7.4 trillion VNĐ earmarked for rail infrastructure development this year

February 21, 2023 - 08:48
Six projects worth over VNĐ7.4 trillion (US$310.46 million) are expected to begin this year serving railway infrastructure upgrade.
Nha Trang-Sài Gòn section is one of the railway routes that will receive funding to be upgraded. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Sơn

HÀ NỘI — Six projects worth more than VNĐ7.4 trillion (US$310.46 million) are expected to begin this year to upgrade railway infrastructure.

Of the five of these, using State capital for the middle-term public investment plan for the 2021-25 period, three with a total valued at more than VNĐ 3.1 trillion involved the Hà Nội-Vinh, Vinh-Nha Trang, and Nha Trang-Sài Gòn sections of the North-South railway. The upgrade of these sections, which are about 1,725km long in total, is scheduled to be completed in 2025.

Meanwhile, two others is to repair the northern rail station with some VNĐ476 billion and to upgrade the Đuống rail bridge with nearly VNĐ1.85 trillion.

The last of the six is for the upgrade of the Khe Nét mountain pass with a value of over VNĐ2 trillion partly sourced from official development assistance by the Republic of Korea via its Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF).

Construction of the first railway in Việt Nam and Indochina with a length of 71km connecting Sài Gòn with Mỹ Tho was started in 1881. By 1936, the railway length increased nearly 37 times, with a total length of 2,600km across the three regions of the country.

Việt Nam’s railway, however, is lagging behind. Investment for it in many decades only accounted for about 3 per cent of the total investment from the Central budget for transport infrastructure projects.

Currently, Việt Nam’s railway network covers a total length of 3,162.9km, of which 2,703.2km are main lines, 459.7km of station’s inner lines and branch lines.

Yet its railway infrastructure is limited as the 1,000mm gauge lines still account for 84 per cent of the total railway length (2,656.2km). Việt Nam’s railway speed is only about 50-60km per hour for freight trains and 80-90km per hour for passenger trains.

Although railway freight has achieved some more positive results, the growth in rail freight transportation has seen a downward trend. The average annual growth rate of freight carried by the railway in the 1991-2000 period increased by 10.3 per cent. It was 2.3 per cent in 2001-2010 and 4.7 per cent in 2011-2019.

The volume of freight carried by railway in 1990 reached 2.3 million tonnes, then after 30 years, by 2020 was 5.1 million tonmes, while by road it was nearly 29 times more than in 1990, inland waterways were 20 times and airways 130 times. — VNS