Vietnam to study high-speed railway again: gov't

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Vietnam will study a proposal to build a high-speed railway linking Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung declared that the feasibility study would commence at a "suitable time."

The decision was included in his approval of a plan to develop the transportation infrastructure in the southern economic area by 2020. The authors plan to build 580 kilometers of highways and put the Long Thanh International Airport in Dong Nai Province into operation.

At the June National Assembly session, lawmakers struck down a US$56 billion project to build a 1,570-kilometer long high-speed railway linking the two major cities, arguing that it was economically unsound. The assembly also recommended that further studies on its feasibility were needed.

Earlier this month, the Minister of Transport, Ho Nghia Dung, said the government will consider submitting the high-speed railway project to the National Assembly again, in three years.

He also said that the ministry and Japan have signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct a feasibility study for the project. It aimed at establishing two subprojects to build a route between Hanoi and Vinh Town in the north-central province of Nghe An, and another between Ho Chi Minh City and the central coastal town of Nha Trang.

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