According to Vietnam Railways, the only unit operating passenger transport on the North-South railway line, the SE8 train departing from Saigon station will be cancelled from August 23, along with the SE7 train departing Hanoi Railway Station from August 25 until a new order is issued.
|Vietnam Railway will suspend its two passenger trains between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City |
This decision was made to adapt to the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic with new variants and high risk of infection and social distancing at Ho Chi Minh City and other cities and provinces.
Previously, Vietnam Railways (VNR) maintained two passenger trains on the North-South route (SE7 and SE8) which did not pick-up and drop-off passengers at stations of localities applying social distancing according to Directive 16/CT-TTg.
Passengers who have bought tickets to travel on trains SE7 and SE8 will be able to get a refund or reschedule their ticket. Passengers can refund tickets online or at the stations of localities which are not implementing social distancing. Otherwise, they will be able to refund their tickets once the trains resume.
From August 25, VNR will not run regular passenger trains on the North-South route, only freight trains. In particular, VNR will run special passenger trains according to the request of localities with permission from the authorities.
In July and August, VNR organised five special trains to bring nearly 2,500 citizens of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien Hue provinces from Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces home safely.
As for freight trains, in the first six months, the railway industry counted 18,601 trains transporting 2.9 million tonnes, achieving a turnover of VND835.6 billion ($36.33 million). The total number of freight trains increased 111.2 per cent on-year in 2020 and 107.9 per cent over the same period in 2019.
Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, deputy director of Song Than Railway Transport Branch of VNR, said that the volume of goods transported by freight trains from the north to the south is increasing, but remains low in the other direction.