A map shows the HCMC-Can Tho express railway (in red), one of the three railways starting from HCMC, proposed for development in 2021-2030 - PHOTO: TNO.
HCMC – The HCMC-Nha Trang and HCMC-Can Tho high-speed railways and a light rail between the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2 and the Long Thanh International Airport are projected to be developed the 2021-2030 period.
According to a draft plan on the railway development in the 2021-2030 period with a vision to 2050 that the Vietnam Railway Authority has submitted to the Ministry of Transport, nine railways were proposed to be developed during the period, Phap Luat newspaper reported.
The Hanoi-Vinh and Nha Trang-HCMC sections of the North-South express railway were suggested as the top priorities, with the Nha Trang-HCMC section planned to be 370 kilometers long.
In addition, the double-track light rail between the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in HCMC and the Long Thanh International Airport in Dong Nai Province was meant to be 38 kilometers long, and the HCMC-Can Tho high-speed railway was designed to have a length of 174 kilometers.
Regarding the HCMC-Can Tho railway, the Southern Institute of Science and Technology had earlier proposed adjusting the direction of the railway to shorten its length from over 174 to nearly 170 kilometers and adding nine stations in satellite urban areas. The institution had also estimated the needed investment for the project at US$10 billion.
The Vietnam Railway Authority on June 3 said that the institution’s proposal on the adjustment of the direction did not have enough of a technical basis or create significant differences compared with the approved direction, so the railway’s direction would remain unchanged. However, the detailed direction could be adjusted in the detailed planning for the project if needed, in line with the Planning Law.
Dr. Pham Van Hung, deputy head of the Sub-Institute of Transport Science and Technology in Southern Vietnam, said among the three railway projects starting from HCMC, the HCMC-Nha Trang was the most important as it would help boost economic development in the areas from HCMC to Nha Trang.
Meanwhile, the Thu Thiem-Long Thanh railway is not necessary at the current time as other important routes should be developed first.
It is necessary to study railways transporting materials, machines, and products to industrial parks in Binh Duong and HCMC to ease the traffic on roads, Hung said.
Dr. Dao Ngoc Nghiem, vice chairman of the Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association, said the country should develop the railway system as roads are overloaded and the investment in road projects is high.
Besides, the direction of railways should be adjusted.
The HCMC government, in a document commenting on the draft plan on the railway development, proposed prioritizing some urgent railway projects in the next decade, such as the Chon Thanh-Bien Hoa route and the Binh Trieu Station.
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