenger trains and 24 freight trains.

Planners are weighing two options to modernise the country's railway system and increase passenger train speeds. The first option would increase the rail speed to 84.4 kmh for passenger trains and 55.7 kmh for freight trains by 2020 at a cost of about VND85.2 trillion (US$3.96 billion).

The second option would increase the rail speed to 95.7 kmh for passenger trains and 63.1 kmh for freight trains at a cost of about VND110.8 trillion ($5.1 billion).

Investment sources include the State's budget, official development assistance sources, and build-operate-transfer and build-transfer models.

Facing obstacles

The national railway sector has been struggling to overcome challenges in recent years to expand its market, despite improvements to the quality of its service.

The opening of many new highways, which are attracting more passengers and transport companies, has contributed to a decrease in demand for railway services.

Nguyen Van Binh, deputy general director of the Ha Noi Railway Transportation Company (HRTC), said the number of railway passengers had declined significantly since the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway opened last September.

A report from the HRTC said the company loaded and unloaded nearly 3.1 million tonnes of cargo and transported more than 4.15 million passengers in the past eight months, profiting only VND1,600 billion (US$704million), or 87 per cent of what it anticipated for this period.

The industry views this as an indication that competition to attract passengers and cargo is mounting. As a result, the industry is preparing to face challenges in recovering its market share in the near future.

On the Ha Noi-Dong Dang railway line, the quantity of cargo and passengers being transported on the Gia Lam-Nanning international train also plunged because of the inconveniences tourists face while crossing the Viet Nam-China border-gate, according to Viet Nam Railways.

The VNR said it proposed that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism conduct administrative and customs procedures on the train to save time for passengers and make the international arrival and departure processes more convenient.

In particular, the VNR suggested that Chinese and Vietnamese tourists from the two countries' bordering provinces be allowed to carry only their passports while travelling by trains through Dong Dang-Bang Tuong and Lao Cai-Ha Khau international railway stations.

This would help to attract visitors, passengers and cargo transportation by train, the VNR said.

Further, there should be flexible policies and mechanisms for the company's units and customers, especially in after-sales policies, it stated.

Healthy competition and close cooperation should be ensured, even with partners from the same sector, said Nguyen Huu Tuyen, general director of the VNR's Transport Business Department.

Tran Quoc Dat, a member of HRTC's Consulting Board, said all railway activities that were accused of having unreasonable costs should be re-examined, with the goal of lowering charges to meet the needs of specific types of customers. He said discounts should be offered, especially for large cargo units.

VNR officials described the proposed changes as essential governmental regulations that needed to be carried out thoroughly and effectively to boost the operation of railway transportation services. — VNS

GLOSSARY

The modernisation of Viet Nam's railway system is projected to cost about US$5.1 billion, experts said during an event on detailed plans to upgrade the 1,726 km stretch of the North-South railway from Ha Noi to HCM City.

Projected, in this case means expected.

The plan aims to eliminate bottlenecks, such as the tunnels of Khe Net and Hai Van, and move the Da Nang Train Station out of the city, as well as more than 90 other infrastructure upgrades to the railway system.

Bottlenecks are areas in a route where it is narrow (like the neck of a bottle) and traffic takes a long time to get through. To eliminate bottlenecks means to get rid of them.

A railway system's infrastructure is everything that is in place to make it work as a railroad. It includes the rail tracks, the cables, the stations, the tunnels, the communications systems and so on.

Upgrades means improvements.

The country's fleet of locomotives would expand to include an additional 14 passenger trains and 24 freight trains.

Locomotives are engines that pull train wagons.

A fleet of locomotives is a group of locomotives.

Freight is cargo.

Planners are weighing two options to modernise the country's railway system and increase passenger train speeds. The first option would increase the rail speed to 84.4 kmh for passenger trains and 55.7 kmh for freight trains by 2020 at a cost of about VND85.2 trillion (US$3.96 billion).

To weigh two options means to look, see and decide on one of two choices.

Investment sources include the State's budget, official development assistance sources, and build-operate-transfer and build-transfer models.

Investment sources means places where investment could come from.  Investment is money put into something with the idea of making more money from it.

The State's budget is the money that the government has to spend.

The national railway sector has been struggling to overcome challenges in recent years to expand its market, despite improvements to the quality of its service.

To overcome challenges means to get over problems.

For the railway to expand its market means for it to get business from more people as well as different people.

The opening of many new highways, which are attracting more passengers and transport companies, has contributed to a decrease in demand for railway services.

When there is a decrease in demand for a railway service, fewer people want to use the railway.

Nguyen Van Binh, deputy general director of the Ha Noi Noi Railway Transportation Company (HRTC), said the number of railway passengers had declined significantly since the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway opened last September.

If the number of railway passengers has declined, fewer people are using the railway line to travel from one place to another.

A report from the HRTC said the company has loaded and unloaded nearly 3.1 million tonnes of cargo and transported more than 4.15 million passengers in the past eight months, profiting only VND1,600 billion (US$704million), or 87 per cent of what it anticipated for this period.

Anticipated means expected.

The industry views this as an indication that competition to attract passengers and cargo is mounting. As a result, the industry is preparing to face challenges in recovering its market share in the near future.

An indication means a sign.

If competition is mounting, there is more and more competition and it is increasing with time.

On the Ha Noi-Dong Dang railway line, the quantity of cargo and passengers being transported on the Gia Lam-Nanning international train also plunged because of the inconveniences tourists face while crossing the Viet Nam-China border-gate, according to Viet Nam Railways.

Quantity means amount.

If the quantity of cargo on the international train plunged, it means there was suddenly much less of it.

Inconveniences means things that are a nuisance.

The VNR said it proposed that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism conduct administrative and customs procedures on the train to save time for passengers and make the international arrival and departure processes more convenient.

Administrative and customs procedures are the things you have to go through when passing from one country to another, such as having your passports stamped and declaring what is in your luggage.

Further, there should be flexible policies and mechanisms for the company's units and customers, especially in after-sales policies, it stated.

Flexible policies and mechanisms means policies and ways of doing things that can change if necessary.

Healthy competition and close cooperation should be ensured, even with partners from the same sector, said Nguyen Huu Tuyen, general director of the VNR's Transport Business Department.

Co-operation means working together.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

1.      The Gia Lam-Nanning is an international train.

2.      The North-South railway from Ha Noi to HCM City runs for 1,276 kilometres.

3.      Tran Quoc Dat works for the Ha Noi Railway Transportation Company.

4.      The Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway is a year old.

5.      The railway station in Da Nang is presently outside of the city.

 

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2015


















































1. True; 2. False; 3. True; 4. True; 5. False.

 

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