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Monday, June 24, 2024

Ministry urged to expedite preparations for North-South express railway project

By T. Huy

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HCMC – The State Appraisal Council has proposed the Ministry of Transport develop a special mechanism for the North-South express railway project to quicken its construction.

The State Appraisal Council for the North-South express railway has written to the Ministry of Transport asking it to heed the consultancy’s opinions on the operation, route direction and location of stations to complete the prefeasibility study for the North-South express railway project.

Accordingly, the proposed express railway, for transporting passengers and cargo, is designed to have a maximum speed of 200 kph, as approved by the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Planning and Investment in late 2022.

Earlier, the Ministry of Transport proposed putting the whole project into service by 2050 in the prefeasibility study report.

However, the State Appraisal Council said that due to the project’s importance, the delay might lead to rising investment costs and missing socio-economic development opportunities.

Thus, the State Appraisal Council proposed the Ministry of Transport prepare a special mechanism for the project to submit it to the Government and the National Assembly for consideration.

With the cruising speed of 200 kph being revised down from 350 kph as earlier planned, the number of railway stations will increase.

The ministry is requested to work with 12 provinces that have yet to agree on the route direction plan and location of railway stations to reach an optimal solution.

Due to the urgency of the matter, the Ministry of Transport needs to expedite completing the prefeasibility study report for submission to the State Appraisal Council this year to ensure the project will be completed by 2045, as oriented by the Politburo.

The project, with a preliminary investment cost of US$61 billion, will have 50 passenger stations and 20 cargo ones on the entire route.

The Politburo has set a target to complete the investment policy approval for the North-South express railway project by 2025. Of which, the railway section of Hanoi – Vinh and HCMC – Nha Trang will be executed on priority in 2026-2030.

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