Most of the Yên Viên - Hạ Long train route's passengers are small-scale traders. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đạt
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR) has asked the Government for a bailout of VNĐ60 billion (US$2.5 billion) to support three local routes suffering devastating drops in travel demand due to COVID-19.
These routes connect Hà Nội’s Long Biên District with Thái Nguyên Province’s Quán Triều District, Hà Nội’s Yên Viên Commune with Quảng Ninh Province’s Hạ Long City and Hà Nội with Lạng Sơn Province’s Đồng Đăng Town. The passengers are mostly low-income entrepreneurs trading vegetables, agricultural products and other goods.
Only one pair of trains runs on each route, meaning total expenses to maintain these three routes were VNĐ24.9 billion ($1 million) in 2019 and VNĐ34.9 billion ($1.5 million) in 2020.
VNR has filed a plan on financial assistance to the Government and relevant agencies.
These routes have been suspended since March 16 amid the pandemic’s surge.
Other trans-provincial passenger trains have been halted since March 30 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Reunification route connecting Hà Nội and HCM City continues operating with two trips per day at most.
VNR reported a loss of VNĐ100 billion in the first quarter. The loss could increase to nearly VNĐ900 billion for the full year. — VNS