Faster passenger and cargo trains that operate with a high degree of punctuality and safety will be the focus of Vietnam Railway Corporation as it works hard to meet the 2020 expansion targets set by the Prime Minister, senior industry officials say.

The decision enjoins the sector to meet 30 percent and 25 percent of national demand in cargo and passenger transport respectively and to serve 20 percent of urban commutation needs in HCM City and Hanoi .

The sector's Party Committee Congress held recently approved a five-year (2011-15) development plan that will focus on improving business, transportation efficiency and traffic safety.

The sector plans to increase its growth rate by 10 percent a year by investing in infrastructure development. It aims to improve the sector's ability to stick to schedules over the next five years, with 99 percent of trains departing on time and 85 percent arriving in time.

The sector will also applying advanced cargo loading and unloading technologies and launch heavy-load services to mining areas, sea ports, big factories and industrial parks.

It will complete projects to upgrade the Hanoi – Lao Cai, Vinh – Nha Trang, and Hanoi – HCM City routes; and begin work on developing urban railway systems in Hanoi and HCM City .

The sector will also equip itself with modern trailers, buses and railway infrastructure needed to increase train speeds to 120km per hour for passenger trains and 80km per hour for cargo trains.

The Tin Tuc newspaper cited officials as saying the management of roads crossing the railroad network will be considerably tightened this year to increase safety./.