Vietnam’s North-South high-speed railway is expected to cost USD 58 billion, according to a feasibility report released on August 28th. The rail line will be 1,545 kilometers long and will create a connection between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The high-speed rail line will have a double track of 1435 mm gauge and 23 stations, according to a consultancy consortium comprising Vietnamese companies TEDI, TRICC and TEDIS.
Sixty percent of the tracks will be on viaducts, 10 percent underground and 30 percent on the surface, completely protected by fencing and without a single crossing.
Two sections – from Hanoi to the central city of Vinh and from the central city of Nha Trang to HCMC – will be built first in 2020-2030 at a cost of USD 24 billion and commercial operations are likely to begin in 2032. All sections are expected to be completed and operational by 2040-2045. Transport time from Hanoi to HCMC will be 8 hours, while the current train takes 24 hours.
Trains will run at a speed of 200 km/h, and at this speed, it would only account for 2.7 percent of the transport share on the Hanoi – Nha Trang section. But, in the future, if the speed increases to 350 km/h, the share could reach 14 percent and the high-speed rail could compete with airlines, the report says.
At the meeting, Deputy Minister of Transport, Nguyen Ngoc Dong, said this feasibility report would be considered by authorities before being scrutinized by a European consultancy company.
“The Transport Ministry will hold tenders to select the European consultancy”, Deputy Minister Dong said.
Investment in the existing 3,000-kilometers long railway network currently accounts for only one percent of the transport sector’s total budget.