Vietnam's north-south train services to be restored this month

By Pham Huu, Thanh Nien News

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Inspectors check construction work at the Ghenh Bridge in Dong Nai Province in early June. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Railways Inspectors check construction work at the Ghenh Bridge in Dong Nai Province in early June. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Railways
The collapse of a railway bridge near Ho Chi Minh City in March has severed the sole national route

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All Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City train services will resume soon, more than three months after a railway bridge in southern Vietnam collapsed, forcing passengers to take bus detours to avoid the disrupted section. 
Repair work on the Ghenh Bridge, which collapsed on March 20 after being struck by a vessel, will complete on June 26, the national train operator Vietnam Railways said in a statement on Monday. 
The bridge is situated between Binh Duong Province’s Di An Station and Dong Nai Province’s Bien Hoa Station. Currently, train passengers have to be transferred by buses between the two stations.
From June 26, all services through the section will be resumed. From June 26-30, all trains will depart at Saigon Railway Station one hour later than the departure time printed in the tickets because passengers will not take bus detours as at present, said the statement.
Vietnam Railways has also announced new services for the summer, including four daily trains between Nha Trang and HCMC, and four between Phan Thiet and HCMC.
Meanwhile, police are still investigating the barge owner Phan The Thuong and two others who were responsible for the collapse. There were no casualties in the incident. 
Their tugboat, towing a barge, was reportedly cruising downstream the Dong Nai River when the engine broke down, they said.
The bridge collapse has affected traffic on the north-south route. The number of passengers fell around 20 percent, causing a revenue loss of hundreds of millions of dong a month, according to Vietnam Railways.
 A file photo shows the Ghenh Bridge being collapsed after a barge hit the centenary bridge on March 20, 2016. Photo: Xuan Duc/Thanh Nien

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