HCM CITY (VNS)— A regular Ha Noi-HCM City train dubbed the Viet Nam – Japan Friendship Train since May 8 when it began its first trip started its final one from the southern city on Saturday.
The train, which has so far made 68 trips, is a "symbol of the strong relationship between the two countries," Hida Harumitsu, the Japanese consul in HCM City, who flagged off the train at Sai Gon railway Station, said.
Ishida Yukio, chief representative of the Japan International Co-operation Agency in HCM City, said the north-south rail route, the mostly heavily damaged during the war, has been rebuilt with support from the Japanese government in the last 20 years.
Forty eight out of the 63 bridges on the route have been upgraded or replaced at a cost of more than US$455.7 milion, shortening the travel time to 30 hours from the earlier 36 hours, he said.
Once the remaining bridges are completed, it would be shortened further to just 24 hours, he said. — VNS