05 July 2017

HCMC-Can Tho railway in the offing

HCMC-Can Tho railway in the offing

Le Anh

HCMC – Cargo transport between HCMC, the country’s economic center, and the Mekong Delta will be significantly improved as the city government is pushing for a rail link with the delta.

In preparation for the project, agencies in the city will work with Mekong Delta provinces and research institutes over a zoning plan and an investment format for the rail line.

The office of the HCMC People’s Committee last week issued a statement on HCMC chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong’s conclusion on the city’s cooperation with a number of Mekong Delta provinces to develop the railway, which could require a total of US$3.6 billion.  

Since the Southern Institute of Science and Technology and Canada’s financial group MorFund floated their proposals for a railway between HCMC and the delta, the city has thrown its weight behind the project as it will help prop up economic growth in the localities where it passes through.    

Phong assigned the HCMC Department of Transport to work with its counterparts in Long An, Tien Giang, Dong Thap and Vinh Long provinces, and Can Tho City as well as the institute to do the planning for the rail route before it is passed to the Ministry of Transport for consideration and approval.  

Meanwhile, the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment is responsible for meeting with the planning and investment agencies in the Mekong Delta provinces concerned, MorFund, the institute and HCMC Finance and Investment Company (HFIC) to look into an investment format for the project.

The institute studied the HCMC-Can Tho railway years ago. In November 2013, the institute and EDES Group of the U.S. inked a memorandum of understanding on the railway.

The railway is 134 kilometers long and 1.43 meters wide and passenger trains could travel at over 200 kilometers an hour and cargo trains at less than 200 kilometers an hour. 

The line is expected to start at Tan Kien station in HCMC’s outlying district of Binh Chanh and pass through Long An, Tien Giang and Vinh Long provinces before ending at Cai Rang station in Can Tho City. There would be 10 stations and satellite cities along the line.

The institute’s study proposes developing the railway into a high-speed line using South Korean technology and transporting cargo in the initial time. Passenger transport is planned from 2025.

The railway could be built along the HCMC-My Thuan Expressway, so its length could be 30 kilometers shorter than a coastal line.   

The institute has called for partners of Japan and South Korea to invest in the project and a number of firms from the two Northeast Asian countries and China have shown keen interest.

In June 2013, China Development Bank asked its office in Vietnam to work with the institute and propose lending US$1 billion to the project.

The institute underscored the need to have a HCMC-Can Tho railway as it will fuel economic growth in the Mekong Delta region.



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