Vietnam to set up panel to steer high-speed railway in right direction

Passengers get on a train from Hanoi to HCM City. —VNA/VNS

HANOI (Vietnam News/Asia News Network): Prime Minister Pham Minh Chính has assigned the Ministry of Transport to establish a steering committee to formulate a project on investment policies on the North-South High-Speed Railway and other national rail projects.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha will head the steering committee. Three ministers of Transport, Planning and Investment, and Finance will be deputy heads of the steering committee.

The establishment of the steering committee comes after the proposal of the Ministry of Transport earlier this month.

Regarding the progress of implementing the North-South High-Speed Railway Project, the transport ministry said that it had sent a team to learn about countries with developed high-speed railway systems, such as countries in Europe and China, to supplement the project's pre-feasibility study report.

At the same time, it scheduled to mobilise experienced international consultants to research and complete the report in 2025, the ministry said.

It needed to establish the working group to help the Prime Minister study and develop mechanisms, policies and major solutions that are comprehensive and interdisciplinary to implement the project successfully, the ministry said.

It also required coordination among relevant ministries and localities in the process of developing the project, the ministry added.

At the end of February 2023, the Politburo issued Conclusion No. 49-KL/TW on the development orientation of Vietnam's railway transport to 2030 with a vision towards 2045. In the conclusion, the Politburo identified the North-South High-Speed Railway as the backbone railway of the country.

The conclusion’s objective is to complete the approval of the investment policies of the North-South High-Speed Railway Project and start the construction of priority sections in 2026-30, including the Hanoi-Vinh section and the HCM City-Nha Trang section.

According to the pre-feasibility report, the North-South High-Speed Railway Project will pass through 20 provinces. It has a length of 1,545km, with a maximum operating speed of about 320 km per hour. The trains use distributed propulsion technology.

The total estimated investment of the whole project is about US$58.71 billion.

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