A number of subsidiaries of the Vietnam Railways Corporation are being equitised, including two major companies, Hanoi Railway Passenger Transport and Saigon Railway Passenger Transport, the English language news website dtinews.vn reported.

The two companies will be renamed Hanoi Railway Transport Company and Saigon Railway Transport Company. Restructuring of these two companies is expected to be complete in 2015.

Di An Railway Company, Gia Lam Railway Company and about 20 others that specialise in railway infrastructure maintenance will also be equitised by the end of 2015. All the affected firms will go into operations on January 1, 2016.

Vietnam Railway Vocational College has a target of being financially independent by 2020, while the Railway Medical Centre will be independent by 2016.

Executives at Vietnam Railways Corporation have ordered further research on the process and proposed reducing stakes in their consulting and construction companies to less than 30 percent.

The Vietnam Railways Corporation will submit an organisation, management and operational plan for the national railway system to the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Transport in July.

Currently, railway transport accounts for only 0.5 percent of the total passenger transport market and 1 percent of total freight transport.

The sector plans to raise this to a target of 13 percent of passenger transport and 14 percent of freight transport by 2020.-VNA