Call for end to illegal crossings as accidents rise

Update: June, 18/2015 - 09:50
An automatic warning system has been installed at the level crossing in Lien Ninh Commune, Ha Noi's Thanh Tri District, to enhance railway safety. — VNA/VNS Photo The Duyet

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam Railways (VNR) is calling for co-operation from local authorities to enhance railway safety at level crossings following a surge in accidents.

Khuat Viet Hung, vice chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, presented to Nong thon Ngay nay (Countryside Today) newspaper a report on railway traffic safety in the first five months of this year.

The report recorded a total of 86 accidents, resulting in 76 deaths and leaving 24 people injured.

These figures were higher than the same period last year. The number of accidents was 18 per cent higher, there were six more deaths and eight more injured.

The situation has caused the Ministry of Transport to urge provinces with railways to close illegal level crossings.

Action taken

Last Saturday, the Ha Ninh Railways Management Company reported that they had successfully persuaded authorities in Nam Dinh Province to shut five illegal level crossings.

Le Kim Thanh, general director of the Railway Project Management Board under the Transport Ministry, told Nong thon Ngay nay that the board was involved in a project financed by Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans to improve railway safety on the Ha Noi – Ho Chi Minh City route.

The project, with investment of VND9.28 trillion (US$425 million) will upgrade 22 level crossings, restore 44 bridges and build three elevated bridges.

Thanh said once the project was completed, passenger trains could reach a speed of 110km/hour and cargo trains could run at 80km/hour.

This was because when they went through level crossings and bridges, trains would not have to slow down as before, Thanh explained. — VNS