VIETNAM: Deputy Prime Minister Lê Văn Thành has signed off the government’s formal approval for plans to be drawn up for nine new railway lines totalling 2 362 km. Design work is scheduled to be completed by 2030, with opening envisaged by 2050.

The longest of the proposed routes would be a 1 545 km north – south high speed line linking Ngọc Hồi station in Hanoi with Thủ Thiêm in Ho Chi Minh City. The Ministry of Transport envisages construction of the Hanoi – Vinh northern and Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh City southern sections before 2030.

The other proposed lines for which planning was given the go-ahead on October 19 are:

  • Yên Viên North station – Phả Lại – Hạ Long – Cái Lân, 129 km;
  • Hanoi – Hai Phong paralleling a motorway, 102 km;
  • a 59 km Ngọc Hồi – Lạc Đạo – Bắc Hồng bypass line east of Hanoi, enabling the existing Ngọc Hồi – Yên Viên and Gia Lâm – Lạc Đạo lines to be used for suburban services;
  • Vũng Áng – Tân Ấp – Mụ Giạ, which would connect the port of Vũng Áng to the border with Laos, 103 km;
  • Trảng Bom station in Biên Hòa – Vũng Tàu, 84 km;
  • An Bình station in Ho Chi Minh City – Cái Răng station in Cần Thơ, 174 km;
  • Dĩ An station in Ho Chi Minh City to the Hoa Lư border crossing with Cambodia in Lộc Ninh, 128 km;
  • passenger only line linking Thủ Thiêm and Long Thành international airport, 38 km.

The Vietnamese railway sector has set a target to transport 11·8 million tonnes of freight and 460 million passengers per year by 2030, which would represent modal shares of 0·27% and 4·4%. This is estimated to require investment of US$10·1bn by 2030.