Seven new bridges on the Hanoi- Ho Chi Minh City railway route have been open to traffic, helping shorten the running time of trains.

They were built at a total cost of nearly 26.5 million USD by Japan’s Tekken and Yokogawa companies and the Thang Long Construction Corporation.

Construction of the bridges in central Quang Binh and Quang Tri provinces were completed in 22 months, five months ahead of the schedule.

It is part of a project enhancing safety of railway bridges along the north-south route. With an investment capital of 3.79 trillion VND (178.1 million USD), the project aims to replace 44 railway bridges in 15 provinces and cities.

The north-south single-track metre gauge line was put into use in 1936 with a total length of 1,726 km.

Upgrading the current railway system will help shorten the travelling time from 28 hours to 25 hours 24 minutes by 2020.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has considered building a 1,435mm gauge dual track line that can run at speeds of up to 200km per hour in the future.-VNA