Nostalgia of Historic Saigon-My Tho Railway | Company

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Illustration photo: SGGP

Once the Ho Chi Minh City-Can Tho railway line receives much-needed investment and is fully operational by 2030, it will mark a century-old historic event in the region.

In an excerpt from his novel ‘Thay Thong ngon’ which was published in 1926, famous Vietnamese writer Ho Bieu Chanh describes the chaotic scene at the busy Tan An train station at sunset with people rushing with their luggage to pick up the train to My Tho and others waiting to make the return trip to Saigon.

Pictures of life surrounding the Saigon-My Tho railway line have been written into many novels by several other writers. This southern region has been described in many literary works or studies by Mr. Vuong Hong Sen, researcher Nguyen Dinh Dau and Son Nam. Mr. Nguyen Hien Le also chose to travel by train for the first time from Saigon to Tan An, now known as Long An, and then by waterway to the vast and untouched Dong Thap Muoi to write his masterpiece. artwork “Seven Days in Dong Thap”. Muoi”.

The Saigon-My Tho Railway was the first railway line between Vietnam and Indochina covering a length of over 70 km. It was built in 1881 and became operational in 1885. In 1958, the former government of Saigon discontinued this train line. In 73 years of existence this train has changed the mode of movement and transport of goods in this region. It was also part of the philosophy of this region and became deeply embedded in the psyche of the people, providing an economical means of transport and also being part of the emotional and cultural life of the people of the South.

New master plan

According to Decision No. 1769/QD-TTG of October 19, 2021, the Prime Minister approved the master plan for the rail network for the period 2021 to 2030, with a vision for 2050. This will play an important role in the rail system. infrastructure and is identified as one of three strategic breakthroughs that should be prioritized for investment. Currently, resources have been put in place to start a number of new rail lines, in which priority is given to north-south high-speed rail routes connecting seaports and international airports, and a study is underway to Ho Chi Minh City -Can Tho Railway Line.

The entire Mekong Delta transport system accounts for about 10% of the country’s coverage with more than 2,000 kilometers of national roads, about 4,800 kilometers of provincial roads and about 73,000 kilometers of district roads and rural roads . For many years, this area faced bottlenecks where traffic jams remained a problem between Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta. Freight is overloaded on roads and waterways, while there are not many air routes connecting Ho Chi Minh City to the delta provinces. This region is still struggling with the flow of ships through seaports, overcrowded waterways, highways, land routes and the complete absence of railways.

In 2013, the Minister of Transport approved the Detailed Investment Plan of Ho Chi Minh City-Can Tho Road. The project has been included in the Mekong Delta Region Master Plan and Railway Network Plan for the period 2021-2030, with a vision for 2050. It is one of nine new railway lines in the countries that will be invested in the period. until 2030. The Ho Chi Minh City-Can Tho route is a high-speed double-track railway, with a gauge of 1,435 mm and a length of 174 kilometers. It will depart from An Binh railway station in Binh Duong province and pass through Ho Chi Minh City, Long An, Tien Giang, Vinh Long to reach Cai Rang railway station in Can Tho. Its total construction investment cost is expected to be around US$10 billion.

With a speed of 190 kilometers per hour, the Ho Chi Minh City-Can Tho railway line will shorten the travel time from Can Tho to Ho Chi Minh City to just 45 minutes. The route will run parallel to the Ho Chi Minh City-Trung Luong-My Thuan-Can Tho highway, towards the outskirts of existing urban areas. It will be an important traffic route to solve the problem of overloaded traffic for the western provinces and Ho Chi Minh City, creating a connection with sea, land and air transport modes and forming a comprehensive transport network.

Socio-economic development

This new railway line should promote strong prospects for economic and tourist development as well as relieve traffic congestion. The localities along the route will be able to exploit the land fund at the station level in order to have the capital to pursue socio-economic development.

It will be an eco-friendly project that will create a new model of transport development with clean energy using power plants for solar-powered waste incineration at stations along the route. It will connect two important regions of Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho and open up spaces to develop urban and residential areas. This project will also pave the way for the construction of more infrastructure such as industrial parks, schools, hospitals and inter-regional centers for the transaction and distribution of goods.

The real effectiveness of the project depends on the appropriate method of investment, which should not be a burden on public debt or put pressure on people and companies by additional costs of investors participating in the public-private partnership model ( PPP). Therefore, it is essential to determine appropriate sources of capital, investment phases, investor selection, investment methods and integration with other inter-regional transport modes such as roads, waterways , sea and air routes.

The development of the Ho Chi Minh City-Can Tho railway will certainly be difficult, but with determination and good planning, it will be an extremely beneficial investment for the country.

Saigon Investment

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