Work on Vietnam hub's first tramway to begin in August

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Ho Chi Minh City will start building its first tramway in August to connect District 1's Ben Thanh Market with District 6's Mien Tay Bus Station, authorities have said.

The tramway 3A, which has a planned length of 12.2 kilometers and a total investment capital of around VND4 trillion (US$211 million), will start at Ben Thanh Market and go along the East-West Highway and Ben Nghe Tau Hu Canal before stopping at Mien Tay Bus Station, according to the city's Management Board for Urban Railways.

The project will be built under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) arrangement by a consortium comprising Thanh Danh Trading Construction Co., Malaysia-based Titanium Management Co. and BOT Phu My Bridge Co. It is expected to be finished in 2012.

Once completed, the tramway 3A will have six main stations and 17 stops.

The city earlier planned to build a 24-kilometer tramway for route No. 3 but then divided it into two parts: tramway 3A and tramway 3B. The latter, 11.5 kilometers long, is designed to connect Ben Thanh and Thu Duc District's Hiep Binh Phuoc Ward.

Tramway 3 (consisting of 3A and 3B) is one of six railway projects in Ho Chi Minh City that have been approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung as part of the city's zoning plan.

Apart from the tramway 3 project, the railway 1 project - a metro route connecting Ben Thanh and District 9's Suoi Tien - is now under construction while others have yet to break ground.

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