People purchases tickets at the Sài Gòn Railway Station in HCM City. The Sài Gòn Railway Company has rejected a proposal that having the HCM City station and rail tracks in an urban area causes traffic congestion and so should be moved to the suburbs or a neighbouring province.— Photo tuoitre.vn
HCM CITY — The Sài Gòn Railway Company has rejected a proposal that having the HCM City station and rail tracks in an urban area causes traffic congestion and so should be moved to the suburbs or a neighbouring province.
The demand has been raised on several online public forums following the recent collapse of the Ghềnh Bridge, which is causing people to commute to neighbouring Đồng Nai Province to catch trains.
According to the company, while the tracks intersect roads at some points, the intersection points are not too congested.
Around 10 trains depart from or arrived at Sài Gòn Railway Station carrying 1,000 passengers each. For them it is much more convenient if the station is in the city rather than in a suburban area, railway executives said.
If the station is moved to Thủ Đức District or Bình Dương Province as suggested, more than 3,000 staff also have to travel there daily, they pointed out.
They suggested that while waiting for the laying of elevated tracks between Sài Gòn and Trảng Bom station in Tây Ninh Province, which was approved by the Government in 2013, traffic at road-rail intersection points should be reorganised.
The US$200 million project is awaiting an investor.
The company is also making plans to operate trains from HCM City to Bình Dương and Đồng Nai to help reduce the congestion in the city’s streets.
In a recent online survey by Tuổi Trẻ newspaper, three-fourths of respondents approved relocation of the Sài Gòn Railway Station from the city though insiders and experts and rejected the proposal.
The newspaper quoted Hà Ngọc Trường, a standing member of the HCM City Union of Science and Technology Association, as saying the traffic congestion would worsen if the station is moved to Thủ Đức or Bình Dương since 30 buses would be required to transport the 1,000 passengers each time a train leaves or arrives.
Instead, the railway network should undergo major changes and be connected with bus, taxi, and metro routes to make it convenient for travellers.
Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyễn Ngọc Đông has said the station will not be relocated since it is included in the Government’s transport master plan. —VNS