LAM DONG — Central provinces of Lam Dong and Ninh Thuan are calling for investment to restore the 84km railway linking the coastal Phan Rang – Thap Cham City in Ninh Thuan Province and the mountainous resort city of Da Lat in Lam Dong Province.
|Back track: An historical railway in the mountainous resort city of Da Lat in Lam Dong Province, one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the area, is in need of restoration. —File Photo
The restoration project, which would cost VND5 trillion (US$238 million), was officially approved by the Government in 2007.
The 84km cog railway, built by the French in 1928, was destroyed in the wars and abandoned in the late 1960s. It is one of only two such railways in the world; the other is in Switzerland.
Although it was scheduled to be restored and put into use by 2015, the project is still on paper.
The restoration project is part of the two provinces' tourism-development plan through 2020.
A portion of the track, 7km between Da Lat and Trai Mat, has been rebuilt and operating for tourism purposes since 1997.
Currently, the station is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Da Lat.
Last year, it received 47,000 passengers.
The Government has allowed the private sector to take part in the re-construction of the railway, as the entire railway will be restored to its original state.
Once finished, the railway is expected to boost tourism in the mountainous and central coastal provinces.
The route, which has five tunnels through mountains, 46 bridges and 14 stations, will be restored for train travel at the speed of 35 to 70km per hour. — VNS