Viet Nam News
LÂM ĐỒNG — Lâm Đồng Province’s People’s Committee has approved a proposal to restore the Tháp Chàm-Đà Lạt railway route, which has been abandoned since 1975.
In the pre-feasibility study report for the project, the provincial People’s Committee affirmed its support for the proposal by Bạch Đằng Trading-Service Joint Stock Company on restoring Tháp Chàm-Đà Lạt railway.
Restoring the railway route, which connected Đà Lạt City in Lâm Đồng Province to Tháp Chàm Station in Ninh Thuận Province, would help boost tourism and development in the two provinces, it said.
Last September, the company proposed restoring an old 84km section of the railway with a total investment of more than VNĐ10 trillion (US$430 million) under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model. The committee asked the company to get the opinions of Vietnam Railways and the related departments of the two provinces.
The pre-feasibility study will be reported to the Ministry of Transport before submitting it to the Government and the National Assembly for approval.
The committee has assigned the departments, sectors and localities to advise to the committee and provide documents to support the investor on the basis of the study.
The people’s committees of Đơn Dương District and Đà Lạt City were told to inform local people about the project to avoid any illegal construction work within the railway’s safety corridor.
The provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment has been asked to advise the People’s Committee and competent authorities to set aside the project area for the period of 2020 to 2025 so the restoration can be done legally.
Construction started on Tháp Chàm-Đà Lạt railway in 1908 and was completed 24 years later.
The 84km-long railway was recognised as one of the two strangest railway lines in the world due to its unique sawtooth design.
The old route had 12 stations and five tunnels. Most of the track has cogwheels that connect to the bottom of the train to provide traction when travelling up and down hills.
In 1975, the railway was left abandoned due to low profits. Many parts of the tracks have been covered by local households.
Since 1991, a section of the railway track from Đà Lạt City to Trại Mát Station has been restored to serve local tourism, attracting hundreds of tourists every day. — VNS