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Gov’t wants regulations eased to lengthen lifespan of rolling stock

By N. Tan

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HCMC – The Government has requested relevant agencies to review and revise regulations on inspecting the quality, technical safety and environmental protection of locomotives and train cars when extending the lifespan of the rolling stock.

The Government Office issued Document 3244 on May 9 on Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha’s views on the service life of rail transport and amendment of Government Decrees 65 and 01.

The Deputy PM assigned the Ministry of Transport to conduct a study on revising regulations to extend the rail transport means’ lifespan while ensuring safety and appropriateness with the actual conditions of Vietnam.

Simultaneously, the Government requested the ministry to assess and complete standards on quality, technical and environmental issues for trains.

Meanwhile, Vietnam Railways (VNR) has been directed by the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises to build a roadmap for using locomotives and train cars running on clean energy pursuant to Decision 876 of the prime minister.

According to VNR, as of 2022, the railway sector had 258 locomotives, 980 passenger train cars and 4,318 freight train cars.

The service life of locomotives and passenger train cars pursuant to Decree 65 of the Government ranges from 40 to 45 years. Based on the above regulation, the number of locomotives out of service will increase in the coming years.

VNR estimated it would need at least VND8,000 billion to replace diesel locomotives and passenger train cars. However, replacing diesel locomotives with electric ones is not practical now as Vietnam’s railway uses diesel technology with a track width of 1,000mm, which is not designed for electric trains.

At the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Vietnam pledged to switch to using locomotives and train cars running on clean energy by 2050.

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