Rail track linking project considered to connect Vietnam’s Lao Cai, China’s Hekou hinh anh 1The completion of the first phase of a project on upgrading the Yen Vien – Lao Cai railway helps increase rail transport capacity (Photo: VietnamPlus) 
 

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Transport has assigned the Railway Project Management Unit to be the investor in charge of compiling a pre-feasibility study of a potential project connecting the rail tracks from Lao Cai station in the northern border province of Lao Cai with North Hekou station in China.

This is part of a recent reply from the ministry to voters in Lao Cai province regarding the Yen Vien-Lao Cai-Hekou railway project. Voters have asked the ministry to early begin the second phase of the project on upgrading the Yen Vien-Lao Cai railway, so as to meet increasing demand on the route.

To ensure traffic safety and meet rising demand for railway transport in the East-West corridor, the Ministry of Transport implemented the project on upgrading the Yen Vien-Lao Cai railway, and its first phase one was completed in 2014.

At present, as part of the compilation of a list of projects for the medium-term public investment plan for 2021-2025, the ministry has assigned the Railway Project Management Unit to be the investor in charge of compiling a pre-feasibility study of a potential project connecting the rail tracks from Lao Cai station in Lao Cai province with North Hekou station in China.

The ministry also instructed the Vietnam Railway Authority to coordinate with relevant agencies to build linking plans and conduct procedures to speed up negotiations with China on the point of linking, laying the basis for research on the project.

“However, China has yet to respond to Vietnam’s proposal,” said officials of the Transport Ministry.

Based on the research outcomes, an agreement with the Chinese side on the point of linking and the allocated financial resources under the medium-term public investment plan for 2021-2025, the ministry will report to the Prime Minister for making final decision on the project.

The first phase of the project on upgrading the Yen Vien – Lao Cai railway, covering 285km of tracks, was implemented from February 2005 to September 2014, with the aim of meeting railway travel demand on the route to 2020, increasing the volume of cargo transported along the Hai Phong-Kunming transport corridor, improving train safety and shortening travelling time of trains, especially passenger trains, on the route.

The start of the railway was Yen Vien station in Hanoi, and the end at the middle of Ho Kieu bridge on the Vietnam-China border. The railway runs through Hanoi, Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Lao Cai provinces.

After two adjustments, total investment for the project stood at over 5.8 trillion VND (252 million USD), sourced by foreign loans and domestic counterpart capital.

The completion of the project’s first phase marked a significant step forward in developing railway transport in the north western region and the country in general.

The capacity on the route has increased to 23 pairs of trains per day and night on the Viet Tri-Yen Bai section, 33 pairs of trains per day and night on the Yen Bai-Pho Lu section, and 17 pairs of trains per day and night on the Pho Lu-Lao Cai section. All unsafe points on the route have been removed, and the travel time along the entire route (from Hanoi to Lao Cai) has been shortened by 40 minutes.

The second phase of the project aims to serve 5 million passengers and transport 7.5 million tonnes of cargo a year, while cutting 90 minutes from the total running time and raising the frequency of trains on the route.

The project will open up opportunities for socio-economic development in the northwestern region, facilitate travel and trade between the region and China’s Yunnan, thus stimulating tourism and easing pressure on land transport./.

VNA