mai hien

HIGH-SPEED RAILWAY PLAN PRESENTED TO PM

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 07:00

The Ministry of Transport has sent to the prime minister the prefeasibility study for the north-south high-speed railway project, which requires an estimated investment of US$58.71 billion.

According to the report signed by Minister Nguyen Van The, the railway, connecting Hanoi and HCMC, will run through 20 localities, covering 1,559 kilometers.

The 14-kilometer section in Hanoi will share the rails of the city’s urban railway line No. 1 (Hanoi station-Ngoc Hoi station), while along the 1,545-kilometer north-south track from Ngoc Hoi station to Thu Thiem station in HCMC are 24 stations, five depots, 42 maintenance centers, as well as three potential stations.

The north-south railway is designed to accommodate trains running at 320 kilometers per hour and will serve passenger trains.

The project’s first phase will require VND561.6 trillion (US$24.71 billion) in funding, and the estimated investment for phase two is some VND772.6 trillion (US$34 billion).

According to the ministry’s report, this is an important project for the country, and given its huge scale, the project needs approval of the National Assembly.

As planned, phase one, 2020-2032, will involve studying and building railways from Hanoi to Vinh and from Nha Trang to HCMC. Meanwhile, the section from Vinh to Nha Trang will be constructed in phase two, 2032-2050, with the Vinh-Danang railway scheduled for completion in 2040 and Danang-Nha Trang in 2050.

Regarding funding, it is proposed that State funds will make up some 80% and private sources 20%.

The report also mentions impact assessments for the economy and public debt.

With the possibility of using only local funding, the annual investment value will account for, at most, 0.7% of the gross domestic product in phase one and 0.55% in phase two. If the whole project uses loans, it will not push the public debt past the 65% ceiling.

The selection of technologies for the project will ensure consistency and convenience for future receptions and transfers.

At a speed of 320 kilometers per hour, rail travel between Hanoi and HCMC will take five hours 20 minutes, excluding stopovers at certain stations, and six hours 55 minutes if stopovers at all stations are included.

A State firm will be responsible for managing the railway infrastructure, and transport firms will be in charge of operating the railway.

For the project to gain the approval of the National Assembly at its next sitting late this year, the ministry has proposed the prime minister consider the early establishment of an evaluation council.