Source: Thanhnien News, June 30, 2009
An alliance between a Japanese and a Vietnamese consultancy firm has been chosen to study the feasibility of a high-speed railway project to link Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
State-run Vietnam Railways, the investor, has tasked Japan’s Tonichi Engineering Consultants Inc. and Hanoi-based Railway Construction and Investment Consultant JSC consulting firms to assess the US$33 billion railway plan in one month.
The 1,630-kilometer high-speed railway will be built with aid from Japan.
A section of the route between Hanoi and Vinh, a town in the central province of Nghe An, as well as a section between HCMC and Nha Trang in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, are expected to become operational in 2020. The whole line is scheduled for completion in 2035.
After analyzing three of the world’s most advanced high-speed railways – Japan’s Shinkansen, France’s TGV and Germany’s ICE – the project manager Vietnam-Japan Consulting Joint Venture suggested the use of the Shinkansen “bullet-train” model.
The track, with a wider gauge of 1.45 meters, will reduce the train journey between Hanoi and HCMC to less than 10 hours from more than 30 hours now with speeds of up to 360 kilometers per hour.
The country's north-south trains now travel 1,726 kilometers between the two cities on a single track with a narrow 1m gauge.