BayRail general meeting

Vietnam to build $33b, 1,010-mile HSR with Japan's help


Published Monday, February 5, 2007, by Reuters

Vietnam to build high-speed rail

HANOI, Vietnam -- Vietnam will build a high-speed railway with aid
from Japan at an estimated cost of $33 billion, a project that would
cut travel time by two-thirds between Hanoi in the north and southern
Ho Chi Minh City, the government said.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung gave approval to state-run Vietnam
Railways to invest in the 1,630-km (1,010 miles) track, a statement on
the government's Web site ( late on Monday

Dung has assigned the unlisted railways firm to work with Japanese
experts on a detailed investment plan, the statement said.

Seventy percent of funding will come from the government, mainly in
the form of Japanese official development assistance, and Vietnam
Railways will raise 30 percent of the cost from loans, Nguyen Huu
Bang, director of the state firm said.

The train service monopoly does not release profit figures but its
revenues in 2006 rose 13.2 percent from the previous year to 5.3
trillion dong ($330 million), the Vietnam News reported on Tuesday.

Japan is the single biggest country donor to Vietnam. It has pledged
$890 million in aid for the country this year, or 6.5 percent higher
than the 2006 level of $835.6 million.

International governments and agencies have pledged a record $4.45
billion in aid to communist-run Vietnam for this year as the Southeast
Asian country seeks to improve its under-developed infrastructure.

The track, to be built over a six-year period with a wider gauge of
1,435 mm, will reduce the train journey between the capital Hanoi and
the commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City to less than 10 hours from more
than 30 hours.

It will enable train speeds of 300 km to 350 km (186-217 miles) per
hour, state-run media said.

The country's north-south trains now travel between the two cities on
a single track with the narrow gauge of 1,000 mm over 1,726 km (1,070

[BATN: See also:

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California high-speed rail needs funds to get underway

Visalia officials seek stop on imperiled high-speed rail line

Schwarzenegger may kill high-speed rail to widen roads, warm planet

Comment: Schwarzenegger ignores transit-enviroment link

Schwarzenegger: high-speed rail not a priority

Schwarzenegger may postpone high-speed rail indefinitely

Europeans remain serious about HSR, while US is all talk

US rail infrastructure likened to that of a 3rd-World country ]