Bullet train gets a second look

January 05, 2011 | 18:00
The Ministry of Transport is conducting a new feasibility study for the construction of north-south express railway, with a focus on two initial sections of Hanoi - Vinh and Ho Chi Minh City - Nha Trang.

The study has been initiated after the National Assembly last June rejected the complete 1,570km North-South Express Railway project, saying the cost of $55.85 billion was prohibitive.

"We have to build an express railway, but every step of the construction will be studied carefully and properly and we are conducting a new feasibility study for that," said Transport Minister Ho Nghia Dung.

He told the Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper that the study would define clearly the technology to be used, capital mobilisation, project process and construction duration as required by the National Assembly.

Dung estimated the study would take two to three years to complete and would include an investigation into the country's resources and capacities for starting a new project before submitting it to the National Assembly for approval.

The ministry had no intention to replace the express railway project with one that expands the existing railway system to 1.45m from the current 1m as suggested by a few NA deputies and citizens, he said.

Dung said an expansion would require that the whole railway system stop working.

He said that when the country's express railway system was completed, it would connect with other systems in the region, like China 's Kunming province.


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