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|NA approves USD300m upgrade plan for railway sector|
The Standing Committee of the National Assembly has approved to allocate VND7trn (USD300m) from government bonds to upgrade the railway sector. This is also part of the VND15trn investment plan for 2016-2020 period submitted for approval since early 2017.
Vu Anh Minh, chairman of Vietnam Railways, said the fund would be used to upgrade the trains' payload from 3.6 to 4.2 tonnes and improve the speed so that more trains would be able to run per day. Average train speeds are expected to reach 80-90km/h while freight trains would be able to travel at 50-60km/h.
They will also upgrade 11 weak bridges and 11 tunnels, remove 800 illegal level crossings and set up 33km of barriers. "VND7trn will be used to fund several projects. VND1.4trn (USD59.81m) is to upgrade Hanoi-Vinh railway, VND1.8trn for Vinh-Nha Trang railway and VND1.9trn for Nha Trang-HCM City section," Minh said.
The Hanoi-Vinh project has been given to the Management Board of Railway Projects 2. The other two projects have been given to the Vietnam Railways. They are completing the procedures and hope to start the projects in mid-2019.
According to the strategic plan approved by the Ministry of Transport, the railway sector will need VND110trn (USD4.7bn) for upgrade the existing infrastructure by 2030. VND48trn will be allocated to 2016-2020 period and VND62trn for 2020-2030 period.