A ceremony was held in the central province of Ninh Thuan on February 19 to kick-start the construction of six bridges on the North-South railway route, as part of a project enhancing the safety and efficiency of the rail network connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The Vietnam Railway Project Management Unit (RPMU) and Japan’s Rinkai Construction Company will jointly build the bridges in a construction package worth more than 490 billion VND (23 million USD). A total of 780 million JPY (7.6 million USD) has been sourced from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) while over 310 billion VND (14.5 million USD) has been granted by the Vietnamese Government.
The bridges are expected to be completed in 30 months.
The North-South single-track metre gauge line was put into use in 1936 with a total length of 1,726 km.
JICA experts have proposed upgrading the current railway system to shorten the travelling time from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City from 28 hours to 25 hours 24 minutes by 2020.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has considered building a 1,435mm gauge dual track line that can run at speeds of up to 200km per hour in the future.