VIETNAM Railways has commissioned Japan Transportation Consultants and Southern Transport Engineering & Design Inc to undertake a feasibility study for a 47·2 km reconstruction of the southern end of its main line into Ho Chi Minh City through the province of Dong Nai. DSVN hopes to fund the project with a loan from the Japan Bank for International Co-operation, as part of an investment programme totalling 43·8bn dong in 2000-10 and 41·3bn in 2011-20.

The first phase of the upgrading project would see the reconstruction and double-tracking of the 15 km line between Trang Bom and Bien Hoa. The second stage would continue the reconstruction by a further 24·2 km to Binh Trieu, after which an 8 km elevated route would carry the line through Ho Chi Minh City to Hoa Hung. In the longer term, a double-track suburban line would be projected 18 km southwest from Hoa Hung to Binh Chanh. New passenger stations are envisaged at Trang Bom, Long Binh, Bien Hoa, Binh Trieu and Di An, and a freight terminal is to be built at An Binh.

Realignment and grade segregation of the main line will provide the capacity needed to accommodate traffic off the proposed branches to the coastal town of Vung Tau and the Cambodian border near Loc Ninh.