Vietnam Railways


Vietnam Railways

The railway system in Vietnam is operated by the state-owned Vietnam Railways (Đường sắt Việt Nam). The principal route is the thousand-mile single track North-South Railway line, running between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. This was built at the metre gauge in the 1880s during the French colonial rule. There are also standard gauge lines running from Hanoi to the People’s Republic of China, eventually leading to Beijing, and some mixed gauge in and around Hanoi.

Problems

Notwithstanding the poor state of the country’s road network, the railway system does not make a great contribution to the national transport infrastructure, carrying only about 7% of all freight. The 30 to 40-hour passenger trip between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is undertaken by few, although visitor resorts such as Huế, Hội An, and Nha Trang lie along the route and generate some tourist traffic. Following the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1978 some travel restraints are still in place in the border region and the usage of the lines north and east of Hanoi is curtailed as a result. The Ho Chi Minh City–Hanoi line is poorly maintained and the engineering infrastructure, much damaged by war, has even now received only temporary repair in many places. In addition, the center of the country is subject to violent annual flooding and bridges are often swept away, causing lengthy closures.

Projects

There is a long-term plan to build a completely new standard-gauge line to connect the two main cities. New international routes to Phnom Penh and thus via Bangkok to Singapore are also under consideration. A parliamentary resolution of 2005 proposed that foreign investors be invited to invest in Vietnam Railways. Although on the face of things the possibility of a good return might appear small, there are precedents: the lines into China have benefited from Chinese investment and, more recently, Japanese investment was spent on the Hai Van Tunnel project, a new road tunnel alongside the north-south rail line near Da Nang.

At a more local level, the picturesque hill town and resort of Đà Lạt was once connected by a scenic little rack railway to the main north-south line at Thap Cham. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = A Brief History of Dalat Railroad
work =
publisher = Viet Nam Air Force Model Aircraft of Minnesota
date = 2007-10-07
url = http://www.vnafmamn.com/tracing_shangrila.html
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-03-14
] Although there is now little visible trace of the trackbed in the green and fertile landscape, local businesses have secured a promise of government funding for its reinstatement, to benefit tourism in the area. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = 1928 Thap Cham-Da Lat Railway returns
work =
publisher = Vietnamnet, from official Viet Nam News agency
date = 2007-10-07
url = http://english.vietnamnet.vn/travel/2007/10/748034/
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-03-14
] Currently, the only railway at Đà Lạt is an 8 km remnant from the old railway connection that runs from Đà Lạt station to the nearby village of Trại Mát. This is run as a tourist attraction.

Other projects likely to receive foreign money are proposed light rail systems within Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The official Vietnam Railways website lists 27 steam locomotives in use between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but only diesel engines are in evidence along the route.

Overview

Routes

* North-South
* Local
* Hanoi-Beijing

Lines

* Hanoi-Saigon
* Hanoi-Lao Cai
* Hanoi-Quan Trieu
* Hanoi-Dong Dang
* Hanoi-Haiphong
* Kep-Uong Bi
* Hanoi-Thai Nguyen

tations

* Saigon
* Nha Trang
* Dieu Tri
* Quảng Ngãi
* Da Dang
* Hue
* Dong Hoi
* Vinh
* Haiphong
* Hanoi
* Dong Dang
* Lao Cai
* Bien Hoa
* Bong Son
* Duc Pho
* Nui Thanh
* Ta Ky
* Tra Kieu
* Dieu Tri

Gauges

* 1000 mm (2169 km)
* 1435 mm (standard gauge, 178 km)
* 1435 mm and 1000 mm (dual gauge, 253 km)

Trackage

* Total 3160 km
* 506 km of siding

Fleet

* 331 diesel locomotives
* 34 steam locomotives
* 852 coaches
* 3922 cars

Hotels

* Hai Can Nam Hotel
* Saigon Hotel
* Kham Thien Hotel
* Mat Son Hotel
* Sam Son Hotel
* Ha Thanh Hotel
* Le Ninh Hotel
* Nha Trang Hotel
* Ca Na Hotel
* Dat Lat Railway Hotel
* Ky Dong Hotel
* Hai Van Bac Hotel
* Mua Xuan Hotel

Notes

External links

* [http://www.vr.com.vn/English/index.html Official Website of Vietnam Railways]
* [http://www.vietnam-travelservices.com/home/default.asp?iSta=26 More Vietnam train information]


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