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Rail upgrade begins

FRIday - 01/04/2011 16:40
The Viet Nam Railway Corporation started work to strengthen railway infrastructure on the North-South route in central Ha Tinh Province yesterday following instructions from Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
The section was seriously damaged in the historic floods and storms last October.

The VND120 billion (US$6.1 million) project will include the replacement of damaged tracks and an upgrade to Yen Due Station. Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, general director of the corporation Nguyen Huu Bang said the section and Ru Tri dyke were swept away in the storm, disrupting the Thong Nhat passenger train service.

The Prime Minister has asked the corporation to upgrade infrastructure while ensuring technical standards were met. The work is expected to shorten travel times and improve safety.

"It is also expected to facilitate transport in the region, easing the effects of floods near the Ngan Sau River over the next year.


The Prime Minister's instruction came following an accident involving a train and six cars on Sunday night in which two people were killed and 26 injured.

The South-North passenger train from HCM City hit vehicles that were travelling in the same direction on Ghenh Bridge in Bien Hoa City's Buu Hoa Ward in southern Dong Nai Province at around 8.10pm.

The Ministry of Transport has started a review of all bridges which are used by both trains and other vehicles.

Ministry statistics show that there are 10 such bridges in the country as well as over 300 kilometres of national highways that run alongside railway tracks with crossings.

There are on average 60 North-South trains per day, with up to 80 in peak periods.

Chief of ministry administration Nguyen Van Cong said that they had held an urgent meeting with the Viet Nam Railway Administration regarding the matter.

Cong said it would take five years to separate the road and railway bridges under a development strategy.

Pham Van Binh, head of the corporation's Traffic Safety Department, said the bridges were built a hundred years ago and were often small and designed for primitive vehicles.

However, they are used by several kinds of vehicles and 30 to 40 trains a day.

The sector has proposed to ban vehicles from using bridges which are used by trains.

Binh added houses and advertising boards had encroached on traffic safety corridors while the Law on Railways stipulates that the safety distance must be a 15-metre gap.

He said 90 per cent of over 1,500 railway crossings did not meet safety requirements.

In addition, the law also says that two railways cannot run parallel with one another, but there are still 310 kilometres of track contravene this.

Statistics from the Department of Road and Railway Traffic Police revealed that 1,045 railway traffic accidents occurred in the 2009-10 period.

Source: http://vietnamnet.vn

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