​Renovation work in progress in a railway section in Da Nang. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Railway Corporation (VNR) has asked the Ministry of Transport for 7 trillion VND (308.2 million USD) in Government bonds to renovate the Hanoi – HCM City rail system from 2017 – 2020.

The North-South Railway is a single-track metre gauge line with a total length of 1,726 kilometres, an official from the corporation said, adding that since it was constructed more than eight decades ago, much of the railway’s infrastructure – including rail tracks, bridges, tunnels, and level crossings – is outdated or in poor condition, reducing transportation capacity and efficiency.

The old system forces passenger trains to travel at 50 km per hour and cargo trains at 35 km per hour on average.

The VNR has proposed four key projects, worth about 1.6 – 1.8 trillion VND (70.4 million – 79.3 million USD) each, to upgrade infrastructure on the Hanoi – Vinh and Nha Trang – HCM City sections, and reinforce weak bridges and tunnels.

It is estimated that once the projects are completed, they will help the corporation increase revenue by 1 billion VND (44,040 USD) per day and reduce freight rates.-VNA