Vietnam needs over $3.86 billion to upgrade north-south railway: report

Thanh Nien News

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 A railway station in Vietnam. Photo credit: Dau Tu
Vietnam will possibly need nearly VND88.2 trillion (US$3.86 billion) to upgrade its north-south railway and increase the speed to 80-90 kilometers per hour from 50 kph at the moment, news website Dau Tu recently reported.
The 1,726-kilometer railway will be able to transport 16 million passengers and 6 million tons of goods a year by 2020, it quoted the Vietnam Railway Authority as saying.
Vu Quang Khoi, head of the agency, said so far the authority has mobilized around 14 percent of the projected cost.
The project will be funded by the state budget, government bonds, official development assistance loans, and private investors, according to the railway agency.
The upgrade project is part of a national plan for rail transport over the next five years. The plan has been approved recently by the government and is set to cost more than VND281.3 trillion ($12.31 billion).
As part of the plan, relevant authorities will study a project to build a north-south express double-track railway with a designed speed of 350 kmp. Its construction is expected to start in 2030.
In 2010, the project was rejected by Vietnamese lawmakers who said the cost projection of $56 billion was to high, equal to half the country's gross domestic product at the time.

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