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North-South train times may be slashed

Update: April, 04/2013 - 09:13
A level-crossing in Ha Noi. The Ministry of Transport is considering improving the current railway system to shortern journey times between the capital and HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo The Duyet

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Transport is considering upgrading the current railway system to halve the travelling time from Ha Noi to HCM City while also looking to put another high-speed railway project into action.

‘In the first plan, the upgrade on the 1,700-km of the old railway line will help increase the speed of the train from 90 to 110 kmph,' Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"By doing so, the travelling time between Ha Noi and HCM City will be just 15 to 17 hours, just half of the current time," he added.

The transport official explained that the old railway line was built during the French colonial time (late 18th to early 19th century) with a track gauge of 1,000 mm.

"After the peace restoration, we upgraded the system for train stations," Truong said, adding that the infrastructure at the moment could only ensure the train's speed reaching 60-70kmph.

The ministry has assigned the Viet Nam Railways Corporation to make a detailed plan until 2020 for the move.

In the second plan, Truong said, the ministry would conduct research into the construction of a brand-new high-speed line, which would be built using a double-track standard gauge of 1,435mm.

"When completed, the double-track railway line will reach speeds of up to 200kmph for trains carrying both people and goods," Truong said, adding that the travelling time from the north to the south at that time would be just around 10 hours.

"One advantage of the double-track railway line is that it is popularly used in many countries applying advanced technology so it will match the train design from those countries," he added.

Research on the second plan is underway and the plan will soon be proposed to the Government.

Truong said the construction of the double-track line would be mobilised by contractors and would be carried out in different components, expected to be completed by 2030. — VNS


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