By 2020, it will have cost almost 1.8 billion USD to shorten the travelling time by train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, down from 28 hours to 25 hours 24 minutes, said a team of specialist advisors from Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

At a meeting of the steering committee for the priority express railway network in Hanoi on August 14, the Japanese experts proposed upgrading the current North-South railway line to allow passenger trains to travel at 90km per hour and freight trains at 60km per hour. This would permit the number of trains using the route to rise from 32 to 50 per day.

For sections of the line that present problem, they proposed building twin lines and widening the radius of bends on the railway from 100m at present to 800m to allow trains to travel at a maximum speed of 120km per hour.

However, to cut the travelling time from Hanoi to HCM City to 15 hours 36 minutes, it will cost around 14.5 billion USD.

The experts added that the demand for travelling by train will triple by 2030, after they had researched the Hanoi-Vinh and HCM City-Nha Trang express railways.

The two routes will be economically feasible with a repayment rate of 12 percent until 2030, but will need an initial investment of 21.4 billion USD.

They also proposed building a 40km track from Ngoc Hoi to Phu Ly and a 30km line from Thu Thiem to Long Thanh on a trial basis.-VNA